The Sly Cooper series started life on the PlayStation 2 over ten years ago. Since then we’ve had three games in the main series; Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus (known as Sly Raccoon in Europe), Sly 2: Band of Thieves and Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves; the last of those games being released all the way back in 2005. Sly fans have been eagerly awaiting the fourth game in the series and that wait will be over in February of 2013 as Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. GodisaGeek.com, being as excited as the rest of you about a new game starring the stealthy raccoon, jumped at the chance to have some hands on with the game, prior to release.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is the first game in the series not to be developed by Sucker Punch Productions, those guys are busy heading up the development of the inFAMOUS series of games, so the torch has been passed over to Sanzaru Games, the guys that did a stellar job at porting the first three games in the series to PlayStation 3. Have they done the franchise justice though?
It’s always difficult to be the second developer on such a loved set of characters, but Sanzaru Games have pulled it off perfectly. The stealth mechanic is back, the comedy, the characters, the cel-shaded visuals, everything. If you loved Sly Cooper and the rest of his gang the first time around, then there’s going to be nothing stopping you from playing this new entry into the franchise. The game, when it’s released, will also come with full crossplay compatibility, so you can take your game with you wherever you go if you’ve got a PlayStation Vita console. The way that the developers have done the crossplay functionality is genius too, no longer do we have to sit with our Vita consoles, hoping that it will connect to the internet and upload our save to the cloud automatically. There’s a simple button in the main menu, one side will upload your save to the cloud and the other will download it. When you’ve finished playing your game on the PlayStation 3, for example, simply hit the ‘Upload to Cloud’ button, fire up your PlayStation Vita (and the game) and hit the ‘Download from Cloud’ button. Perfect synchronisation without the headache that usually comes with it.
The story of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time follows, once again, the ancient Cooper family tome known as the Thievius Racoonus. This time around, the pages of the book have mysteriously become blank as someone is travelling through time and erasing all of Sly’s ancestors from existence. It’s up to Sly, and the rest of the crew, to travel through time, meet up with his family members from across the ages, and make sure that they’re able to carry on the Cooper family name (and skill-sets) by saving them from whatever mischief they happen to have found themselves in. You’ll find yourself taking control of many different characters throughout your time with the game, from the traditional characters such as Sly, Bentley and Murray, all the way through to Sly’s ancestors such as Rioichi Cooper, a sushi chef/ninja who inhabits feudal Japan, making a name for himself by both inventing sushi and being the Master Ninja – and thief – of the local area. It’s not long before Rioichi finds himself in trouble with another time traveller, El Jefe, a gigantic tiger who’s only interest is acquiring the nimble Master Ninja’s cane for his master. Why? That isn’t explained in the preview levels, but I’m sure it’s both sinister and entertaining; I can’t wait!
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a hugely entertaining addition to an already loved franchise. Sure, everyone would have preferred if Sly made his entry into the HD console generation earlier into the console’s life cycle, but then we wouldn’t have gotten the excellent crossplay feature which ensures that you don’t have to leave Sly behind, even when you’re leaving the comforts of your own home. This fourth game in the series looks great, sounds great and, most importantly, plays great. If you’re a Sly Cooper fan of any kind, make sure you save some of that Christmas money for Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time when it hits shelves in February.
Stay tuned to GodisaGeek.com for the full review of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time in the new year.