Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is the latest installment in the Sly Cooper franchise which began with the PS2. The one thing to note here is that Sucker Punch–the original developers of the franchise–are not developing this game, and it’s Sanzaru Games, the developers of Sly Collection, that are behind this game.
The game is available on the PS3 and PS Vita, and the experience is largely similar, but this review was done on the PS3 version. It’s a stealth platformer and stays true to the previous Sly games. The main concept of the game is to find Sly’s ancestors and as the title suggests, travel in time to do that.
My main issue with the game is that it does not innovate much to be called as a mainline game, however, it sticks to the core principles that the past games were created on. You can play as Sly’s ancestors in the each time line you find them, and all of them will be unique and have great abilities.
Sly’s friends Murray and Bentley are useful in certain situations. Murray is bulky and can power his way through enemies, while Bentley is the nerdy guy in a wheelchair who can zip past enemies and hack things. Overall, it’s what you expect from a game like this. It’s charming, fun to play, and offers you choices.
Playing as Bentley also gives you access to mini-games and depending on how much you like the six axis functionality of the DualShock 3 controller, your enjoyment of them will be decided. Personally, those additions, I feel, only tend to annoy gamers because six axis isn’t something lot of developers use nowadays considering how outdated that tech is. It can be termed as a gimmick, and there are hardly examples of it implemented interestingly in games, however, Heavenly Sword did do justice to it.
The game is accessible and rarely will you get stuck in the missions. You will easily know where to go and what to do, and platforming and hopping around roof tops is a joy. The thing that makes it enjoyable is the beautiful Cell Shaded visuals employed. The game looks much better on the PS3 than on the Vita, although, I really didn’t play the Vita version all that much.
Sneaking around enemies and pickpocketing them as Sly is very easy as well, and if you can manage to steal coins thrice you will actually be rewarded with something cool. The animations all blend in nicely to give you a great thievin’ experience that you have come to expect from this series.
You journey takes you on a lot of locations from Japan to the Wild West, and each area contains a hub where you can explore and do missions. It’s pretty straightforward, and the story isn’t confusing at all. These time related things usually tend to mess up my mind *cough*
The Vita version is available for free and the game is part of Sony’s cross buy initiative which is a good thing, but I recommend this to be played on the PS3 because it doesn’t give the same experience on Sony’s handheld, however, you can use the device as an addon for finding treasures and the likes in the PS3 version.
So why would you want to play this game? Simple. If the series is something that you have enjoyed in the PS2 days, then you should definitely take a look at it because Sly 4 stays true to the original forumla and adds some of its own, but that’s also where the game falters because it really doesn’t add much to the formula.
This game was reviewed on the PS3.