Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus – Review

Released in 2002 by Sucker Punch Productions, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is a PS2 classic. This early 2000’s Stealth based 3D Platformer was one of the first of its kind. Sly is a PlayStation icon and this is where it all started.

Sly and his Book of thieves:

We follow the story of Sly Cooper the Raccoon and his two friends: Bentley the Turtle and Murray the Hippopotamus. Sly is out on a mission to collect a family heirloom and relic, the Thievius Raccoonus, a book passed down from generation to generation. Taken from him by the Fiendish Five, he must collect the various missing pages and rebuild the Thievius Raccoonus to its original state. The game goes to great lengths to project the story it tells. We have things like comic book style storytelling, in-game narrative and cinematic scenes. The story is intriguing – both for children and adults.

Radical Ringtail Raccoon:

The gameplay is fun, addictive and rewarding. Taking control of Sly Cooper you will be making your way through level after level of thieving fun. Sly plays like a traditional Playstation platformer. You have X amount of lives, if you take one hit, you die; collect a horseshoe, take one extra hit. Make your way through each of the five worlds, level by level, gathering keys as you go along. Once you obtain seven keys, you can take on the boss for that world. Boss battles are really entertaining and well thought out. Also, some levels are more mini-game styled, offering the player a refreshing change from regular gameplay – we even get to race and shoot our way through some of the levels.

The hub worlds and reveal of the map from each of the levels work well, it’s always nice to see what new area of the map you unveil. The game makes good use of collectables and reward systems. Collect Clue Bottles in each level to unlock the locked safe at the end of the level. The safes contain things like scanners for the areas to unveil more Clue Bottles and new moves to use like slow and speed up time, invisibility and rolling into a ball. Players also have access to unlocking behind the scenes content and creator commentary by completing speed runs once the game is pretty much complete, which adds even more replay value to the game. Sly Cooper’s first game has tons of content and hours of fun to offer its players, and for this, it receives an eternal salute from me!

Artistic Value:

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus has its own unique cel-shaded graphics style. Being a PS2 title, looking at the game now, it seems low polygon, but at the time and even now the game is artistic and a pioneer of cartoon graphics. Despite its age, Sly Cooper does cartoon based graphic styles better than some modern games do today. The game’s music is also very catchy and can stay in your head for some time. Sound effects are appropriate and fit the game perfectly whilst voice acting is on form. For a game released in 2002, Sly really does look and sound amazing.

When it comes to replay value, Thievius has lots to offer. Taking into consideration the fact games couldn’t be as large in 2002, Sly has done great for replay value. As mentioned earlier, the collectable usage in the game is implemented very well, the Clue Bottles for opening safes are great fun to find. Collecting 100 coins takes you back to the early platforming days, where 100 coins equal an extra life. Completing time trails to get that 100% rating and then be rewarded with behind the scenes footage is a great incentive to finish off the game. Sly will probably keep you entertained for a good 8-15 hours. The game also offers a pretty easy platinum trophy for all you trophy hunters out there! You don’t even have to complete the time trials to get it.

Summary:

To round it up, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is a gem of a game to play. Great for kids and adults, with a fun level system and immersive story to boot. The level design is fantastic, really lending to the mechanics and stealth factor. A very well made game that has been thought out thoroughly. I played this game as part of the Sly Trilogy, that houses all three of the PlayStation 2 Sly Cooper games. That’s three great classics for one great price. I would highly recommend this to any gamer. Prepare to restore honour to the Cooper name! Do you have what it takes to disband the Fiendish Five?

~TAT

9/10

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