Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Features New Studio, Same Wisecracking Raccoon

By Ryan Winslett in Previews/Impressions
Monday, June 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm
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He's veddy veddy sthneaky
"Who the hell are you and where is Sucker Punch?" With these words, Sanzaru Games President Glen Egan kicked off the behind-closed-doors screening of a demo for Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time during the E3 2011 event.

 

According to Egan, the members of Sanzaru Games are big fans of the Sly Cooper series, as evidenced by their work on last year's Sly Collection for the PS3. It turns out that project was actually a test run for the Sanzaru crew, and one they passed with flying colors.

 

The reward? They're developing the newest title, set to release in 2012.

 

After a few story details, the small audience was treated to an eyes-on demonstration of one of the games' levels and boss fights. Sly has reunited with his old gang of thieves and is on a mission to return honor to the Cooper name.

 

The level we saw featured everyone's favorite raccoon partnered with the beefy hippo, Murray. Play went back and forth between the two with Murray used to open a path that Sly could then follow. Costumes make a reappearance in this fourth outing, but now they're used for more than just sneaking into certain areas. Each costume comes with its own ability this time around, such as slowing down time or deflecting projectile attacks.

 

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Before long Sly was paw to paw with El Jefe, a samurai tiger voiced by none other than Nolan North. Egan said the team wanted to make all of their boss battles epic events with multiple tiers. In this particular battle, Sly had to leap across several burning structures to reach El Jefe and begin battle. Like previous Sly games, this required pattern recognition and careful timing.

Once the tiger was soundly thrashed, he abandoned the battle for higher ground, leaving Sly to give chase through a more difficult series of burning structures. The fight continued through three such areas before coming to a close.

 

From what I've seen, it looks like the Sly series is in very capable hands. The graphics are slick, it carries all the same charm as previous games and the voice cast has been reunited. After the demo was over and everyone gave a nice round of applause, I remember leaving the room thinking it looks like a group of talented fans have set out to make a game worthy of the franchise and, after 30 minutes of gameplay, I'm feeling confident that they have done exactly that.

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