Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time First Look
Platform: Playstation 3
Style: 1-Player Action/Platforming
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Sanzaru Games
3D platformers are making a comeback. The adventure franchises of the PS2 era: Jak and Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, and Sly Cooper are beginning to reemerge on the HD consoles. With a surplus of shooters in the video game market, it’s refreshing to see some cartoony classics resurface with new and improved graphics, and gameplay mechanics.
The stealth, action fusion of the Sly Cooper series is next in line for a modern reintroduction with a new title in the works, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Originally created by Sucker Punch studios, the latest installment will be undertaken by Sanzaru Games. Fans shouldn’t be worried by the change in developers. Sanzaru Games was the team behind the HD trilogy remake, The Sly Collection, so they are more than familiar with the trio of bandits.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is set to be a unique addition to the franchise, not a remake or reboot. Very few details have been released pertaining to the plot, but we do know the main story will focus on Sly, Murray, and Bentley’s desire to recover the lost pages of the Thievius Racoonus. These pages haven’t been scattered around the block or across the world. This time Sly and company will be forced to travel through time itself to retrieve them.
Familiar characters are expected to make an appearance in Thieves of Time. Besides Sly’s best pals, it has been confirmed that characters Dmitri (shown in a teaser trailer at E3) and Carmelita (revealed in released artwork) will join the action.
Sony presented a hands-on gameplay segment of Sly Cooper: Thieves of Time. Where did this level take place you might ask? None other than feudal Japan. The level showcased stealth gameplay and puzzle interludes that you’d expect from Sly Cooper. Sly and Murray worked separately to solve puzzles and avoid the assortment of traps, guards, and dubious challenges. Light and darkness now contributes to your visibility in a new way which is especially noticeable in interior spaces. If I didn’t know any better I’d say that Sly has taken notes from Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher in regards to blending with the darkness.
The boss of this level was El Jefe, an evil totalitarian tiger wielding magic-infused samurai swords. Why the antagonist of feudal Japan has a Latin influenced name like El Jefe, I don’t know but he certainly looked a lot like Master Tigress from Kung Fu Panda. The battle consisted of dodging circular and linear attacks while waiting for that perfect moment of vulnerability to let him have it.
The look and gameplay follow the typical recipe of platforming classics. While very familiar, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time looks as if it will present enough new tactics to keep us entertained as well as connect us to the nostalgia that we miss in the shooter obsessed market of today.