Peaky Blinders: The King's Ransom isn't quite the open-world RPG we was holding out for, but it does tap into 1920s Birmingham surprisingly well. And what's more, it actually does a pretty great job at bringing Tommy Shelby and his network of associates to the VR realm—a move that few never would've initially predicted. But in spite of its best efforts to develop a full-fledged Peaky Blinders experience, it definitely leaves you wanting more action, more story, and far more of an immersive affair.
Fortunately, Maze Theory's VR shooter isn't the only game that scouts out all of the same action tropes, as made clear by the market's booming catalog of genre-defining hits. Question is, which of them are actually worth playing right now? Well, if you do enjoy traversing the back alleys of Birmingham in The King's Ransom, then you'll definitely find something to enjoy in one of these following five games.
5. Peaky Blinders: Mastermind
If you found yourself picking up The King's Ransom purely down to the fact that you wanted to experience the 1920s criminal underworld first-hand, then you'll no doubt find Mastermind, yet another Peaky Blinders venture, a real home away from home. Although not on VR (and from a top-down perspective, no less), Mastermind does play a pivotal role in not only the Peaky Blinders story, but Tommy Shelby's general ascension as Birmingham's most notorious villain.
Set before the events of the first season, Peaky Blinders: Mastermind puts you in the boots of Tommy, Arthur, Polly, John, Ada, and Finn, as they work to uncover the mysteries surrounding the death of a Chinese opium dealer. Between tasks, you will embark on various quests and puzzle-based challenges, using reputation and reputation alone to control the monopoly and dethrone Birmingham's rival factions — by order of the Peaky Blinders.
4. Empire of Sin
Yet another tale that's set in the 1920s, Empire of Sin casts you as an up-and-coming mobster who must not only formulate a plan to monopolize Chicago, but keep an entire city of power-hungry villains in check. Again, playing from a top-down perspective, you will embark on a real-time quest to build a gang, exploit the city's rackets, and gradually ascend the criminal underworld, one neighborhood at a time.
Empire of Sin spreads its time between being a management simulator—one that involves you building and upgrading your gang and hideout—and turn-based combat, which you must engage in to be able to take over businesses and whittle down the competition. In Chicago, it's entirely your world, and every move you make as the city's newest kingpin will determine the future of its citizens. So, how will you play the board?
3. The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners
If you're all for the idea of keeping your weapons and the general aesthetic of a grunge-imbued metropolis (and not to mention swapping out mobsters for zombies), then you'll definitely want to consider checking out The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. As a VR game with a well-balanced blend of combat, theatrics, and character progression, Meta Quest users are bound to find a slew of familiarities encased within this story-driven gem.
The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners hurls you into the immediate aftermath of the New Orleans walker outbreak. As the Tourist, you are invited to scavenge, craft, and fight your way to The Reserve, a haven that supposedly boasts infinite supplies and tools. However, with two factions—the Reclaimed, and the Tower—battling to take over the city, you will need to pool your resources together and learn to survive not only the ongoing feud, but the final days of civilization as New Orleans succumbs to rubble and blood.
2. Blood & Truth
Blood & Truth is the culmination of every action-fueled blockbuster movie ever brought to life, revamped for a single PlayStation VR experience. Granted, it lets slip the grittiness of post-World War Birmingham, but it does transport you to a modern version of Britain—a world engulfed in criminal activity and daring schemes. As the primary pawn in this dramatized reality, you will embark on an adrenaline-fueled joyride unlike any other made for the platform.
As Ryan Marks, a former Special Forces soldier, you will enter war-torn London, a city that operates under the thumb of a notorious crime boss. With your family hanging in the balance and an entire network of morally bankrupt thugs standing between you and your own flesh and blood, you must rediscover your talents and go toe-to-toe with London's deadliest. Action-heavy and absolutely crammed with high-octane movie sequences, Blood & Truth will give you way more than you bargained for.
1. Half-Life: Alyx
Half-Life: Alyx is a textbook example of a near-perfect VR game, as it brings not only a solid combat schematic to the table, but a genuinely interesting and believable setting that's both immersive and atmospheric. While staying true to its survival horror roots, Alyx also envelopes a well-balanced palette of combat, exploration, and puzzle elements—all of which come bundled in with one of the best storylines the VR has seen since it first planted roots a fair few years back.
It goes without saying that, as an award-winning entry in the VR realm, anyone with a PC VR headset should at least consider delving into its world. Running at approximately 12 hours in length, the Valve-led spin-off delivers far more bang for your buck than most bog-standard VR shooters on the modern market. Half-Life fan or not, Alyx is certainly a ride worth hopping on.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up any of the above five? Are there any games you'd recommend playing? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here or down in the comments below.