Sly Cooper Thieves in Time (PS3/PS Vita)

By Wayne Webb

Sly Cooper has not been one of my favourite games, it’s always felt a little forced compared to Ratchet and Clank, or even Jak and Daxter with which they share a lot of DNA. Sly has had a cartoonish sensibility that seems aimed at much younger audience who are easy to please and less fussed about good acting and dialogue.

By Wayne Webb

Sly Cooper has not been one of my favourite games, it’s always felt a little forced compared to Ratchet and Clank, or even Jak and Daxter with which they share a lot of DNA. Sly has had a cartoonish sensibility that seems aimed at much younger audience who are easy to please and less fussed about good acting and dialogue.

Thieves in Time does nothing to change this impression, but beyond the stylistic choices and the control issues, there is a decent enough game that will engage and entertain young players and a few of older ones, too. You can play as Sly, or as you free them during the game, ancestors of his from history. The design work on the players and Sly’s gang is cartoony but well drawn providing a vibrant and rich graphical style.

Travelling through time allows Sly to interact with a number of his historical antecedents in their own time. Each of these time period levels comes with a new character and a set of new movies and powers relative to the tasks to complete the level. Feudal Japan, Wild West and ancient Arabia are just a few of the variety of game-play styles and designs that will keep you from getting bored. You can play the game on the PS3, and if you have a Vita you can download a companion copy for your handheld gaming device.

There are a few problems at times with the control mechanism, but it does not make the game unplayable just occasionally annoying and frustrating. Swapping between the Vita and the Console is also frustrating as a number of buttons on the controller are replaced with the touch screen, which is not integrated naturally and breaks the flow of the game. The graphics look stunning on both versions and while the PS Vita is certainly capable of making a game look fantastic, it’s not a fluid motion to tap the rear screen to find out where you need to go next while still playing or fighting.

The combat is pretty straightforward and your enemies appear not to think for themselves, but ultimately it’s a stealth mission game and sneaking is more effective that head on combat with the various bad guys you come across. Same too with the Boss Fights; they are predictable and easily defeated, but they are punctuation to the level design more than adding any challenge or excitement.

This is definitely one for younger players who want to get their teeth into a decent engaging experience rather than a challenging undertaking for the experience platformer.

Pros: Visually stunning, variety of levels and design, multiple characters, collections, mini games, available on PS Vita
Cons: Dialogue and acting seems unnatural, occasional control issues, predictable enemies and boss fights, controls on Vita not as clear.

3.5 Shacks Out Of 5

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