I like Thomas Was Alone, Mike Bithell's melancholy tale of identity and shapely destiny, but I wasn't particularly surprised by the backlash. I'm referring, of course, to this quote from Bithell himself.
I thought I was writing a competent story with an amazing platform game. It turned out it was the other way around! I didn’t realise it would get the attention it did, which is lovely. But odd.
That's from an interview back in 2013 about Thomas and Bithell's follow-up Volume [official site]. The trailer below confirms that Volume, a stealthy sci-fi interpretation of the Robin Hood legend, will be released on August 18th.
I'm not entirely convinced by the voiceover work but I'm only judging how well it fits based on a couple of videos. It's entirely possible that this Andy Serkis chap knows what he's doing. Maybe this time we'll end up with a competent story and an amazing stealth game? I could go for that.
My interview with Mike was mostly about the concept of the game and the use of Robin Hood. There was nothing to play at that point. Alec has been hands-on with the game since though and had this to say:
What’s fluid and adaptable in one or two maps might become routine across a dozen, what’s an opportunity to look like the cool kid in the room in an early map might be a frustrating exercise in unforgiving precision in a later one. But in what I played, the ethos seemed right: stealth for everyone, stealth that will never descend into killing, stealth that leads to funny or thrilling vignettes which feel entirely personal.
Sounds nifty. If Volume does end up being a good time, this could be a fine year for stealth. Invisible, Inc. is my current game of the year, NEON STRUCT was brief but charming and there's Just Cause 3 still to come.