06th Oct2020

‘Peaky Blinders: Mastermind’ Review (PS4)

by Chris Cummings

I’d be lying if I told you I had watched every single episode of Peaky Blinders and I’d also be lying to tell you I had any clue that there would be a game coming out this year. Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is a strategy game in which you take control of specific characters and lead them on a specific path to meet a goal. It’s a simple concept that feels familiar, like some of the older PC strategy titles.

I liked the style of Peaky Blinders: Mastermind and the way certain characters have their unique “talents” and abilities. You may need to fight or distract or sneak, and you must reply on your growing variety of playable fellas to get the jobs done. Visually it looks fine, though perhaps not in line with other modern strategy titles like XCOM 2, Civilization 6 and the like. My main issue here is that the game is pretty damn short and just as I was getting into things and starting to see a bigger potential here, it kind of just… ended. It’s a shame, really, because this did have a chance to be a better game if only there had been more of it to play. Within five hours or so, the game was done, and the desire to replay isn’t really there, the game doesn’t especially urge you to go through it over and over, though you certainly could if you wished.

There’s also a bit of confusion here with the difficulty and linear way the game plays out. Peaky Blinders: Mastermind has moments of being really challenging, where you need to sit and contemplate the level before jumping into things, but the curve isn’t there. It’s massively easy at times, but then just throws a random difficult part your way once in a while. It doesn’t necessarily feel like it builds in difficulty as you go, at least for half of the game. The way you meet restrictions is also a tad stifling and almost felt avoidable, but this is only one of thousands of games to make you stick to a certain path, so that may not bother some players.

The other thing I did notice here, as someone familiar but not really a mega-fan of the show, is that the game doesn’t really meet the expectations that fans are likely to have when they pick the game up. The story is a touch on the weak side and the characters don’t really do all that much to keep you hooked on playing. It would have been nice to have had a deep and complex storyline and big vibrant characters to keep things exciting enough, but it all feels kind of “just alright”. Peaky Blinders: Mastermind isn’t a bad game, but there are big problems under the hood. I did like the gameplay in some ways, and enjoyed scratching my thinker on the occasions it became more difficult, but to say it met expectations would be incorrect.

Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is a game that could have been much better had it spent more time with challenging its players and working out the kinks. The cut scenes are a touch cheap looking, and I struggled to care about the story. It plays smoothly enough, features some cool gameplay mechanics and fans of the show might get a bit of a kick of playing in the world, but it should have reached higher and been better than this, quite frankly.

** 2/5

Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is out now on PS4 and Xbox One.


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