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Sly Trilogy Review

I have no idea what I was playing when the Sly Cooper games came out, maybe another Tekken or Grand Theft Auto title or maybe I was just a little weary of yet another animal based platformer, whatever it was these platform titles never really registered on my must have radar. Now though I finally get the chance to see why this series was so well thought of, thanks to the arrival of The Sly Trilogy on the PlayStation Vita.

Starting with the PlayStation 2’s Sly Cooper, we join Sly, Bentley and Murray as they try to find the stolen pieces of the Thievius Raccoonus, a secret book that has been handed down through the generations of Coopers, offering instructions in how to be master thieves. Stolen from Coopers family when Sly was very young, the criminal group known as the Fiendish Five shared its power and used the pages for their own evil ways. Now old enough and strong enough, Sly begins his adventure in claiming the pages back.

Sly Cooper is a classic 3D platformer at heart but with plenty of action and stealth thrown in, more often using his thief skills to avoid conflict like climbing over obstacles or shimmying across ledges. With each member of the Fiendish Five holding a page of the Thievius Raccoonus, the game has been split into episodes where Sly needs to negotiate the central hub world of each member, collecting treasure keys from other levels before taking on the boss themselves.

With each page reclaimed Sly will then learn a new move, like pinpoint jumps or invisibility, each one crucial in the next area but they also open up worlds already visited, allowing you to collect all of the final pages of the Thievius Raccoonus, unlocking even more special moves that whist not essential for completing the game are good for some extra trophies.

As a game of some years now you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise as the visuals and in-game animation is fantastic, really utilising the cel shaded Sly character who really stands out from the 3D world. Sadly whereas the in-game graphics look great, the cut scenes have been totally overlooked and really let the overall presentation down with very fuzzy visuals that at times are hard to decipher.

Sly 2: Band of Thieves is set a couple of years later, with Sly and his friends hearing of a plot to use the remains of the previous game's baddie, Clockwerk. They team up again to steal back the remains of the boss and take on the latest threat which comes in the form of the Klaww Gang.

Though still a platformer, this time around the structure of the game is now more befitting a master thief with Sly, Murray and Bentley staking out joints before infiltrating the crime lords lairs using an all new set of stealth moves and attacks that can be purchased from the ThiefNet. The game worlds this time feel a lot larger, opting for a hub world for each boss which lets you grab collectables along the way and take numerous approaches to reach certain goals, though once the sting begins it more of the usual platform affair.

With three playable characters each with their own skills to use and a more open hub world to adventure around, Sly 2: Band of Thieves is a huge leap from the first title.

Sly 3: Honor among Thieves takes on the advances of gameplay that the second game had and adds even more, with the gang getting together to take on an all new threat. After the fallout of Sly 2 with certain members leaving the group, Sly has since learned of the Cooper Vault, however someone else has also found it first, a crazy baboon scientist calling himself Doctor M who has spent years trying to gain entry to the vault. Looking to pull of the greatest ever heist, Sly brings back the old gang together plus a few new and surprising recruits to pull off this risky job.

Playing very similar to Sly 2, we again have a more of a hub world with smaller missions attached as Sly slowly builds his new team, again using a huge assortment of stealth moves and attacks and letting you play as a few new characters as well. This final part of the trilogy is just as enjoyable as the first titles; however it is over rather quickly.

As mentioned I missed the Sly games the first time around and these HD remixes are ideal for gamers like myself to have another go at a reasonable price without using other means and aside from the disappointing cut scenes the overall quality of the Sly Trilogy is well worth a look, especially considering you are getting three full games for the price of one.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS Vita)


+ Three classic platform games on the Vita.
+ In game visuals look great.


- The first and last games are completed quite quickly.
- The cut scenes have not been given any HD treatment.

Edited On 16 Apr, 2014

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