Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Review

I am a little embarrassed to say that I have never played any of the “Sly Cooper” games.  I know, “How can I call myself a gamer? blah blah blah.”  I found the demo on the PSN and decided to give it a try. I figured I must’ve been an idiot for not having played the other “Sly Cooper” games if the demo of the fourth installment is any indication of how fun the franchise is, so I decided to give the full game a try.

“Thieves in Time” continues where “Honor Among Thieves” left off. Cooper is faking amnesia so that he can be with Carmelita, Murray has become quite the champion in the destruction derby circuit, and Bentley constructed a massive lab and just finished working on a big top secret project (it’s time travel). When Bentley’s girlfriend/assistant disappears after the completion of the super secret project (time travel), pages from the Thievius Raccoonus start disappearing.  That’s when Bentley decides to get the team back together to travel back in time to find out who or what is causing all this mischief.

Right off the bat you will notice the amazing voice acting. Kevin Miller, Matt Olsen, Chris Murphy, and Grey DeLisle do a fantastic job bringing the Cooper gang (Sly Cooper, Bentley, Murray, and Inspector Carmelita Montoya Fox, respectively) to life. The art style is great.  Every part of the game is fun to look at: gameplay, cut-scenes, scenery, everything. Playing the game makes me wonder why they haven’t made a “Sly Cooper” cartoon.

Gameplay is pretty good, and controls are really easy to pick up.  My only complaints are load times and the camera. The majority of the time you are running around as Sly, and I understand that the point of being Mr. Cooper is to be stealthy, but sometimes you need to fight and it would be nice to have some starting combos so that you have some semblance of a defense. What doesn’t help is the aforementioned camera issues.  There were more times than I would have liked where the camera screwed me out of completed a mission undetected. You do get used to the camera, it just takes awhile, and it is especially a pain when grinding on rails and climbing.

Now, as for load times…Christ, they are long.  Every time the screen pops up they seem to get longer. Also, has anyone else had a load screen pop up for it to go into a cut-scene, then go right back into a load screen? The levels may be beautifully designed and open world, but they are a fraction of the size of the “Borderlands” maps and the load times are far less than they are in “Sly Cooper.”

The gameplay does, however, make up for those little annoyances.

What is pretty cool is the Cross-Buy Cross-Save feature of the game. If you buy “Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time” you get the PS Vita copy of the game as a digital download for free. Yes, people, for free.  When you save the game on your PS3, you have the option to perform a cross save, where you load your saved game on your Vita you will be exactly where you were while playing on your console. This is a pretty good feature that will hopefully boost PS Vita sales. Here is the current list of Sony games with Cross-Buy feature.

Having spent many hours in the game, now I can safely say that “Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time” is well worth your $40.  Kudos Sanzaru Games! The voice acting, the art style, the game mechanics and the colorful characters (Murray “The Murray”) make this a smart purchase, plus the replay value is pretty high.

Final Verdict for Sly Cooper: Thieves in TIme

4.5 out of 5