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Peaky Blinders: Mastermind Preview

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 31 - 2020

Taking a peak at the Peaky Blinders video game.

 
You have to marvel at the creative genius of the Peaky Blinders, as in the actual Birmingham gang from the early 1900s. Not only did they rather viciously decide to sew razor blades into the peaks of their caps and then use their caps to slash at the eyes of their enemies, but using that whole concept to come up with the incredibly catchy name for their gang, that is really impressive. Equally impressive is the Peaky Blinders TV show, following the Shelby family and their dodgy dealings across some five seasons. It’s a mesmerising watch. However, what we have been missing out on so far is a decent Peaky Blinders video game, something that developer FuturLab, the studio behind the excellent Velocity games, are soon to remedy. Being published by Curve Digital, Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is a puzzle adventure that is set for launch on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC on August 20th.

 


 
Set immediately before the events of the TV shows first season, players are going to be able to step back in time and take control of various members of the Shelby family as they get up to what they do best – which is pretty much whatever they want. We’ve only been able to check out the first couple of levels of the game, but what we saw has left us desperately wanting more.

 
Through the course of the game, the player will take control of various members of the Shelby family, each of which come with special abilities that will have to be used to solve puzzles and achieve whatever the objective is. In the early levels that were available, much of the emphasis was on Tommy Shelby, the leader of the Peaky Blinders. His ability is perhaps the most important, as he is able to essentially convince NPCs to do exactly what he wants, which translates to the player being able to control the NPC for a short time. Using the NPC to retrieve items or open doors will further the adventure.

 
Tommy’s sister comes along as well. Ada has the ability to distract lookouts or guards, changing their focus to allow Tommy or other members of the gang to sneak past unseen. Finally there is Finn, who is small enough to sneak through small gaps or windows to access locked off areas. When the full game launches, other members of the family will also be available and bring new abilities, adding further variety to the gameplay.

 


 
The game has an isometric view and plays upon multiple levels, seeing the Shelby’s wandering the industrial back alleys and heading into multi-floored buildings and across rooftop walkways. The early levels were very nicely detailed and reasonably simple to follow the objectives through, even if the actual act of solving the puzzles takes a little bit of mental work.

 
The thing that makes Mastermind intriguing is the time line. Basically, the player will need to have characters doing things at the same time in order to solve puzzles, and the time line is how this works. At any point, the player is able to rewind time and rectify mistakes, as is often seen in other games. However, in Peaky Blinders: Mastermind, the player can rewind time and then switch to another character. The previously controlled character will still go about whatever the player had them do, but now the player can control another character to work in conjunction. At its most basic, this could be having Finn walk to a door and hold it open for a few seconds, rewind time and switch to Tommy and walk through the door while it is held open. It takes a little getting used to and timing is of the utmost importance, but it is a very cool system and I can’t wait to see how it will work with all of the other characters in the game.

 
The early levels that we played were not too difficult, but the game seems to include an interesting hook to get players heading back into levels again and again. Upon completion of a level, the player is rewarded with gold, silver or bronze, depending on how long they took to complete the mission. Learning to use the abilities effectively and getting the timing right on the time line, and even understanding the mission a bit more, can lead to players going back in and shaving seconds or even minutes off their time. Throw in some collectibles as well and there will be plenty of reason to keep dipping back in for more.

 


 
With a whole new Peaky Blinders story to enjoy, along with yet more levels involving more members of the family, there is a lot to look forward to for puzzle-playing Peaky Blinders fans, and fortunately we won’t have to wait long. Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is due to launch for Xbox One, PS4, Switch and PC through Steam on August 20th, priced at £19.99, and I can’t wait to see what complex plans Tommy Shelby and the rest of the family set up.

 

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