Top Critic Average
In many of the later [missions], bigger and more multi-path, I was reacting instinctively, taking risks and having them pay off, finding a groove. There was flow and joyfulness. The good game at the heart of all the frequently irritating bluster and padding shines through.
In some respects Volume is a refreshingly simple take on a pure stealth title. It really does nail the stealth mechanics, and although short it offers a wealth of replayability thanks to an extensive level editor and community-made levels.
On the whole, there's very little wrong with developer Mike Bithell's sophomore title. It's one of the strongest efforts in a genre that seems to facing an identity crisis.
Mike Bithell has done it again. Volume is an incredibly entertaining and smart stealth puzzler that will test your brain, even if it doesn't challenge it too much. It's a simple, but extremely effective game that will pose questions in an appealing story without forcing an answer on you. There's an extremely easy to use but effective level creator included to add hours of gameplay through playing through other fun, user-created levels.
Because the challenge stays reasonable enough throughout, Volume's stealth systems remain satisfying and, most importantly, a consistent echo of the game's narrative.
Even with its flaws, Volume is a hugely enjoyable puzzle game, wearing its influences proudly on its sleeve. Near-perfect pacing, a wonderful soundtrack and deceptively simple gameplay, Volume will have you creeping back for more to try and top the leaderboards on as many levels as possible, and maybe even create a few more as well.
Volume may suffer from a few issues of poorly designed AI and easily exploited level design, but I still found a great number of challenging rooms with an intriguing story to match, and plenty of room to master. The added bonus of being able to show how to complete a room by livestreaming a game about streaming how to complete a room… is just icing on the meta cake.
Bithell's wonderfully witty scripts complimented with Wallace's performance is a match made in heaven; I just wish I could love it all when mixed together with the game mechanics
However, such considerations are minor, and there's an awful lot of pleasure to be had from Volume. Its uncluttered gameplay emphasises the puzzle-solving aspect of stealth, the level design is brilliant, the gadgets are sometimes clever enough to make you chuckle out loud and the whole experience is both surprisingly meaty and absorbing to the point of distraction. It may not be as wildly inventive as Thomas Was Alone, but it's a wonderful homage to what constitutes the very essence of stealth games.
Volume mixes familiar stealth controls and perspectives with a bevy of intriguing, new mechanics. While its enemies won't really hound and hunt you - and the checkpoints provide more than enough support - Volume is a nice, low-fi experience for both casual players and hardcore stealth fans.
While the main story missions are a little easy, it still is really fun to play with, and there are already plenty of user-generated missions to play with. Volume's purity of focus in creating simple stealth works well for the most part.
Volume isn't without its flaws, but the highs that it's able to hit completely squash the minor gripes players might have. One of the best pure stealth titles in recent years, Mike Bithell and his team have not only captured some of the storytelling magic that made Thomas Was Alone so special, but they also managed to capture the best parts of a genre that sees a great deal of failures.
At times, Volume may fly too close to its Metal Gear Solid roots - creator Mike Bithell has unashamedly noted 1998's stealth 'em up as a distinct source of inspiration - but what it lacks in immediate originality, aesthetically at least, it makes up for in innovative, engaging, and challenging level design. To brand this a clone would be more criminal than Gisborne's corporatocratic rule.
Volume merges its influences very well and creates a very fun atmosphere, provided by good puzzles and a great script. Most game design and rhythm failures in the story are forgotten by the addictive and simple gameplay. The map editor, the creations of the community and the desire to return to the main story maps, seeking to improve your completion time, give the game a great replay factor and represents the great package that Volume is.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Volume is a fantastic experience that I highly recommend to any stealth-game lovers. It's a unique twist on the Robin Hood story, and while the game's main storyline might not have been as strong as I hoped, I think it is definitely a great follow-up to Bithell's success with Thomas Was Alone.
Coming off the back of Thomas Was Alone, Volume is a much more ambitious and expansive project, and there's little sign of this being a difficult second album. It can miss the mark in a few areas, depending on how you play, but this is a clever distillation of the classic stealth genre wrapped up in an excellent retelling of a classic English legend.
Indeed: such replayability (or maybe extendibility? Is that even a word?) might be Volume's greatest virtue, but only for those willing to overlook its flaws. If I were to summarize Volume's design elements in a word, it might be appropriate: the sharp, low-polygon virtual reality aesthetic feels appropriate for any virtual reality stealth game; David Housden's dramatic, electro-orchestral score feels appropriate for any futuristic espionage thriller.
Volume has a carefully considered set of mechanics and it will certainly appeal to those who love stealth action and are interested in completing each of the levels as quickly as possible, moving smoothly and without having to get saved by the checkpoints.
Volume is a fun stealth/puzzle game that could have really been something special if it weren't for some glaring design flaws and a weak storyline. Still, its appealing mechanics and sheer amount of levels help turn it into a decent insight into cybernetic heists
Really cool art and a great score pair to ensure that Mike Bithell's latest is worth a shout – but we'd advise proceeding with caution, because there are still kinks to be worked out.
A stealth game built to satisfy the central tenets of the genre in the most discrete, distilled, trimmed-down way possible. Certainly well-crafted, but simply not that engaging.
This game is not bad by any stretch, it just might not hold your attention for long enough to get through it all. A little more variety in the game and the way you play it would go a long way.
Volume's strengths are primal but simple, at times feeling like a Crossy Road-style time-passer with a cyberpunk sheen. It tries but ultimately doesn't say much of modern society or governments beyond the elementary. Indeed, it is the modern videogame incarnate, warts and all.
Volume deserves credit for being fresh and accessible, but after a couple of dozen levels or so, it starts to grow repetitive. It was easy to pick up the controller and play, but without a lot of new innovations and a middling storyline, it was also entirely too easy to take breaks and move onto something else.
Volume has an intriguing story and fun stealth techniques, but the game's repetitive mission structure and easy-to-evade enemies keep it from being one of the genre's standout titles.
Fans of stealth games will definitely find plenty to enjoy here but others may find themselves left cold by a game that seemingly refuses to acknowledge that less can be more.