If you’ve ever seen Peaky Blinders, exclusively on Netflix in the US, you know how violent this gang that spreads much further than the Shelby family themselves can be.A BBC Original show, Peaky Blinders follows The Shelby Family and their criminal exploits directly after their experiences with the First World War.
I got the chance to review Peaky Blinders: Mastermind on Xbox One. Below, we’ll go into detail of the heists and criminal plans with the family and more specifically in this exciting over-the-top view, puzzle-adventure game.
This puzzle-adventure game from FuturLab, making games almost exclusively for PlayStation prior to this, takes place before the events of the first season. Mastermind gives players a sense of The Shelby Family before they were in as deep into crime as they are now.
As soon as I started up my Xbox for this Peaky Blinders: Mastermind review I was immediately greeted with the title screen music. If you’ve watched the show this will surely make you feel emerged in the show itself with the style of music that plays.
We’re The Peaky Blinders
The Peaky Blinders are brothers Tommy, Arthur, Finn and John as well as their sole sister Ada and their aunt-turned-mother Polly. These are the characters you will be performing perfect heists with, as they’re executed in the mastermind, Tommy’s head. Below, we”ll talk about what makes each Peaky Blinder special and how they will help you.
Tommy has the ability to persuade certain people to help the Peaky Blinders. Some characters found throughout levels can be controlled for a short period of time to help access otherwise locked areas.
Polly has the ability to pick locks and bribe cops, as well as being able to pass cops that other characters can’t.
John is one of two characters who can brawl enemies. John is also capable of using oil lanterns to to burn down obstacles that block your path. Any character can pick up and pass him an oil lantern.
Arthur can also brawl enemies as well as kick down doors that other characters cannot normally get through giving you access to more areas. When John and Arthur are together they can fight groups of two or more thugs together.
Ada can distract guards so that you can walk past them, freely and do whatever needs to be done by Tommy. Ultimately, she can walk through visor cones, obstructing or changing the views of guards or policemen allowing other characters to pass.
Finn can climb into small places such as holes in walls and small windows to open otherwise locked entryways. He is the only character that cannot push or pull objects to move them.
Time Changes Everything for the Peaky Blinders
This game feels incredibly interesting throughout. Although there are only 10 levels, level one being the tutorial, every scene is entirely new, and that’s part of the beauty of Peaky Blinders: Mastermind.
The idea is to get all characters to complete the tasks at hand, while using their individual abilities
You are already timed throughout every level as soon as it starts, as the game is to create the perfect scenario with the characters at hand and complete each characters task. You are literally given the ability to move the timeline.
You can move the timeline forward or backward by the second or jump forward and back with events. Say you need to interrogate someone as Tommy but there is a guard on the other side of the gate between Tommy and that person. You will need Ada to open the gate and distract the guard directly on the other side so that Tommy may pass.
As Ada is talking to the guard, you will need to move your Tommy character to where they need to be. To do this you then would rewind time until Ada is about talk to the guard, then talk to him for about 10 seconds and you then have 10 seconds to move Tommy past that character.
If you are seen or run out of time you can simply rewind time and try again from right before Tommy was caught.
So on top of a general task, each character that can be controller per level can also be given their own task that will all tie into the master plan.
In my experience with the game, every level in your own mind, seems like it’s going to take longer than it actually is. Once your characters start taking actions as the same time as each other and you scramble the timeline, you’ll get everything that you want happening at once.
Also as you explore the levels there will be a set number of gold watches to collect.
Levels also have bronze, silver and gold scoring depending on how well timed you execute your overall plan and finish the level.
Some levels have obstructions that can be moved in order to access other areas or collectables.
In-between levels, in lieu of traditional cutscenes, are beautiful watercolor-like paintings that are just another factor that helps keep the idea of this era of time the story and characters are based.
Unfortunately, the voice cast of the show don’t reprise their roles as there are no major speaking roles in the game. The lack of speaking does not take away from the intensity of timing your plans in this game. Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is smart all the way through.
A Unique, Stealth Puzzler Set in The Peaky Blinders’ Birmingham
Using each characters unique skills makes every new part of a single part of a level feel completely new. This game was not only a very fun stealth game but also a very challenging puzzler.
Although challenging, it’s highly rewarding to get everything going so perfectly feeling just like Tommy Shelby.
As you can see below, even with everything going on you can still separate all of your objectives and exactly what task belongs to who.
Different scenarios put you in constantly unique situations to combine your skills in new ways to get to the next task.
As you progress with one characters task, another area will require you to not only use a specific character and their skills. A lot of the time you will need to solve a puzzle just to get each character to areas already explored.
Even with no enemies on screen, the game has this constant feel like you’re in the shadows in the background.
Everything about Peaky Blinders: Mastermind embodies everything the show has to offer, making you feel truly emerged in the experience.
Did our Peaky Blinders: Mastermind review peak your interest enough to get the game? Did you have any interest to it prior to this review? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
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