Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time review

by Gaetano Prestia Featured

3 Comments 12 Votes 20544 Views 22/04/2013 Back to Reviews
Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time Got Right
  • + Fan service with characters and humour
  • + Keeps the story grounded and the focus on exploration
  • + High replayability
Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time Got Wrong
  • - Camera can be erratic and frustrating
  • - Maybe a little too easy overall

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is the fourth game in the popular platforming series made famous by Infamous developer Sucker Punch. It has a new creator in Sanzaru Games, and thankfully the reinvigorated series maintains its original charm and accessibility. It’s not a stand-out piece of software by any means, but it’s a funny and enjoyable romp of platforming, stealth mechanics and combat (albeit minimally) that is a must-have for fans of the originals.

What stands out most about Thieves in Time is its presentation and love for the series. Graphically, it’s far from a benchmark, but its cell-shaded aesthetics and lively game worlds set the scene for enjoyable exploration. Sanzaru stays true to the original’s strong characters, with fan favourites Sly Cooper, Bentleigh and Murray all playing prominent roles in the game’s story.

That’s great, because in the transition between developers it was easy to think this new game would focus too much on unfamiliar elements -- like perhaps more combat (the series has always been stealth first, combat second) -- rather than sticking with what it’s done best in the past. I kept coming back to this game because I genuinely enjoy the characters and game world, which is something I think will really please Sly Cooper diehards.

The story goes off the rails early on -- the team trek through time to fix history after things turned pear shaped -- but it’s not like you need any real motive to engage with the game world. Thankfully the experience offers plenty in the way of non-linear exploration and side questions, and the stealth and combat mechanics are deep and engaging enough to dilute any lack of narrative coherence. The characters alone offer enough insightful commentary and humourous banter to keep Thieves in Time grounded enough for younger gamers, but witty enough to keep older ones entertained.

Get the Adobe Flash Player to see this video.

Mission objectives guide you through the game worlds but you’re essentially free to explore at will, and Thieves in Time definitely encourages moving off the beaten path to take in everything the environments have to offer. The story might not be particularly memorable, but remember that Sly Cooper has always relied on its accessible platforming and satisfying gameplay rewards to keep the action fresh and inviting. Sticking to the main missions will satisfy those looking for a quick Sly offering, but Thieves in Time thrives when its worlds are being explored.

Impressively, the game offers customisable Sly outfits gained through meeting his ancestors as you travel through time. These outfits give Sly fresh new skills that mix the gameplay up throughout, providing the added incentive to explore the worlds and progress through the story, making up for the narrative’s own lack of intrigue.

If Thieves in Time is your first foray into the Sly Cooper universe, it’s worth noting that this has never been a series about combat or tough boss battles. Sure, the bosses present interesting challenges -- made tougher by the at-times erratic camera -- but they’re hardly the bread-and-butter of the Sly Cooper experience. Heading into this game you should be craving an experience driven by exploration and stealth-driven interactions, otherwise you might be disappointed in the game’s lacking physical presence. In short, Thieves in Time is not an action platformer: it’s a traditional stealth platformer with a charming aesthetic that fuels its exploratory emphasis.

Replayability is high as the game encourages you to return to areas you’ve completed earlier, and the game’s time travelling aspect means you’ll unlock skills and abilities needed to reach initially-locked pathways in earlier levels. So if you’re after a game with a world high on replayability, Thieves in Time is definitely something you should check out.

Like many a PS3 exclusive these days, Thieves in Time has cross-play that allows the game to be played on the PS Vita. You can easily transfer your saves from one platform to another, which offers superb convinience to play this game on-the-go. While the game is undoubtedly refined for play on the PS3, Thieves in Time is a great game to play portably.

The Final Verdict

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time stays true to its predecessors in offering a charming, lengthy and engaging platforming adventure. It poses a challenge in its scope and exploration rather than its combat and boss battles, so those after something “action packed” probably shouldn’t look to Thieves in Time's stealth-centric gameplay. It never moves into “hardcore” stealth territory -- it’s far too easy -- but there’s enough content here (including nine playable characters) to keep the action fresh and enjoyable.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

Platform: PS3
 
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

More Info on Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Australian Release: 1 Mar 2013

Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time review Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
It's great on Vita, and kind of amazing that we have handhelds capable of playing exactly the same game now.

Doesn't look quite as cel-shady, but still good.

Gryllis said: It's great on Vita, and kind of amazing that we have handhelds capable of playing exactly the same game now.
Doesn't look quite as cel-shady, but still good.

It comes with cutbacks though, the game only runs at 30fps on top of that, but with more time/optimisation you could probably get the framerate better.

But yeah, it's still awesome how games like these can be played on a handheld now, especially one like Sly which feels perfect for it.
It's great on Vita. Doesn't look as good but still amazing.

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in TimeSly Cooper: Thieves in Time Video

Recently Read

Featured PS3 Content

Most anticipated game of March

Most anticipated game of March

25/02/2015 Polls 9 10
Battlefield Hardline review

Battlefield Hardline review

Tano 2 days Reviews 3 4
Konami plays straight line on Kojima rumours

Konami plays straight line on Kojima rumours

Tano 2 days News 1 5
Call of Duty has sold 175 million copies since 2003

Call of Duty has sold 175 million copies since 2003

Tano 2 days News 2 5
Changes to Fifa Ultimate Team to stop coin sellers

Changes to Fifa Ultimate Team to stop coin sellers

Gryllis 3 days News 3 9
New Resident Evil, Black Ops 3 launching

New Resident Evil, Black Ops 3 launching 'fall 2015'

Tano 3 days News 6 3
YouTube to launch eSports live streaming

YouTube to launch eSports live streaming

Tano 3 days News 4 6
Life is Strange Episode 2 - Out of Time review
Jayden27 4 days Reviews 4 5
Watch: First look at CoD

Watch: First look at CoD's map set in Sydney, grappling

Gryllis 4 days News 4 6

Community Content

The Phantom Pain will be the last Metal Gear Solid

The Phantom Pain will be the last Metal Gear Solid

zurczner 05/03 News 5 5
Work Experience at The MMGN Office

Work Experience at The MMGN Office

12/01/2015 Blog 10 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

commented on Tap Tap: Lady Gaga Revenge

Nipaporn21 17 hours ago
Username

commented on Gamers just keep throwing money at Star Citizen

punk 18 hours ago
Username

commented on A history of cricket video games: In pictures

punk 19 hours ago
Username

Zinker shared a story - Bloodborne

Zinker 1 day ago
Username

commented on A history of cricket video games: In pictures

stonecold 1 day ago
Username

Kazanagii made a change to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Kazanagii 1 day ago
Username

commented on Open-Galaxy and Space Trading Games

Aklan 1 day ago
Username

commented on Halo Online revealed, based on Halo 3 engine

Zinker 2 days ago