In September 2004 Sucker Punch and Sony Interactive Entertainment released a sequel to Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, called Sly 2: Band of Thieves – a single-player stealth-action platforming video game. The game is set two years after the events of the previous game, and it also received a sequel in 2005 called Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. The game is addicting, and you will make the time pass as you immerse yourself in the story and amusing missions.
The story of Sly 2, which is the highlight and most interesting part of the game, centers around the Cooper Gangs’ mission to defeat the Klaww Gang (an evil international organization). Upon discovering the fact that Sly’s archenemy Clockwerk’s parts are being used to help with various criminal activities, like money laundering and spice production, it is up to the Cooper Gang to get all the parts and destroy them once and for all.
The adventure takes the gang through eight different episodes that are based around the world with entirely different environments and a new enemy to deal with. The levels are filled with several missions that culminate in a grand heist to steal a Clockwerk part and beat a member of the Klaww Gang in a boss fight. Sly 2 provides the player with cutscenes that are scattered throughout the whole story and before any mission, it is usually Bentley who gives the player instructions on how to proceed. These cartoonish cutscenes and conversations between the characters bring a humorous side to the game and will without a doubt make you smile.
The Cooper Gang consists of three playable characters; Sly the raccoon, Bentley the turtle, and Murray the hippo, who all have different abilities, and each of them is needed to complete the heist preparations and finally the grand heist. Sly is the leader of the Cooper Gang and a master thief; He is the stealthy guy who sneaks behind enemies and scampers along the roofs. Bentley is the brains and the gadget expert who comes up with the heist plans and, Murray is the brawn of the gang. He helps the team on the field by using mass muscle thus his missions are set on breaking stuff and beating enemies up. The controls of the game are simple and easy to learn, and I enjoyed playing as Sly the most because he is the most agile of the three. He is very easy to control in any situation, whether it is when entering combat, climbing, or sneaking around. He is witty and his remarks add to the fun. All the characters – protagonists, supporting characters, and antagonists – that appear in the story are well-written and fit in the environment they are presented in.
Within each episode is a safe house (a hideout), where the player can switch from one character to another depending on who has a mission available. The possibility to play as three different kinds of characters with different abilities gives the game and its missions variation. However, as the game progresses repetition can be seen, as the characters have some missions that stay similar throughout every level. For example, Sly usually goes to reconnoiter and takes pictures of the area or tails and pickpockets’ enemies for keys but this did not bother me that much. The player can also decide to free roam around each level before or after starting a new mission and with in-game currency – which can be collected in various ways while free roaming or during missions – the player can buy power-ups for the character that help in combat or escaping enemies.
There is not much to complain about in my opinion, however, the game being 18 years old, the player must remember sometimes the controls can be a bit slow to respond. For example, when pressing the circle button to perform the “spiral jump” as Sly, the game might not register it, and you might fall into a river below you and end up losing a small amount of your health. All things considered, Sly 2 is good fun, filled with humor and unexpected plot twists. The gameplay, cartoonish graphics, story, characters, and music all come together to form an experience anyone would enjoy.
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions (remastered version Sanzaru Games)
Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita (PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 through PlayStation Plus Cloud Gaming)
Release Date: September 14, 2004
Genres: Platform, stealth
Photos. Screenshots from Sly 2: Band of Thieves (Sucker Punch Productions, 2004), taken by the author
Sucker Punch. (23.9.2022). The Sly Collection. https://www.suckerpunch.com/category/games/sly/
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