King of Thieves
Every common thief can steal from a regular Joe. Real master thieves steal from other thieves and the Cooper family of Raccoons are the true masters of this fine 'art’. For generations they took from the lawless and gave it to the needy or kept it for themselves. Generation after generation, passed down through the ages was the family’s most treasured possession, the infamous book “Thievius Raccoonus”. Every member of the family wrote down their knowledge and secret techniques so that future generations could use them. Young Sly Cooper would have inherited the book, but the vile plot of five evil thieves known as “The Sinister Five” not only took the book, his birthright, from him but his father as well, and Sly grew up in an orphanage. Now, many years later, Sly is out for revenge. He is seeking out “The Sinister Five” that took the book from him and his father before him and if you help him, the book will soon be back in the hands of the Coopers.
Sony’s first major title this year is a cell shaded 3D Jump’n’Run. Personally I don’t have anything against cell shading, in fact if used correctly it can really improve a game (although the graphics in a certain Nintendo blockbuster have yet to be investigated by me). Sly Raccoon is a good example of that. Cartoon like graphics make the game fun to play and light and especially shadow effects – especially the second one very important for a true thief – bring the game to life. The still shots that can be found in our gallery are too static to give you an idea of how the game looks – please don’t take them into consideration if you can’t decide whether to buy the game or not.
Sly Raccoon would be a standard 3D Jump’n’Runner - collect coins, defeat enemies, solve frustrating jumping puzzles – if it was not for the fact that while advancing through the game Sly collects more and more pages of the “Thievious Racconus” and with every page he learns secret techniques that his ancestors wrote down for him. Defensive and aggressive tactics, ways of avoiding unwanted attention and techniques that will make life “in the field” a lot easier – all are described in detail if Sly is willing to look for them. Most of the pages are optional but collecting all the pages is not only an additional challenge, but can be a big help as well – to name only one example: although he is a raccoon, Sly and water are a combination that don’t fit well. You might be glad to hear that one of Sly’s aunts described how to survive in water without risking his precious life. Of course you have to find the page in question first...
Besides the “normal” levels, every of the five chapters offers several – not optional – mini games that Sly has to complete. Shooting at lobsters with a sub, racing with criminal dogs or jet-skiing on a piranha infested lake to name only a few; a welcome change and some good ideas from the developers.
In general the game is real fun to play. Although NOT from – in my opinion – the same vein of witty Jump’n’Run games Insomniac Games, former Naughty Dog, creator of Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank. Sly Raccoon comes up with some new ideas of its own and recombines some old ones in a new way.
A final note: SCEE is having a giveaway over at www.slyschool.com
. Master Thieves [in the territories of SCEE] that can find 10 secret codes for the safe there (look for them on different Sony / Playstation pages) can not only download the book “Thievius Raccoonus” but can win a trip to Disney Land Paris or 1 of 100 Sly Raccoon backpacks – worth a look I would say.