Volume

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Volume Game Poster Image
Trial-and-error stealth demands patience, repetitive play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

High-profile heists simulated, but committing crimes to comment on crimes is a mixed message.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Noble hacker, activist implores downtrodden people to stand up for equality.

Ease of Play

Fair bit of experimentation required; controls are a bit wonky, especially on a gamepad.

Violence & Scariness

Guards will "shoot" you, shown by them seeing you in their cone of vision. No blood or gore.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Volume is a downloadable adventure game that's like a high-tech version of hide-and-seek. If you get spotted, you're sent back to the last checkpoint you passed through. This will happen quite frequently, so a good measure of patience is required to play through the game's 100 levels. It's not that Volume is especially difficult, but it's challenging, and there's no way to progress via brute force. Guards will essentially "shoot" you if they see you within their cones of vision, but there's no blood or gore shown.

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What's it about?

In VOLUME, you play as Robert Locksley, a small-time thief who discovers the titular device, which was intended to be used in a secret military coup. But since Robert isn't in the military, he decides to share this secret device's transmissions over the Internet to weaken and hopefully dismantle the reserves and foothold of Guy Gisborne, who has turned England's political systems into one big corporation. As you work your way through Gisborne's palaces and various buildings that comprise his empire, you unravel and piece together more about the world and the dire state it's in.

Is it any good?

This is a fun game that can quickly feel repetitive, so it's likely best in short bursts and not marathon sessions unless you have a huge appetite for this particular acquired taste. Volume doesn't skew toward the more modern outings of the stealth-action genre. It's strictly old-school, akin to the first Metal Gear Solid, so while you have some gadgets at your disposal, you can't rely on weapons. You're deployed to an area, and must wend your way through each space by observing and exploiting the patterns of the guards and the environment. 

Guards have visible cones of vision protruding from their bodies, helping you to easily track what they see or don't see. You can whistle or use a variety of gadgets you find on the ground (such as the stun gun or a musical instrument) to distract, draw out, or subdue an enemy so you can pass. Your objective is always to scoop up little glowing orbs to unlock the door to the next area and not get caught in the process. There are other wrinkles, via the things you can use, but the objective stays the same. This is still worth a look, especially for stealth or action fans. Still, Volume is a one-note outing that's pleasant but can wear thin.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about activism. When is it right for a citizen to take matters into his own hands? When is it wrong? 

  • If you can do something without getting caught, should you do it? 

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love stealth action

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