‘Sly 4: Thieves in Time’ is stuck in an older generation of gaming

George Treviranus, Editor

 

, including familiar gameplay, new maps to traverse, and a 20-hour storyline complete with side-quests. However, the obnoxious load times and dated graphics make this title something out of place for this generation, especially as new consoles are starting to emerge.

For those who have played Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves or Sly 2: Band of Thieves, the structure and style will remain pretty similar. You have the option of playing as either Sly Cooper (stealth raccoon), Bentley (your brains of the operation), or Murray (the muscle). Each need to complete a certain number of tasks in a given area before you can face the final boss and move onto your next location. This process can get a bit grinding, but more often than not, the missions are short and simple. Luckily, now that the Cooper family is playable, you’ll have more variation and thus have more fun.

The gameplay for each new character is similar to Sly, with the exception of them having one extra move that sets them apart. As Sly, you are quick and ninja-like, and can pick-pocket your foes for money, precious gems and keys. Pick-pocketing is thus a pretty important aspect of Sly’s gameplay at times in order to advance to the next part of a level. Bentley, in his wheelchair, may seem slow, but this turtle can ride. His primary special attack is the use of bombs, but has other quirks including hacking door locks. These mini-games are always fun. Murray, the hippo, will clobber anything in sight. Very straightforward and simple, which unfortunately takes away from his gameplay experience.

You’re also able to upgrade your skills and add new moves to you repertoire to make the gameplay more interesting, but more often than not, it is useless. The default moves are your core set. If you want to upgrade for new moves, however, it certainly adds a new zest to an already simplistic play-style.

One of the most irritating things in this game is the load times. No one with a PS3 should need to wait 1-2 minutes for a stage to load. While it varies, load times are very noticeable and is something reminiscent of a Square Enix title. You should be able to catch up on your favorite TV show during these breaks, which says a lot. If you downloaded the game via PlayStation Network, your wait time is significantly reduced, however.

The game doesn’t feature a prevalent score, however it has its little quirky sounds to indicate moods. For example, as you approach your foes, you will hear a Pink-Panther-esque noise for footsteps. It adds to the sneakiness and raises tension; perfect for the cartoon-style.

The Sly Cooper franchise has always been an addicting cartoon-adventure platformer, and is still is. The series has seen nothing but ups, and Sanzara Studios went on to show the franchise isn’t dead. Still, it would have been nice to see more chances taken by the developer. The game feels stuck in the PS2-era of gaming, where interactivity is low. And finally, the game is just easy to play, and as a result, you will rarely feel challenged.