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Developer:
Sucker Punch
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PS2
Release Date: September 26, 2005

by Josh Ferguson




Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is the newest game in Sony's popular Sly Cooper series. This latest installment features a mix of both new villains and some older ones from earlier in the series. Also, for the first time in the series, the Cooper gang will be joined by several new members and you'll acquire some new playable characters!


The story in Sly 3 takes place shortly after the events of the second game, Band of Thieves. While the team was successful at stopping Clock-La, victory came with some heavy costs. Bentley, the brains of the operation, suffered some major leg injuries and is now confined to a wheelchair. If that wasn't enough, Murray, the brawn of the group, blames himself for Bentley's injuries and has decided to leave the Cooper gang. However, Sly and Bentley have continued on and their latest operation involves the discovery of what is known as the Cooper Vault. Inside the Cooper Vault lie many of the Cooper family's most valuable treasures. But this mission won't be easy, and in order to succeed, the Cooper gang must bring back "The Murray" and bring aboard a team of some of the best thieves.


Similar to its predecessor, Sly 3 features a number of episodes filled with short missions that can only be accomplished by one of your characters. Each member has a number of missions, with, of course, Sly having the most missions to accomplish. These missions range from hacking into computers, locating codes hidden in paintings, stealing items, and taking part in an opera singing contest, to going around and sinking pirate ships.


As I said earlier, the game contains a number of episodes, each of which contains a new playable character that will be joining up with the Cooper gang. The first of these is the rejoining of everyone's favorite hippo, Murray, and after that there are a few others, including a mystical Guru, an ace Pilot, and even a couple foes from previous Sly Cooper games. While she doesn't become a member of the Cooper gang, occasionally players will even take on the role of Inspector Carmelita Fox.


Like Band of Thieves, the third installment continues the practice of purchasing new abilities from Thief-net. The game does feature a few new abilities for some of the characters, but the only three that can obtain these abilities are the original three members of the Cooper gang. Considering that Bentley is now confined to a wheelchair, his abilities are somewhat different from Band of Thieves. One of these abilities that can be purchased from Thief-net is the use of turbo rockets that are attached to his chair and cause him to jump higher and to be able to do a sort of triple jump. While most of these abilities aren't exactly necessary, there are a few, such as Sly's glider, that must be purchased to complete certain portions of the game.


Aside from Bentley, the three characters are fairly similar to what they were in the second game, but now each of them has the ability to rob their enemies. While Sly continues to use his cane to snatch an item, Bentley uses a magnetic device attached to his wheelchair, and Murray lifts them above his head and shakes the items out of their pockets. The rest of the combat is extremely similar to the second game, so if you liked the combat in that game, chances are you won't mind the fighting in this game.


One of the new additions to the Sly series is the introduction of 3-D. During certain scenes, the gameplay can be "enhanced" by wearing a pair of 3-D glasses that come with the game. I guess the idea is rather interesting, but from past experiences, I've noticed that most people these days don't really care for having to wear 3-D glasses. Not only do they become rather annoying quickly, but I found it to be a waste of time. Luckily, a playthrough of the game does not force you to use the 3-D option, and when the game allows it, a screen asks whether you would like to skip it or use the glasses.


Sly 3 also features a few multiplayer experiences, but these become rather boring quickly. While co-op isn't available in the actual story mode, after completing some missions in the story you will be able to play a few of the mini-games alongside a friend. Some of these include Cops and Robbers, in which one player takes on the role of Sly and the other takes on Carmelita. Cops and Robbers includes the player taking on the role of Sly to accomplish different objectives while the player who controls Carmelita is supposed to stop him before he finishes. The game also features some other mini-games such as a sword duel and battling it out while in fighter planes. While there are a few of these multiplayer games, chances are most players won't spend a whole lot of time playing through, but at least it does give a little bit of replay value after finishing the story.


As far as graphics and sound go, Sly 3 continues on with the whole cell-shaded look and does it just as well as the previous two games. The sound is also done well, with some good voice acting and some well done music that seems to fit the game very well. Overall, the presentation is done just as well as both the previous games and shouldn't disappoint fans of the series.


While Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is a great game, it still features a few things that could have been done better, such as the multiplayer or the 3-D, which probably should have just of been left out. However, the game still features much of the same humor, platforming, missions, and combat that have made the series so great. Fans of the Sly Cooper series will easily find that Sly 3 has a whole lot to offer, but for newcomers, I'd recommend playing Sly 2: Band of Thieves first.


Final Grade: 85%




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