How Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom Complete Edition brings an immersive 1920s world to PS VR2

At Maze Theory, we get excited about storytelling in virtual reality. We think about how VR feels –using your hands to interact with the world, looking characters in the eye, gazing up at vast buildings–and use those feelings to immerse players in a story.

For Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom Complete Edition–a new, standalone story set in the world of the hit tv show–we wanted players to feel like they were stepping into the criminal underworld of Birmingham and London in 1928. We leaned into the tactility of VR to help them build a close relationship with the world, and get into character. As players explore they fix period-specific radios, play darts, pour drinks in the iconic Garrison pub, and use their trusty lighter to illuminate dark spaces… and start fires.

Since Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom is a character-led drama, we wanted players to experience the characters’ presence and performance in an intimate way that’s only possible in VR. One notable example is the player’s first encounter with Tommy Shelby, brilliantly portrayed by Cillian Murphy, which combines a captured performance with dynamic NPC reactions driven by player interactions.

Most importantly, we wanted to let players loose in environments that were dramatic from a distance–those 1920s factories look spot on in VR–but were detailed close-up. We hid narrative details throughout the world, and players are rewarded for exploring with a deeper understanding of the rich, complex world in which the story takes place.

A brand new story

While the game had to be satisfying for those well-versed in the tv show’s sweeping narrative, we wanted to tell a completely standalone story. To that end, we created several entirely new characters, including the protagonist, Sammy Taylor, a WWI veteran on the run from the firing squad. His only chance at redemption is to work for his childhood friend Tommy Shelby, and his criminal gang, the Peaky Blinders.

As Sammy, players find themselves embroiled in the hunt for Winston Churchill’s Red Box: a briefcase containing the identities of every British agent around the globe. While Sammy’s mission is to retrieve the box for Churchill himself, enemy factions want it too: for power, for money, and the chance to bring the country to its knees.

Improved for PS VR2

For the PS VR2 launch of Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom, we took advantage of the headset’s resolution and power to make the game look even better, sharper, and more immersive. The incredibly detailed environments are now rendered with increased resolution, and improvements to the lighting and textures. For a game that relies so heavily on its atmosphere and sense of place, we’re really excited about the improvements we could bring to the PS VR2 version.

We also added PS VR2 haptics and adaptive triggers. The story features moments of high tension and explosive action, and the incredible feedback offered by PS VR2’s haptics makes these dramatic moments even more powerful.

The Complete Edition

When Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom launches on PS VR2, it will be the Complete Edition, containing all additional content that will ever be released for the game.

After completing the main story, players will be able to return to the gameworld in Free Roam, take on shooting galleries and combat challenges, and be rewarded with item skins and player customisation options.

Most excitingly, the Complete Edition will also include seven narrative combat missions, which take place after the events of the main story. Trouble is brewing in the Peaky Blinders’ territory, and once again, it’s up to Sammy to get to the bottom of it.

Out this November

Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom Complete Edition comes to PS VR2 this November. Whether you’re a fan of the show or a newcomer to the epic gangster drama, this game offers an enthralling experience that truly makes the most of VR.

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