Volume is finally on Vita. But is it as good as we’d hoped?
I am a man of confessions, and this review is no different: Mike, I know you put a lot of effort into the level maker. I know you asked us to try it. But honestly, I’m horrendous at it. I have enjoyed the user-created content a lot, but I am absolutely horrid at creating levels.
You’ll notice that I speak about Mike Bithell, the game’s creator, as if I knew him. My buddy, right? Wrong. I’ve only seen him online, most recently being interviewed by the rather excellent Greg Miller. So, no nepotism. Moving on.
Metal Gear Solid for the YouTube generation. Stealth for the 5-second attention span, Ritalin-ridden youth. Does it deliver?
Yes. Yes it does.
The thing about Volume is that it’s rather perfect for portable gaming: short stages with checkpoints after each puzzle is solved. This is the very definition of pick-up-and-go, something that I’ve praised in titles like Squares and Heroes of Loot.
Level design is outstanding, with puzzles quickly going from “I could have done that in my sleep” to “I’m not sleeping until I solve this”.
The story is divided into 100 levels, with more content being added all the time through the Content Creator. The community support this game has seen is absolutely amazing, and it has almost quenched my thirst for Super Mario Maker Vita. Almost.
Going back to the story for a bit: it’s awesome. And not because it’s complex and many-layered (which it is -government conspiracies, the fall of an empire-), but because of the way it’s delivered: fantastic actors (Andy Serkis, Danny Wallace and Charlie McDonnell) talk you through it in such a friendly way. It’s odd, to have characters develop such deep arcs with such relaxed dialog.
Graphically, the game looks and runs fantastic on Vita. No frame-drops here, thank you very much. According to Mike Bithell himself, it was performance issues that delayed the game’s Vita port. If that’s the case: please delay more games.
It’s so beautiful to play a game that feels cared for. Finished.
All in all, “Volume” is a fantastic game. Great level design, good story, awesome voice acting and gameplay that’s suited to the Vita like a glove suited Mike Tyson.
I’m not the greatest at it. Did I get frustrated? Yes. I did. Did some puzzles beat me? A lot of them did. Starting at like 11%, which is something I’m not particularly proud of.
Should you get “Volume”?
If you have a Vita, and you like stealth games, then yes. If you like great games, then yes.
If you suck at stealth games, like I do… you know what? It’s still a fantastic game. Just get better at it.
- Title: Volume
- Publisher: Mike Bithell Games
- Developer: Mike Bithell Games
- Format: PSN Download
- Memory Card Space Needed: 1.7Gb