The triumphant return of Sly Cooper was long awaited, and the wait was worth it. Sanzaru, a somewhat obscure company, were huge fans of the series; but, due to the extended length of time in releasing a new chapter, they were just as disappointed as the fans that the reign of Sly Cooper had seemingly came to an end. As a result, Sanzaru took action and whipped-up a quick demo for Sony who gave the game their stamp of approval. After Sanzaru's announcement of Sly Cooper Thieves in Time, the fan base had a Dimitri freak-out that it wasn't being made by Sucker Punch! Blasphemy, right? Oh how wrong we were.
The game starts out with Sly itching to get back into thievery. While scoping out a target, Bentley arrives unexpectedly and gives him the scoop. The pages of the Thievius Raccoonus began disappearing, and along with it, Bentley’s girlfriend Penelope. Luckily, Bentley found the solution to the problem: time travel. After entrusting the book with Dimitri, the gang reassembled and began their journey through time, much to Carmelita’s dismay. The game also expands upon the Cooper family lineage and five ancestors, Rioichi Cooper, Tennessee ‘Kid’ Cooper, “Bob”Cooper, Sir Galleth Cooper, and Salim al Kupar.
Many things about Sly 4 feel very familiar to the previous Sly Cooper games. The game brings back the basics of Sly Cooper, such as the puzzle oriented gameplay, bottles, treasures, pick pocketing, and my favorite, hacking. A subtle detail, but one that fans really appreciate, is that they used the same voice actors and musical composers. The new and improved gadget system and Thiefnet are much better, and every ancestor’s abilities feel unique and are fun. I would especially like to commend Sanzaru on the clever story line, which appeals to all ages and constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Sly Cooper Thieves in Time definitely did not completely conform to the previous games, and a lot of cool new things were added to the franchise. While the new multitude of unlockables seemed overwhelming at first, it really proved to add a ton of extra content to the game. Plus, if you are seeking even more gameplay, Sanzaru didn’t waste any time releasing the DLC, Bentley’s Hackpack, which adds 60 new hacking mini-games! Sly 4 feels like the natural progression of the Sly Cooper series.
There were very few things I disliked about the game, but they did exist. The loading screens seemed so ridiculously long that they appeared to need their own loading screen! I also thought some aspects of the game, especially Miss Decibel, were almost too childish, and the artwork in the cutscenes was definitely a downgrade from the first three games. Do not let this deter you from playing the game however, as these are only minor issues that are easy to look past.
All in all, Sly Cooper Thieves in Time is the best game so far in the franchise. Sanzaru Games has managed to successfully pull off the perfect balance of classic gameplay while breathing new life into the series and making it feel fresh again. I’m already looking forward to a Sly 5, and I think we can expect great things from both Sanzaru and Sly Cooper in the future.