You take the role of the hero, Sly Cooper, a master thief. On Sly’s eighth birthday, five villains broke into his home and stole the Thievius Raccoonus, a family heirloom containing the instructions of thieving techniques and skills. The manual is then torn into 5 separate sections, and hidden away by the villains. After the death of Sly’s father, poor old sly was sent to live in an orphanage where he met two friends that would accompany him on all of his missions - to retrieve the Thievius Raccoonus, and bring honor back to his family. These are the technical guru Bently, and the lovable comedic relief of the game Murray.
When I first got a preview copy of one of Sly Coopers first levels, I wasn’t really sure how the game was going to end up. As time moved and the game was released I started to think about what this game would be like, and let me tell you I was totally wrong. I though the game was going to have many graphical errors and glitches, with not too much fun platforming gameplay. Well I am here to tell you that that is not true at all.
When I first started the game it was one of those things where you just immediately find yourself glued to your television set. To be honest this has really not happened to me in quite some time but Sly Cooper is just one of those games that is sure to grab your attention right from the start. If you’re familiar with Jak and Daxter, considered to be the best platformer to date on the PS2, Sly plays very much like this one. As Sly you have a few basic maneuvers that can really become a lot more then they sound. You have the jump, and double jump ability, slash ability, as well as a sneaking ability.
Each of the five criminals got away with a chunk of the book, so there are actually 5 main levels, This may not sound like much, but each level has 7 sub levels, after the end of which will see you confront the particular villain and get back his chunk of the good book. As you move farther out through the game you will find that the mini levels will start to become more and more difficult, and the bosses also become more and more challenging. When you do beat a boss you receive special moves in which help you in the levels to come.
What’s going to crack you up is the way story progression is handled. Whenever Sly faces a particular challenge or arrives at a certain point in the game, he’s immediately put in contact with Bently via a 2-way video communication device, which parodies Metal Gear Solid’s codec. Sly’s switches to a low voice, much like the beloved Snake, which Bentley then proceeds to give game advice and hints much like Otacon. You’ll just have to play it to believe it.
During the game there are about two mini games per level. Some of these can be from getting into races, or guarding your friends. While not that great, these minigames still manage to provide some fun diversion from those tired of the game’s platforming action.
With all of these levels and mini games, the game sounds like it could take weeks to complete. Well actually this is not true, and in fact the only problem I have had with Sly is the game is just a little too short. The game took me about 14 hours to complete, which is really not that long. This is the only thing holding back from Sly becoming really a perfect game.
The game actually does a great job with everything to do with the sound of the game. The voice acting of Sly is really top notch. All of the voice acting matches that of what you expect their voices to sound like. The sound effects of the game are impressive, and the in game music fits perfectly with the levels. There are really no complaints when it comes to Sly’s sound.
Let me just come out and say that this just one excellent looking game. The game uses the Cel Shading technique, which has become quite a common since made popular by Jet Grind Radio on the now defunct Dreamcast. Sucker Punch took a unique approach to the game’s graphics, and the cel shading is not done on everything in the game. That’s not all either the level designs as well as backgrounds are really just top-notch quality. With all of this, you just get some of the best graphics on a game of this genre.
During the game there are several cut-scenes in which are just equally impressive. The cut scenes are in the form of a cartoon, like you would most likely see on Saturday morning. These cut scenes really are the glue that holds the game together and keeps you interested throughout the adventure.
The most important part of a platform game to me is if it is fun. With other genres there are some games that are supposed to be grueling and difficult, and sometimes not fun. Well guess what, Sly Cooper is the total opposite of all that. I found that I hadn’t had this much fun with a game since the release of Jak and Daxter. So this is sure to keep you happy.
Sly Cooper was really a few levels too short, which is the only thing holding Sly Cooper back from earning our coveted perfect score. From the innovative gameplay to the beautifully realized graphics, Sly Cooper just oozes quality. Hopefully Sucker Punch will take some lessons from this game, and provide us with more action in future installments. Sly Cooper is definitely recommended to fans of platform games, and to those seeking a classy game in the sea of mediocre releases.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.