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Volume is a pure stealth game with a slick aesthetic

Volume is a neon-beauty of a stealth game. It's a sneak-and-steal modern retelling of the classic Robin Hood tale stripped of tropes and injected into what looks like a homescape crafted of circuitry and cyberspace.

In action, the game is a stealth title without distraction; a pure remaking of classic games like the original Metal Gear Solid.

I had a chance to spend a bit of time with it and its creator Mike Bithell, of Thomas Was Alone fame, during E3 last week.

You can see the game in action in the video below. The levels I played allowed me to use two tools to sneak my way through levels while collecting items. The whistle is used to distract enemies and a disguise allows you to temporarily slip past them, though they will remain keenly interested in you.

It's the sort of experience, Bithell told me, designed to be played in short bursts. Each level takes five to 10 minutes to complete. The game, due out on Aug. 18 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows PC and Mac, will include about 100 levels.

It will come with a slick level editor. It wasn't quite ready to be tested when I saw it in action, but Bithell said it's designed to be as simple as slapping Lego pieces together.

You place a floor, build some walls and toss in an objective. You can also add enemies and control how they behave, including their patrol paths and how long they look in specific directions.

"You can also do all of the aesthetic stuff I care about," he said, "like lighting design, the color of the light, camera filtering."

Once you name and save it, you simply have to play through it once successfully and upload it. The time you took to beat your level becomes the par time for the course, he said.

All of the uploaded levels will start with a five star rating, with the good stuff rising and the bad stuff falling away.

While he's not sure if it will happen, Bithell said he'd love to be able to make it possible for PC and PlayStation 4 gamers to be able to share their level creations.

As for what's next.

"I like Volume," he said. "I like the world we're making. If it does well, it would be cool to explore this world further.