Review: Sly 2: Band Of Thieves
October 15, 2006
The cutest criminals around
Sucker Punch / Playstation 2 / Everyone
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus was a sleeper hit when it came to the PS2 two years ago, and every good game deserves a quality sequel. This is it.
Sly 2 makes several new changes to the original formula, and all are improvements. The first and most obvious is a new cell shaded graphical style. Which the game makers used to create a story that plays like an old Saturday morning cartoon. This may not sound that cool but believe me it really is. The story this time is that in the first game Sly defeated his archenemy the evil mechanical bird Clockwork, but the parts have been sold off to many different places around the world. Sly must recover these parts to make sure that they are never reassembled.
A big change is that the player can now command all three members of the titular band of thieves. Each has their own abilities that lend themselves to their character specific missions. First is Sly himself is a master thief who can pick pockets and can climb where the others can’t. Next is the turtle Bentley who is the brains of the operation. He uses his smarts for demolitions and computer hacking. He also has a dart gun for imposing naptime on the guards. Last is Murray a huge pink hippo who is (of course) good at smashing things and likes to refer to himself in the third-person. He is used to destroy and lift things the others can’t.
Also returning is Carmelita Fox who is both the officer of the law assigned to track Sly down and Sly’s love interest (go figure). Tagging along with Carmelita is the new constable Neyla who is not nearly as uptight as miss Fox, and has no qualms about helping Sly stop the real threat, which is Clockwork. Yet another change is instead of specific missions in different places. Sly and the gang set up shop in one large free roaming city, Then complete a mix of missions that add up to one big heist where they foil the bad guy and grab a Clockwork part. Scattered amidst the stealth, platforming, and combat are some of the most original mini-games in years. One example is that Sly must tango with Carmelita while Murray makes off with the loot.
Control, powerups, and the non-linear gameplay all balance well. All these elements combine to make an original charming game that everyone should enjoy. Though some may be put off by the cartoony look, and the difficulty fluctuates unevenly at times. This is a must have for all PS2 owners.
By Zack Rovinsky