This is the review for the PS4 and PC(Steam) version of Volume. Volume is Mike Bithell’s second game and this time its a stealth game with top-down view that gets inspiration from Metal Gear Solid’s VR missions. Like his previous game Thomas Was Alone, this game has an awesome engaging story and great characters as well. The characters dialogue interactions between them are well written.
The overall setting of the game is a modern take of Robin Hood where the main character Rob Locksley steals from the rich and teach the poor how to accomplish this via simulations by broadcasting his skills. He broadcast with the help of Alan an Volume AI that he hacked. Guy Gisborne is the main villain and Alan’s other objective is to get evidence to expose the real truth of Gisborne and get England’s freedom back. That is all for the story I will talk about and I don’t want to spoil too much.
Now for the gameplay it is top-down view stealth game. At the beginning of each level is the awesome UI menu where you select the level and it shows the avatar of the next target with a short description that will add to the story as you keep advancing levels. It has a leaderboard under the short description too for the top five fastest players the specific level. Below the Target’s avatar is a preview of the level layout that you will be playing which is nice to get a feel for the level. The beginning levels will be the tutorials to teach the basics of the game. Then after a couple levels the challenge will begin. All the levels are uniquely design to get you a sense of accomplishment after successfully passing it. The levels are accessible to pass, gives challenge later on but don’t be afraid to play it if your bad at stealth.
I only had trouble with around four levels but are passable after figuring it out carefully. This is a stealth game and if your seen you lose. The enemies have a visual cone where if your in their sight of view it’s game over but there is a small window of opportunity to escape as well depending where your at. Rob will always have the skill to whistle to lure enemies to an area and go the opposite way to pass. Another skill he keeps is the standard lean to the walls to sneak pass the guards and shadows. Throughout the game there will be new obstacles that will give you a challenge where you will have to think it through. New obstacles include turrets, new enemies that have bigger visual cone, electrocuted tiles and many more. Then there will be stealth uses in further levels to hide in a door, under the vent, and using the shadows. There will be gadgets to aid you as well. Gadgets include decoys, mute sound, camouflage, stun gun and many more great gadgets. Each level will have certain gadgets only to use though.
Finally after beating the 100 levels for the story, there is a editor mode as well to create levels to share online. It is simple and easy to use to create more content. It adds more value to the game after beating the story mode. It works and easy to share it. There are great levels on right now that the online community have made. I can’t wait to see more unique levels later on.
Overall I had a fantastic time with this game. Mike and his team have created a fantastic story, characters, and a cool new world. The voice actors all did a great job that make the story more engaging. There are cool nods to other games, for example in Metal Gear Solid where Snake dies and Octacon yells his name but with Alan here for Rob’s death. The gameplay is a blast to play and fun. I highly recommend this game and I can’t wait for the next game they do. I am hoping for a Volume sequel in the future with new elements and more story for this awesome world of Volume. PS Vita version is releasing next year on January. We will update to let you know how the PS Vita version performs.
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Developer: Mike Bithell Games Limited Publisher: Mike Bithell Games Limited
Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB
Released On: August 18, 2015 Platforms: PS4, Steam (PC / Mac)
Players: 1 Price: PSN $20