Sly Cooper Thieves In Time – Review

A review of Sly Cooper Thieves In Time I wrote for the website www.square-go.com

And so it goes: a re-release of an older game proves popular which leads to a new entry in the series. The Sly Cooper HD bundle has led to this new release, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time available on the PS3 and PS Vita but is this like slipping into a nice comfortable pair of slipper or more like meeting an old bully from school?

The main thing to note first of all is that the game looks great; the HD versions looked good but were based on older PS2 games whereas this is all new. It doesn’t look spectacular, probably because the game can run on both the Vita and the PS3. This Vita-less reviewer couldn’t test that functionality, but for those that have both systems you can download the Vita version and even transfer your game saves between the two.

Thieves in Time follows on from the old PS2 games and puts you again as Sly Cooper, a master thief and part of a lineage stretching back generations. This is explored in the game (notice the word Time in the title?) as pages from the Thievius Racoonicus, a book chronicling all of the Cooper family tree, are changing which means that someone is messing with time. So Sly must get his old team back together, jump in a time machine and fix things.

Fix things by sneaking around and stealing stuff. It’s fair to say that Thieves in Time doesn’t deviate too far from the previous games so Cooper-fans should feel comfortable straight away. There’s lots to do in the game, not only the missions but collecting all the stuff that’s dotted around the expansive levels. Maybe a little too much stuff, making the game sometimes about arbitrarily collecting lots of Thing A in order to unlock Thing B. The controls sometimes let you down in the more complex platforming sections but the game remains fun enough for you to push on past these moments,

A lot can be put up with thanks to how Thieves of Time is presented; the cut scenes looks great, the animation of all the characters is great, the only fly in the ointment is the voice acting. This is because, Good Lord, Sly Cooper sounds like the smuggest sounding person anthropomorphic animal in the world. He really does. And this might be a personal thing and you can play the game with the sound down and subtitles on. But it does grate and also highlights that while the story is a good piece of fluff, it’s not the best written fluff.

That’s probably the worst thing to say about the game: as you unlock Sly’s ancestors throughout history they all add slightly different ways to play the game and unlockable costumes and items keep you on your toes as well keeping the repetitiveness at bay. That isn’t to say that it goes away completely but the game has enough charm to carry it through, despite the smugness.

Thieves in Time is well worth picking up for previous Sly Cooper fans, especially for those people with a PS3 and a Vita. For people new to the series they may not have the connection to the character to see past some of the niggles but it’s still a game worth dipping your toes into.

Four stars out of five

Originally published May 11th 2013

 

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