During our recent jaunt around EGX, we got to play some awesome games, so we thought we'd round up a few to let you know what they are like.
First up, it's time to head to Small Heath, Birmingham, for some general trouble with the Peaky Blinders in Peaky Blinders: The King's Ransom.
So what do you do in the game?
Having managed to get hands-on with a demo of the game, – far more hands-on than usual, since it's VR and motion controllers and all that – we can reveal that the leader of the Peaky Blinders himself, Tommy Shelby, does feature in the game and is authentically voiced by the extremely talented Cillian Murphy.
In the section we played, you begin being smuggled into Birmingham by van and then can investigate the garage where you're dropped off, which is more exciting than it sounds.
You'll then meet up with Tommy at the famous Garrison pub and share a drink, which involves removing the cork from the bottle and manually pouring it into a glass without dropping it into the floor, and lighting a cigarette before making a difficult choice.
There's also an opportunity to take out some of the enemies of the gang by testing your shooting gallery skills in three dimensions.
When I've tried Virtual Reality in the past, I felt a bit sick, how is it these days?
It's been a few years since we spent a lot of time in VR and this demo was such a huge leap in visual quality alone it immediately made us sit bolt upright, or rather it would have done, if we hadn't already been standing…
There are options available to customise the controls to your preferences, for example being able to choose between sitting and standing. The modern motion controls also help you to move with far more precision than early VR headsets, or the more interface of the Wii era.
In terms of movement, you can either teleport forwards or walk around using the left stick, and then either rotate your body physically or pivot with the right stick. It takes a little getting used to, but the game eases you in by putting you in smaller, more contained environments to begin with and then gradually giving you more to interact with, so the risk of motion sickness should at least be lessened.
What did you think overall?
Honestly, it’s the most impressive VR experience I’ve ever played. Even in just a fairly short demo there was so much detail packed into the world and the attention to detail in all of the period items you examine is incredible.
How the experience will extend into a full game experience, in terms of the variety and keeping the gameplay fresh throughout, might be a challenge, but the immersiveness of the format and all the touches the licence tie-in offers, such as the iconic theme tune by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, immediately transports you.
The high visual fidelity of the backgrounds also helps draw you into the world, and the environmental storytelling, which was a particular focus for the team, makes you want to spend more time poking around every environment, looking for clever little touches.
Finally, add to that the authentic feel to the characters you interact with, largely voiced by their original actors – though unfortunately without Helen McRory, who passed away during the development process – it really shows off the best of what VR can do.
You can see more on Peaky Blinders: The King's Ransom in our video round-up of EGX 2022 on YouTube.