Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Review (PS3/Vita)

Sly Cooper - Thieves in TimeSly Cooper: Thieves in Time (Available on PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Action Platformer
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Sanzaru Games Inc.
Release Date: February 5th, 2013

Parent Talk: Sly’s latest has been rated E10+ for everyone over the age of 10. As with any action platformer of this kind parents can expect cartoon violence, but the ESRB also notes Thieves in Time features alcohol reference, suggestive themes and the use of tobacco. Honestly given the exaggerated situations, and the cartoon nature of the game there isn’t very much damaging to children, and as a matter of fact I would have loved to play through a game like this when I was younger.

Plays Like: Much like the Sly Cooper Collection, Thieves in Time has a heavy emphasis on action, while also challenging players with unique platforming elements and exciting puzzles.

Review Basis: Finished the game on the PS3, and then compared it to the Vita version. Both are virtually identical.

It’s hard to believe we’re so far into this generation and the action platformer has almost died out completely. Sure we’ve had a couple of Ratchet and Clank games, but that series has seemed to have lost its direction. As a matter of fact if it weren’t for the excellent collections Sony’s released over the past few years, action platformer fans would be up in arms by now. Thankfully Sanzaru has come to the rescue with an all new Sly Cooper and not a moment to soon. The ultimate question is whether or not they’ve succeeded in making a game worthy of the name, or if this genre truly is on its way out.

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The Great:

A Sly Cooper you can be proud of. If there’s one element that stands out above the rest, it has to be the way Sanzaru has taken everything that’s worked for the series and added a fresh new layer to call their own. This time around the spin is that players take on the roll of several new characters, play through different stages in time and also have access to unique gameplay elements never seen before.

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The Good:

+ Cute storyline has Sly and company travel through time to determine exactly what is causing Sly’s family history from being erased. All the characters from the previous games make an appearance and are voiced by their legendary actors. There are more than a few laugh out loud moments, so be prepared for a very good time.

+ Exploration is both rewarding and a delight to partake in. Sure there are your usual collectibles to seek out, but players will want to see what’s around the next corner, or venture just a little further than the last time because of how intricate and well-designed the hub areas are for the five unique stages in time.

+ Progression is player controlled. By finding new goodies players can unlock new moves for Sly allowing him to become more nimble than ever before, which plays directly into the exploration element.

+ Controls are tight and responsive. Players won’t have any issues whatsoever sneaking around enemies and snatching loot from unsuspecting prey.

+ Each new time travel episode puts players in the roll of a new character and the gameplay changes based on which character you happen to be playing as. The good news is that no matter which character you assume the role of, you’re in for a good time. Pacing and variety will keep you glued to the screen for hours.

+ Both the PS3 and the Vita version look stunning, and feature excellent audio. From a sweeping musical soundtrack to the fantastic dialogue, this is how you make a modern action platformer.

+ Buy the PS3 version and you get the Vita version for free. What’s not to love about that?

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The So-So:

+/- Difficulty is scaled to a much younger audience, and while that will please your children, it doesn’t leave you with a deep feeling of satisfaction when you evade a guard. Taken as a whole, you never feel as though you’re threatened in any way, shape or form.

The Bad:

– Combat is lackluster no matter which character you happen to be playing as. The main culprit is the simple and easy nature of the fights. Just mash on a few buttons, collect healing items and repeat until you’re all that remains. Simple as that. Thankfully the boss fights are much more interesting, and can pack a punch.

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The Lowdown:

It is so nice to have a new Sly Cooper. While it may have taken almost an entire generation for it to arrive, it’s here and it’s a blast. Sure some of the combat systems aren’t as good as they could be, but the tight controls, excellent variety of gameplay, and brilliant dialogue help make this one game you don’t want to miss out on. If you were ever a fan of the series, pick Thieves in Time up as soon as you can. If you’ve never played the series before, it’s about time you start. Either the PS3 or the Vita version come highly recommended.

Final Score: 8/10

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