Multiple Playable Characters
As aforementioned, you will be able to control more than just Sly Cooper in this game. Not only is Sly joined by his two best friends, but his on/off again girlfriend Carmelita is also playable in this game too. The best part about this game is that one of Sly’s ancestors is playable in each new level/time period you visit and they have special abilities of their own too. There’s a western level where Sly meets up with his cowboy ancestor named Tennessee Kid. He has a cool pistol where he can shoot enemies and even has a quickshot ability where he can shoot at multiple targets in a matter of a few seconds. Another ancestor that Sly will meet is when the gang is stranded during the Ice Age. There they meet a caveman/raccoon named Bob. One of my favorite missions in the game is when Bob needs to train with Murray to become fit and strong before Le Pardox appeared. This mission plays out like a “Rocky” montage where you will have to train Bob by doing a series of mini-games. In total, the game has nine playable characters all with special techniques to keep the game fresh and exciting.
Unlockables and Extras
In every Sly video game, fans are spoiled with the extra content that they can unlock. In Thieves in Time, you will get the same kind of treatment. In every level there are things that you can collect like Sly Cooper’s mask. The more masks that you collect, the more stuff that you can unlock . In addition, the cartoon cutscenes that you get to watch in the game will be available for you to review the at anytime as soon as you unlock them.
Cross Buy Features
Those who have a PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 at the same time can take advantage of Sony’s new promotion of Cross Buy. If you have decided to buy the PS3 version of the game, you are guaranteed a PS Vita version. To make it convenient for gamers who have both PS3 and PS Vita, gamers can play on the PS Vita and continue it on the PS3 by uploading the save data to the cloud. It’s a great feature that’s been introduced by other Sony titles like PS All Stars: Battle Royale.
The game’s unique PS Vita features are surprisingly minimal. The only times you will use the touch screen are when you are Bentley and he needs to hack into a system. This is where you need to tilt the PS Vita to control a current of electricity through a circuit. Other times when you’ll use the touch screens are just to change costumes.
The PS Vita is able to dish out graphics that rival that of the PS3. This is evident with many titles released for the system thus far including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048 and others. Now Sly Cooper: Thieves of Time does not have horrible graphics, but they aren’t to the level I’ve seen from other games available on the system. The graphics are nice and bright, but they kind of look similar to the PS2 Sly Cooper video games. If you’ve played the PS2 versions of Sly Cooper, you won’t find many differences in the visual department in Thieves of Time.
In terms of the visuals on the PS3 version of the game, you will see it is colorful as the Vita version except that it looks pretty similar to the visuals that was conveyed on the HD collection that Sony released. It’s not a bad thing however since the they remained to the game’s original art.
Annoying Boss Battles
One of the most annoying features of the entire game are the annoying patterns that the boss battles have. Most of the time, you will be able to figure out the pattern of the boss easily and dodge their attacks. You can achieve this in Thieves in Time, but there are many attacks that are sometimes unavoidable which depletes your life bar by at least a third. One of the bosses took 20 minutes for me to complete because I could never avoid one of his tornado attacks. On another boss, I had to slide on a beam while avoiding the electricity that was running through them. The boss battles are doable, but they’re likely to frustrate some gamers. Oddly enough, the final boss battle was the easiest in the game, but I don’t want to spoil it for you here…
Inconsistent Camera / Motion Controls
While implementing motion controls on the PS Vita is somewhat innovative, I must say that it’s consistent throughout the game when it comes to accuracy. Sometime the motion controls work sometimes it doesn’t. If you don’t have a PS Vita, you don’t have to worry about the motion controls on the PS3 version of the game. However, another problem that plagues the game is the camera controls as well. Moving the camera around with the right analog stick can be quite annoying because you can’t seem to take the right grasp on how it moves. Sometimes you can move it with an ease, while most of the time, moving it will feel like the controls are inverted.
If you are a fan of the previous Sly Copper video games, you won’t be disappointed with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. It is faithful to the original titles and the level design is unique since the missions are varied and fun to play too. Not to mention there are nine playable characters in the game so you’ll never get bored with being the same person all of the time. Personally, I felt the graphics could have looked better and the boss battles were a pain to get through. Other than that, platformer and Sly Cooper fans alike are sure to enjoy his latest outing, though there are minor flaws within the game that are hard to neglect.
[Editor’s Note: Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time was reviewed on the PlayStation 3 & PS Vita platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Review,