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Throw shapes: Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell’s live action Volume trailer is a good ‘un

Volume is a stealth game about being heard. Or rather, not being heard.

Live-action trailers are more often than not the preserve of developers in a position to call up Gustavo Fring after Breaking Bad and make him a competitive offer. But indie Mike Bithell broke the trend in marketing Thomas Was Alone, and has done the same for his non-lethal stealth game, Volume.

Entitled ‘We’ve got your back’, this trailer is a promotional video for a fictional AI corp in Bithell’s near-future Robin Hood story. Unsurprisingly, there’s something amiss.

Canny use of stock footage, this: punctuated with glitches and accompanied by elevator music that occasionally falls just a half-step out of tune, those cheesy smiles to camera seem to linger just a little too long.

The sense is that a mask is slipping – and that Volume will deal in darkly funny sci-fi.

Volume stars a petty thief named Robert Locksley who discovers a device – the Volume of the title – used to train rebels for a military coup attempt. Instead, he decides he’s going to simulate robberies against future England’s 1%, and broadcast them over the internet as criminal Let’s Plays.

Locksley is played, fittingly enough, by famed Youtuber Charlie McDonnell – and joined by past Bithell collaborator Danny Wallace, who plays the “Microsoft Office paperclip as military training program”.

Sounds like a compelling starting point for a top-down Metal Gear love letter, doesn’t it?