Fans of the Sly Cooper franchise have a lot to be excited over this year with the upcoming release of Sly Cooper Thieves in Time. It has been several years since the release of Sly 3 and now Sly and crew are back in a new adventure that has them traveling to different times to meet with ancestors of the Cooper family.
I had a chance to get hands on with the latest build of Sly 4 at a recent event and it is everything you would expect from a Sly game. Those who may have just finished playing The Sly Collection will be familiar with the controls of the game. The cell shaded graphics make it look and feel more like a cartoon than a 3D game. Another cool feature of the game is the ability to play as Cooper’s ancestors and make use advanced abilities that Sly was never capable of.
The first section I got my hands on had revolved around Ryoichi Cooper and his mission to take back control of his restaurant. Ryoichi Cooper is able to use the Leaping Dragon technique to move from spire to spire quickly and with ease. He had to be navigated around his restaurant that was filled with guards and traps while stealing back his kitchen knives that were used as keys to unlock doors.
One of the interesting things about this level was the scattered plates on the floor that needed to be avoided as not to alert the guards. The stage was very stealth-heavy, as you would expect from a ninja raccoon, and required use of the Leaping Dragon technique to avoid laser floors and make it past moving lasers.
After that I got to play a section that focused on Sly and some of the new things he will be capable of in this sequel. Along with Sly’s older moves, he can now perform a costume switch that will give him new abilities to take advantage of.
The costume that I was able to use on the demo had a Robin Hood-esque design that made use of a bow and arrows with a rope attached to create bridges to cross. The level featured a carnival theme with flaming rings to move through and cannonballs to avoid. This mechanic was very interesting and left me curious for what other possible costume mechanics would be available in the game.
After my time with Sly, I was shown a hub world for the game that had me using Sir Galleth Cooper. The first thing I noticed was how much larger this hub world was that the ones from the previous Sly Cooper games and any area seen can be reached.
The mission in this hub world was to find three surveillance balloons and knock them away using Galleth’s Catapult Crash, a move where Galleth uses a wall hook to shoot himself upward. Finding mission targets has been given an upgrade due to the size of the hubs and the many large obstacles that may block the beam from previous games. Now when the select button is pressed, an indicator appears under the character being controlled and points toward the closest or next mission target.
The final part of this build had me take control of Sir Galleth Cooper and guide him through a level that made use of his Catapult Crash. Galleth had to take out minor enemies and traverse upward while avoiding flaming obstacles. Well timed Catapult Crashes were required to avoid fire obstacles that were moving around and grab onto hooks that were also sometimes moving around.
Once the top of the stage was reached I had to move Galleth around a giant machine dragon that appeared to be inactive. After a brief cutscene, I was no longer in control of Galleth and was instead using Carmelita Fox to battle with the three headed robotic dragon. In the fight, Carmelita had to use her trusty gun to cause enough damage to each head while it would try to breathe fire at her and then she had to be brought next to the head to cause it serious damage. She also had to shoot down missiles and sprint to avoid being thrown off the platform. Once the heads were each taken out twice, the battle would end and a cutscene proceeded to close out the stage.
Sly Cooper Thieves in Time is definitely looking like something fans of the original trilogy will enjoy. It featured many of the staple elements of the franchise will adding new features that give the game a unique feel compared to previous titles.
The parts of the game that I was able to play have me excited for the full game and to see what other new moves and Cooper ancestors will appear. Plus any game that lets you control Carmelita Fox is one that must be played by any fan.