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Video Game / Volume

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Volume is an indie stealth-based video game developed by Mike Bithell. It was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and PlayStation 4 in August 2015, and the PlayStation Vita version in January 2016.

The game uses stealth mechanics inspired by Metal Gear Solid, allowing the player to plan courses of action to work through levels without being detected by guards, dogs, and automated security turrets to reach specific objectives. In addition to the game's levels, Volume supports user-made levels that can be shared with others.

The game presents a modern take on the Robin Hood legend, where a young thief discovers a plot for a military coup involving various heists, and uses a device called "Volume" with the assistance of its artificial intelligence to perform these heists in a virtual manner and broadcasting them to the world at large to make the coup known. The story is presented with help of voice actors Charlie McDonnell, Danny Wallace, Dan Bull, and Andy Serkis.


Volume provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: All of the backstory is found in in-game text files scattered around the maps.
  • And the Adventure Continues: the main story ends with Locksley escaping the warehouse resolving to seek out the others he's inspired and take on Gisborne's forces in the real world.
  • Bottle Episode: Every level is a virtual projection inside of a warehouse.
  • Cerebus Call-Back: Hey, you know those sweet, kind, eccentric A.I.s you fell in love with in Thomas Was Alone? Turns out they ended up being used (albeit unwittingly and reluctantly) to turn Britain into a authoritarian corporate slave-state.
  • Big Bad: Gisborne.
  • Composite Character: Guy Gisborne is a clear Sheriff of Nottingham analogue.
  • Doomed by Canon: Bithell's latest game, The Solitaire Conspiracy, reveals that although Gisborne was defeated, the people backing him were able to halt the Merry's revolution in its tracks and take Locksley and his friends prisoner.
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  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Gisborne may be a nationalistic overlord, but he does have a fairly diverse inner circle.
  • Gender Flip: Little John becomes Jo Little, a woman who streams combat tutorials inspired by Rob's heists. Like her counterpart in the original tales, she favours a Simple Staff.
  • How We Got Here: The game abruptly starts with Locksley being caught by the police. The game rewinds to three hours earlier, where the player gains control and plays up until the arrest again.
  • One-Word Title: Named for an essential device the player uses.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: The Robin Hood legend... in a dystopic 2050s Britain.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Gisborne's character portrait looks quite a lot like Charlie Brooker. Very fitting for a work set in a technologically dystopian Britain.
    • Get spotted by the guards often enough, and they'll call you a taffer.
  • Stealth Sequel: The game was marketed as a standalone title, but the in-game flavor-text quickly establishes it as a sequel to creator Mike Bithell's earlier game, Thomas Was Alone. It even includes lyrics from a song about the protagonists of the first game.