Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Review(PS3, PS Vita)

Posted: May 6, 2013 in Reviews
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If you’re a fan of the Sly Cooper series, a lot will be familiar in Thieves in Time, the characters are the same, Sly Cooper obviously is the main character, Bentley the genius turtle in a wheel chair, Murray the giant pink hippopotamus, and Carmelita who is Sly Cooper’s love interest. Sly and Company all move around environments basically the exact same as previous games, and things generally look the same graphically, aside from a few improvements. It’s good that Sly Cooper stuck to it’s roots even with a new developer, but unfortunitely for fans, this is a glitchy addition to a good series. One of the good things about this game, is it’s sold at a discount, plus if you get the PS3 version, you get the Playstation Vita version as well.

The story in Sly 4 is actually pretty good, Sly and his buddies create a time machine and you go back in time to rescue your ancestors. The story has good humor at times, if a character is supposed to be annoying, he is annoying, if they’re supposed to be funny, they are, and it helps make the story a bit better. Unfortunitely though, the voice acting is shotty at times, the main characters are generally pretty good, but the dialog for the additional characters and even Carmelita, sometimes seems forced. The ancestors are generally pretty funny, and are fun to use, but they can only be used in the levels you found them in, even though you can go from location to location via the hideout.

The missions are generally pretty fun, and will have you running around each location doing various mission with each of the characters, plus you can also free to roam, but doing each there are problems and glitches. The game has a lot of issues with the core mechanics, jumping is glitchy, if you’re trying to jump up on a ledge, you can get above the ledge, but then fall down for some reason, retry and make it no problem doing the same thing, not to mention the problems with the camera suddenly rotating or going inside scenery, don’t help issues either. Running is also an issue, getting stuck on nothing, or just lack of button recoginition can lead to a lot of falling. All of the glitches are especially annoying when you are trying to get a collectable back to the safe house, and the glitches screw that over. Then there is the needless motion controls that don’t seem to work well, it’ll have you roll a ball, or maneuver a digital board with a hacking virus, but all of it feels unresponsive at times, and it feels tacked on.

If you do make it through the glitches you’ll find that bottles are back, along with safes and masks, a familiar addition and another way it sticks to it’s roots. Most collectables are pretty easy to find, just play through the levels and get the upgrades for the characters and you’ll have no problem. The upgrades are useful, from being able to plant bombs in pockets with Bentley, to more powerful stealth one-hit kills, the upgrades are unlocked by playing through the main story, and most of them work well. Each character has a stealthy one-hit kill, as you’d expect it’s useful too, it’ll make it so you can clear a group of enemies quickly and quietly. While stealthy you can also pick pocket the enemy, but there are only the 3 unique items per level, but at the same time, can help rack up money fast. If you get caught however, the enemies are not that intelligent, you can be getting chased by an enemy, run behind another enemy, and he won’t even flinch or look to see what’s going on, just mindlessly goes on his way. On top of the bad AI, enemies do the same moves, and even later enemies in new locations tend to act and attack the exact same, it was a big flaw and got boring fast.

Throughout the game you will also unlock additional moves, but unlike upgrades these moves can only be used in certain spots, it would have been nice to walk around the levels with a one hit bow, but nope, because for some reason he can’t carry arrows around with him. I also found it very strange that water does damage, and shallow water at that, last time I checked, a raccoon, turtle and hippo all like water, and yet none of them can swim?, I understand Bentley though, he’s in a wheel chair, he wouldn’t have much of a chance. You really should just be able to walk around in knee or ankle deep water, but that does not happen.

Additionally, as you make your way through the story, you will find a boss at the end of each level, as you’d expect they each have their own quirks, for instance a gun slinging armadillo, and a black bear that paints and raps. Most bosses in the game require you to do the same thing a few times, each time it gets a bit harder, and most are easy to figure out. The are done well though, and have many funny moments, they are generally done well.

Sly Cooper Thieves in Time is a good, but unfortunately not great, and it feels like it could have been so much more. Too many glitches within the game, and just not enough replay value in my opinion aside from maybe a few trophies. In the end this game is a misstep in a good series, but fans of the series may just be relieved that it was finally released.

Overall Score 7.2/10

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