There are a few franchises that can rekindle interest after laying dormant for longer than five years. Although when you have crafted trio of well loved characters, you are bound strike at the hearts of gamers. The Sly Cooper Trilogy was re-released back in 2010 and gave people that may have never experienced the adventures of Sly, Bentley and Murray on the PS2 a chance to try it out with full HD widescreen, and the added perks of 3 sets of trophies for the games.
I picked up the trilogy, seeing as I missed out on the games and only came to know Sucker Punch Productions through Infamous. It’s worth noting that while Sucker Punch Productions developed the first three games in the series, but the newest entry was out sourced to Sanzaru Games, whom originally brought the idea to Sony after working on The Sly Cooper Trilogy. So lets get to telling you why you should check out this new Sony exclusive title.
The Sly Cooper series has always implemented a quirky story in all previous titles and this one is no different. Sly discovers that someone is trying to undo his family’s legacy by erasing pages from the Cooper family book, The Thievius Raccoonus. Naturally, Sly and gang regroup and get neck deep into time travel, going back to times such as Feudal Japan and the Wild West to discover who is behind this mess. Sly has never been one to take things lying down and going off the third game, we see he is trying to mend his stealing ways and start fresh with one and only Carmelita fox, but once a raccoon thief always a raccoon thief.
The game will have you traveling though 5 to 6 chapters, with each world having great amount of depth and adding plenty of replay value for the collector. Worth noting is that if you own a Vita you can save a lot of time collecting treasures since AR treasure mode will show exactly where all of them are directly on the Vita’s screen. This is a very clever feature that was implemented, and it just shows what direction developers can take when adding Cross-Play between the PS3 and Vita.
Now this will take you back; all the things you remembered from the previous games make a return with some added benefits. You will still crawl up behind enemies and steal coins and rare items for your treasure collection located in your hideout. There are a wide variety of new moves that have been added that you can play around with, but they are not essentially needed as I found that mashing the square button was all that was needed to progress as I was primarily sneaking and taking out silently all of the enemies as I played as Sly.
You will rotate through characters in the game, but not just as Murray and Bentley. You will get to dive into each of Sly’s ancestors, each of whom possess their own unique techniques to progress through their area. Outside of specific areas there is not much use for your new skills, so it seems like something that was unnecessarily added.
The game looks great, whether playing on the Vita’s OLED screen or on your HD TV. I suggest starting on Vita so that if you do use the cross play function you won’t be caught off guard by the screen reduction. You can tell that the developers at Sanzaru Games have done their research into the Sly games, as it just looks like the previous ones with a larger area to roam around in, and trust me you will roam. I found myself taking 20 minutes between missions just to grab some of the glass bottles you will hear throughout the levels, or even the treasures spotted in the distance. Like I said, if you enjoy replay value there is plenty here for you to do.
It is a very pretty world, but compared to other Sony exclusives, it’s not on their level of polish and detail. I don’t think you always need to have that type of high end tech, if a game is fun and leaves you with great memories and a desire to return time and time again, then it has done its job. The Sly Cooper series has always had its charm, and whether that be through its lovable characters or through the fun gameplay, the world stands tall and has it’s place in the near future of next gen systems.
New players of the franchise should not fret. Sanzaru Games have been on the ball explaining what the game is about, and you can get straight into enjoying the title. The mechanics are solid and fluid, and every character you play as has their own short level/tutorial to help you understand their unique techniques. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time will have people talking about who was there favorite character to play as, and many peoples pick may shock you. I enjoyed Bentley an awful lot due to his engaging mini games and funny combat animations. He and Sly have great banter back and forth throughout the game’s campaign and it never feels like filler dialogue. It’s fleshed out well.
You will never get puzzled or lost, thanks to the game’s mini map. It highlights where each character has to go, with corresponding color of representing where to head next. So even if you just want to burn through the story quickly or want to take your time with it, you will have your choice.
Sly has it’s own type of sound. It’s like Uncharted, when you hear that theme you know it is Uncharted. Each world has its own theme and every one of them has its own dialogue that fits. When you’re in the Wild West, you feel it. It doesn’t take you out of the experience.
Now the voice acting, great credit has to go to the developers. They have captured what has always been great in all the Sly games, A camaraderie that is unmatched. A trio of characters that just bounce dialogue back and forth and doesn’t ever make your eyes roll or send you asleep, witty banter, and wise cracking jokes and the digs that they do to one another is funny and memorable each time you go back and play sections of the game.
A game that I advise any seasoned gamer of the genre to go out and pick up. You will walk away with a great sense of investment after playing through this game, especially with great replay value for the 100% addicted gamer. If you are a Vita owner then you will be getting a slew of bonus extras with Cross-Play, AR treasure mode, and on the go Sly.