Average User Score: 8.4Feb 10, 2013Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time mark the continuation of the Sly Cooper franchise, when we thought it had ended all the way back in 2005. AlthoughSly Cooper: Thieves in Time mark the continuation of the Sly Cooper franchise, when we thought it had ended all the way back in 2005. Although the game has its notable flaws, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a worthy addition to the Sly Cooper franchise, even if it doesn’t hit the soaring high notes that Sly 2 managed to hit.
The gameplay in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is very standard for a Sly Cooper game. There’s your regular thieving, platforming, tailing, and recon missions scattered throughout the game at an insanely brisk pace. Playing the missions and levels in this game feels right at home, and the spot-on controls definitely helps this out. As the game progresses, the upgrades you get for each character make them much more fun to play as, as the gameplay becomes more “thiefy” and fast-paced. The biggest issue I had with the overall gameplay was the uselessness of certain characters. Although I’m not going to spoil how this happens, Carmelita joins the gang at some point in the game. However, her character is BARELY utilized outside of the first time you see her! Why go through the trouble of adding in her character if there’s no usefulness to her character? Costumes make an appearance again in Thieves in Time, and, most of them are very useful and fun, with the exception of one. But, doubling back to old levels to steal hidden treasures using your costumes is very rewarding and fun.
The overarching story in Thieves in Time is great. The story feels like a more epic tale than previous adventures, with much more at stake than ever before. However, the story takes a while to build up to the rapidness of the finale. This is a common complaint among most Sly Cooper fans for all the games, that they start off slow, and then build up to the grand finale. I wouldn’t criticize Sanzaru for this, however, because this is a Sly Cooper staple. They didn’t fix it, but they didn’t make it worse. Moving on with the story, it becomes apparent that Sanzaru wanted certain gameplay elements thrown in the game, but then fit a story to work around these elements. Within each episode, missions are thrown at you which have no real direction. There’s barely a reasonable explanation for a lot of missions, and there isn’t that feeling of building up to a giant heist like there was in the previous games. The stories within each level get somewhat confusing, and only serves to have certain types of gameplay.
Now, let’s talk about graphics. This game is truly a masterpiece in every single sensory way. The music is absolutely incredible, and the graphics are crisp, fluid, and downright amazing. The animations are also the best I’ve ever seen, almost rivaling Pixar’s fluidity in their animations. The way the characters express themselves is incredibly engaging, and SO much character and life is poured into each and every character. Truly, the best part about Thieves in Time is the way the characters act around each other. Although I thought it would be annoying, the characters frequently talk to each other throughout the game, similar to the way Drake and Elena banter back and forth in the Uncharted series. Like Uncharted, Thieves in Time’s characters feel completely natural. I genuinely feel like these characters live in their own world outside of the game. Everything about Theives in Time’s presentation is outstanding, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with anything. Even the cutscenes, which have gotten a lot of criticism from the hardcore Sly Cooper fanbase, are impressive to say the least. There’s so much life injected into each character, and when they feel sad, you do too. A game hasn't had an impact on me emotionally since the last half of Uncharted 3.
That’s truly a testament to the outstanding voicework and animations by Sanzaru and the entire cast. It’s truly magnificent.
Lastly, let’s talk about the replay ability of Thieves in Time. It’s huge. I played the story of the game through its entirety in about four days, playing about four hours each night. That’s a total of a 16 hour campaign, and I had only unlocked under 40% of safes, treasures, bottles, trophies, and masks. Now, I’m going back and solving the costume puzzles Sanzaru has cleverly splattered through the game, and it’s incredibly rewarding.
Overall, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time isn’t perfect. And that’s okay. Sly’s back, he’s fun, and it’s a good game overall. While it didn’t manage to surpass the perfection that is Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Sanzaru managed to meet the standard of gameplay of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, without being better or worse. There’s much fun to be had here, but if you go into it thinking it will be perfection, you may feel disappointed.… Expand