Mike Bithell, the creator of 2010 puzzle platformer and indie darling Thomas Was Alone, is making a grand return this year with Volume, a stealth game inspired by the tales of Robin Hood. The game shares a few things in common with Thomas Was Alone aside from its narrator, such as the looming presence of AI technology and the return of voice actor Danny Wallace, who plays an AI called Alan.
Vlogger Charlie McDonnell voices the main character, a good-hearted master thief called Rob Locksley who has many different tools of stealth at his disposal to help him avoid, duck, dodge and escape the intelligent AI guards controlled by the military corporation Gisborne Industries.
A new trailer showing off the various enemy types in Volume also showcases for the first time the actor who will be voicing the CEO of Gisborne Industires. Andy Serkis, who last year played the lead (via motion capture) in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and is set to star in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, can be heard at the end of this trailer playing the villainous Guy Gisborne.
This is pretty significant. Serkis is now so high profile and in-demand that even Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s AAA fantasy game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has a different voice actor mimicking Serkis’ performance as Gollum, rather than featuring the real thing. Bithell explained in an interview with Gamasutra last year that after several unsuccessful casting attempts he “decided to stop compromising, and go for my dream actor for the role – who I’d get if practicality and reality weren’t an issue.” Apparently practicality and reality took the day off, because Serkis said yes.
Looking at the enemy types, the Pawn seems to be a basic guard model, the Turret is what you’d expect from the name, the Knight is a larger and more aggressive guard, the Rogue is faster and potentially better at seeking the player out, the Hound calls other guards to the player’s position and the Archer can hit the player from a ranged position. The medieval theme is very evident in these names.
In an interview with The Guardian, Bithell described the game as a meeting of his love of Lego and Metal Gear Solid, but warned that players will have to move around the maps a lot faster then they did in Metal Gear Solid 3‘s VR missions. Each level is meant to be completed within minutes, but doing so without getting caught is the tricky part.
Volume will release on PlayStation 4, Vita, PC and Mac in 2015.