Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus Review

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Sanzaru Games have brought a Sucker Punch classic to the PlayStation 3. Find out what we thought about it in our Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus Review!

Release Date September 23rd, 2002
Genre Stealth/Platformer
Platforms PS2/PS3/PS Vita
Developer Sucker Punch Productions
Price $49.99 US
ESRB Rating Everyone
Players 1 Player

 

The game I’m reviewing today happens to be one of my personal favourites from Sucker Punch Productions which also happens to be one of my favourite developers. The game I’m talking about is, of course, ‘Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus’ which was originally released on the PS2 but, I’ll be talking about the PS3 version bundled with the sequels to that game in ‘The Sly Collection’.

The first thing you’ll notice in this game is the very different artistic direction from most games made at the time. It feels more like you’re watching an animated movie or watching a comic unfold before your eyes than playing a video game. Unlike the fact that the graphics were a good change from the normal realistic feel of most games of the era, the story was quite generic and not all that compelling. It revolved around Sly and his friends (Murray, a hippo, and Bentley, a turtle) attempting to retrieve the pages from the ‘Thievius Raccoonus’, a book which contained the thieving maneuvers from Sly Cooper’s ancestors. The pieces/pages were dispersed among the ‘Fiendish Five’ which comprises of the game’s bosses.

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus Review
An example of the art style of the cutscenes. Photo credit: Moby Games

The gameplay is quite similar to most platformers with the difference being that there is a stealth element involved. This is something that is magnified by a blue light called ‘thief senses’. Sly can perform many different moves such as hopping onto the top of posts, shuffling along narrow walls, or grappling with his cane. The music changes if you’re spotted or in danger of being spotted by guards and really helps the player know how quickly to move and react.

There are vaults in every level that contain pages of the ‘Thievius Raccoonus’, the player can only gain access to them if they acquire all of the clue bottles that are dispersed throughout each level. The ‘binocucom’ (which are a pair of binoculars that Sly surveys the levels with) makes it easy to find anything you may need to find. There is a coin system in this game which serves very little purpose other than when you reach 100 coins; you receive a ‘lucky horseshoe that allows you to take extra hits from enemies. There are many mini-games incorporated in the main game based on the secondary characters which add a little bit of variety to the levels and each level has a ‘Master Sprint’ to complete after everything is discovered and the level is complete, this unlocks additional content.

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus Review
Sly sneaking across the rope. Photo credit: Moby Games

This game is one of my favourites simply for the fact that it’s a well-made game that I enjoyed from beginning to end. I loved the different moves that Sly acquired throughout the game and the diverse level design that the game incorporated. The bosses all had differences and it didn’t feel like I was killing the same one again and again. The enemies in the game varied in difficulty and had many different attacks from level to level. While the game was very enjoyable, it was extremely short by my standards. Regardless of that, the game was fun and that’s what we all play games for and even if only for a short while, Sly Cooper is just that. The game spawned two sequels that expanded upon the gameplay and a fourth is on the way although it is developed by a different studio. Play Sly Cooper today and don’t miss out on one of the more underrated games I’ve had the pleasure of completing.

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