In an age were the words ‘gritty’ and ‘realism’ are so over used it’s surprising they don’t disintegrate in on top of themselves, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a welcome release to the somber array of in your face shoot’em ups and adventurer games.
The whole Sly Cooper franchise started way back in 2002 with Sucker Punch Productions at the helm. Fast forward to the present day and a different developer has taken the reins by the name of Sanzaru Games. The biggest compliment I can pay these guys with taking on such a memorable franchise is that the game plays just like the Sly Cooper games of the past but has a nice new feel to it also. Sly, Bentley and Murray all return to continue on in their search for slapstick and hapdashed tomfoolery.
After the events of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, Bentley, the current keeper of the Thievius Raccoonus, sees that the pages of the book are changing and disappearing. He also notices that Penelope has gone missing. Bentley gets the gang back together to travel through time to stop whoever is changing the timeline and to save the Thievius Raccoonus and the Cooper legacy.
The control mechanics definitely hark back to Sly Cooper games of the past…
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time plays like any really good platform adventurer game should. The jump and double jump features are obviously there and all the rest you come to expect from a game like this. I must admit, the controls took a small bit of getting used to, especially the way in which you have to press O to get Sly to land on any perilous ledges or poles.
It is a free roaming game with some fantastic locales for you to snoop around in. With the destruction of objects dotted around each environment, you can begin to collect coins which allow you to buy upgrades, add apparatus to your roster like a glider and new outfits for your characters. The control mechanics definitely hark back to Sly Cooper games of the past but seem to have been tweaked to bring them right up to date with this current gen of consoles. One gripe I did have was the repetitive nature of many of the boss battles. It really is just a case of trial and error and many of them feel no more than a quick time event which is unfortunate.
It’s one of the most colourful games I’ve played in years…
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, this game is a welcome escape from all the grittiness and realism in so many of the blockbuster games these days. It’s one of the most colourful games I’ve played in years and felt like you were playing a beautifully designed cartoon. The many different locales in the game have their own distinct feel and all look gorgeous in full HD on a big screen TV.
The amount of imagination and creativity that went into designing what is a vast game in terms of different areas and mini games really is something to be applauded. Samzaru really have stayed true to the colourful and creative roots of past Sly games.
…if you buy this game on PS3, you can download the Vita version at no extra cost.
I felt this aspect of the game deserved it’s own paragraph as it really is that good. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is one of the first games that implements Sony’s ‘Cross-Buy’ feature which means, if you buy this game on PS3, you can download the Vita version at no extra cost. The game is identical all be it with tuned-down graphics. There is the nice little feature of cross-save as well which means you can playing a level at home, save it to the cloud, and pick up right where you left off with your Vita version, that, to me, is a very nice touch.
What’s also very cool is that you can use the Vita as an augmented reality or AR viewfinder for your PS3 game. For example, if you are standing in the middle of an area looking for the hidden items, just hold your Vita to your TV screen with the AR setting on in your Vita version of Sly Cooper and you will get and X-ray overlay on your TV on the Vita showing you where the treasures are. I found this really cool and felt it added another gameplay mechanic to the game.
Fans of the series will definitely have fun taking control of this thieving racoon and his comrades…
Having played my way through the game I can say that I did enjoy it but fear the overall experience may be a little outdated for many other gamers. This games feels like it would be more at home had it been on the PS2. It does look great, there’s no doubt about that, but it kind of seems to have ran it’s course even before it has started. Fans of the series will definitely have fun taking control of the thieving racoon and his comrades once more but it may unfortunately go under the radar for others. All I can say is you will have a lot of fun if you do play it!