50 Days Of PS VR #48: ‘Volume: Coda’

by Jamie Feltham • August 26th, 2016

48 days to go! We’re counting down to the release of PlayStation VR on October 13th by highlighting one game a day for the anticipated headset. Today we’re looking at Volume: Coda from Mike Bithell!

You may already have your first PlayStation VR game installed on your console without even knowing it. It could be right there, hiding in your system’s menu, just waiting for you to pull on your headset and discover it. Fittingly, that game is a stealth title in which you’ll have to master the art of hiding yourself. That game is Volume: Coda.

Yes, that Volume, the one that popular indie developer Mike Bithell and his team first released on PlayStation 4 last year and then on PC and PlayStation Vita later down the line. The original version of the game already owed a debt to VR in a strange way; it was inspired by the early Metal Gear Solid games which featured virtual reality training missions. Bithell’s game almost looks like a direct sequel to those challenge modes, adding in level editing and building a community that shared content online for endless stealth gameplay.

Volume gathered a good reception from critics and fans alike, but Bithell isn’t done yet. Now his team is working on a free update named Volume: Coda that will bring support for PlayStation VR complete with new missions and features to complement it.

So how does a third-person isometric game translate into VR? Based on the trailer above and our limited time with the game so far, surprisingly effectively. Volume‘s virtual update doesn’t seek to radically change the experience by bringing it into first-person, but instead retools the perspective we’re already used to. The game projects the maze-like maps that your character navigates as a hologram, meaning the basic mechanics are largely unchanged.

That means you’ll still be sneaking around, pressing yourself up against walls and making narrow escapes to avoid the enemy’s cone of vision. Each level of Volume is a tightly-designed obstacle course that will require precise timing and quick reactions to pass. The original threw hurdles like nosier floor panels and different enemy types in your way and you can be sure that other types of trials will pop up in the new content. Luckily you’ll have your own tricks in hand too, like being able to whistle to distract guards, or throw objects.

Hopefully that means we’ve got an engrossing stealth experience waiting for us. It’s a genre we haven’t seen much of in VR so far and, although it isn’t in first-person, Coda could lay some of the foundations for other developers to build upon.

Volume Coda

The original Volume was a sci-fi take on the tale of Robin Hood, but here we’ll have a new story with a new protagonist who remains somewhat mysterious for now. Talented individuals like motion capture legend Andy Serkis were involved with the original’s plot, so we can expect a similar level of quality here.

Volume: Coda will have even more value for you if you haven’t played the original game, though, as all of this will be available in VR, as well as levels made through the editor. There’s a whole heap of content just waiting for you with this one. Think of it as a guarantee; Volume has already proven itself to be a great game, so you know there’s definitely something worthwhile on the way to your new headset.

Bithell is planning to release Volume: Coda this year, but a final release date hasn’t been set just yet. Hopefully it will emerge from the shadows shortly after PlayStation VR’s launch in October.

50 DAYS OF PS VR COUNTDOWN

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