Sly Cooper 4: Thieves In Time Preview -- Sly's Triumphant ReturnBy Nikole Zivalich - Posted Jun 08, 2011
Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time was announced during Sony's E3 2011 press conference. Sly Cooper 4 will be the first game in the thieving series not developed by SuckerPunch; instead, Thieves in Time is being developed by Sanzaru Games, the developers who worked on the remastered versions of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Sly 2: Band of Thieves and Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves in The Sly Collection.
The fact that Sanzaru Games has worked with Sly in the past calms the nerves of those who loved the past games from SuckerPunch. You might be wondering why SuckerPunch aren't carrying on the Sly Cooper legacy. Turns out the Seattle developer has been busy with inFamous 2. Sanzaru Games saw an opportunity to work on a series they already loved, and they took it. Sanzaru Games bought a PS3 dev kit and built what they thought Sony might like to see. Sony wasn't impressed. Sanzaru stepped up their game and came back with something even better. This time Sony was on board.
The plot of Sly Cooper 4: Thieves In Time picks up after Sly Cooper 3. We don't know exactly what the story involves, but we do know Bentley has a time machine. We also know the characters we've grown to love are back. Sly Cooper 4 will feature the same voice actors from past games. The Cooper gang consists of Sly, Bentley, and Murray. The gameplay demo I saw was a rescue mission, Sly and Murray were on the case.
Sly is older now, tougher and perhaps wiser. He's definitely still suave. Anthropomorphic raccoons aren't my thing, but if they were, I'd be all about Sly. Murray is a big, fat, pink hippo. Within seconds he reminded me of Patrick Star. He's the tank of the group and will be responsible for heavy lifting. He's also a connoisseur of food.
The PS3 has more power than the PS2, so Sanzaru Games was able to emotion. When Murray ate a piece of broccoli, a food he detested, I could see the despair in his face. His pain was my pain.
The actual gameplay I saw was brief, but I have an idea of what the game will play like. The graphics are almost cell-shaded; the characters pop off the background, but it still has the same cartooney feel Sly fans want.
In the demo, Murray and Sly need get past a series of traps and obstacles. After sliding down a tunnel, the two are separated, and they each have to perform moves unique to their own skills. For example, it was Murray's strength enables him to turn a huge wheel, opening the door to another part of the level for Sly.
Sly Cooper 4 will feature moves from past games as well as new features. Sly's costumes have been revamped with unique abilities. In each episode Sly will unlock new costumes. In previous Sly Cooper games the costumes served as disguises. Thieves in Time costumes will offer a purpose too. The demo I saw featured a pirate costume which slowed down time. One of the puzzles in this area requires Sly to pull a switch to open a door. In real time, the door closes too fast for Sly to go through. The pirate costume can be worn to slow down time and progress through the level. Gamers will have the opportunity to replay past levels with new costumes to access new areas.
Boss levels will play a major part of Sly Cooper 4. Sanzaru Games pulled inspiration from the early Sly Cooper games when they designing boss battles. Bosses are defeated in layers that consist of finding the weakness, exploiting it, deflecting, chasing, and over powered moves.
To prove Boss battles are like onions, they demonstrated one for us. El Jeffe is a tiger, a tin-pot dictator and most importantly, a boss. Gamers will notice El Jeffe has a familiar voice. As Sanzaru Games points out, "it wouldn't be an action adventure game without Nolan North."
His first moves are basic fireballs. Sly's costume for this part of the demo has the ability to shield against attack, and when used correctly, can deflect too. After a series of deflection attacks El Jeffe tries to escape, destroying the fortress around him. By the time Sly catches up with him destruction can be seen all over the level. This is when El Jeffe brings out his over powered attacks. This is where the demo ends.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time will be released in 2012 so you can bet we'll be seeing more of everyone's favorite thief in the coming months.