Sly Cooper : Thieves In Time Review
Cart: Sly Cooper Thieves In Time
Cab: PS3 / Vita
Coin: Sanzaru Games
The success of Radio 1’s Live Lounge is hard to dismiss, with perhaps the leftfield cover song in each act’s performance being the highlight for many. Yet as someone with many years of experience playing in an originals band, I’m not quite so starstruck as others – even though I do appreciate the music all the same. You see, these covers are usually just loose interpretations as opposed to carbon-copies. As well they should be – that’s what gives them that cool vibe – but for a band with a strong identity of its own, that’s actually a damned sight easier to do than a like-for-like reproduction of someone else’s own, distinct style.
Which is why I’m so darned impressed with Sanzaru Games’ work on Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time.
It’s been eight, long years since the last release in the franchise with the original developer, Sucker Punch Productions, moving-on to pastures new in the form of the Infamous series. Enter Sanzaru Games: one of those innocuous, mid-tier developers that’s pumped out a few budget Wii titles and some reasonably successful franchise spin-offs. In many respects, they’re the perfect choice for a tentative, budget-price return to a franchise that many thought might have been best left alone. This was, after all, one of the three pillars of the platforming empire along with Jak and Ratchet. In other respects, then, you’d perhaps have thought that someone with better credentials would be entrusted with the resuscitation of such a respected member of the gaming establishment.
The graphics, whilst a clear homage to the past, are also richer than ever
Turns out that both assumptions are misguided as Sanzaru Games have somehow managed the impossible and completely and utterly nailed the Sly feel, right down to every last detail and every minor nuance. Seriously: that’s no mean feat. It’s like Rizzle Kicks pulling-off a pitch and tone perfect cover of Tom Jones. This success is partly attributable to Sanzaru’s conversion work on the original trilogy for the HD update in 2010, but its still a truly remarkable feat. I’m also deeply impressed by the fact that they’ve basically ignored the last eight years and made a direct sequel to Sly 3: spiritually, narratively and mechanically.
As far as Retro Gaming goes, it’s pure time-travel nirvana.
If you’ve played Sly before, you’ll know exactly what to expect and there’s no way on earth you’re going to be disappointed. The original voice-actors return in full-force and a range of new tricks and gadgets serve to expand just ever-so-slightly upon the original games’ premise. The plot’s as cartoon-tastic as ever and leaves you begging for more after the superb, cliffhanger ending.
Roll-on Sly 5, and to hell with the future.
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