The Sly Trilogy PS3 Review

Publisher – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe – Developer – Sanzaru Games – Genre –  Platformer/Action/Stealth – Players – 1-2 – Age Rating – 7+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

With The God of War Collection, The Prince of Persia Trilogy and The Sly Trilogy, HD makeovers of older games are currently one of the popular things with publishers and developers. This is no bad thing: it gives those who never got the chance to play the original versions the opportunity to see what they missed the first time around, whilst existing fans get a somewhat visually modernized version.

As the name suggests, The Sly Trilogy brings together the entire series (so far) of Sly and brings them into the HD era, whilst Sly 3 has more advanced support for 3D (which I was unable to test) and there are even separate Move mini games included too. The lovely cartoon art style that the series is well known for not only looks better than ever in HD, but also, thanks largely to the visual style, it doesn’t look out of place on a current generation machine either. It feels as if a great deal of love and effort was put into the collection by developer Sanzaru Games and I’m sure original developer Sucker Punch will be pleased with the way their games have been treat.

Stealing from enemies and then selling the acquired items is the fastest way to make money for upgrades in the second and third games.

The Sly series is a platformer, stealth and action hybrid. It stars Sly, a raccoon and a member of the Cooper family, the latest in a long line of master thieves. He’s a likeable little guy, as are the other cast of characters, which consists of Bentley, a bespectacled and intellectually gifted turtle, and Murray, a dim, huge pink hippo, who is handy with his hands. The voice acting is also universally excellent and really complements the characters and the series’ lovable sense of humour.

The original game Sly Racoon is the most different of the three games, featuring many of the basic elements that would be consistent throughout the series, though structurally it’s different. For the most part, it’s a fairly standard platformer where you jump through the stages, whilst using Sly’s cane to connect to hooks to swing across large gaps, though its responsiveness, personality and wonderfully designed levels means it’s amongst the best that the genre has to offer. Alongside all the leaping about, Sucker Punch incorporated some light stealth elements that have you dodging search lights, laser beams and such.

Almost every level has a safe, of which can only be opened by seeking out all the clues hidden around each area. Finding them all is worth the additional time and effort, as each safe houses an ability for Sly, some of which are a godsend for the trickier sections of the game.

Sly 2: Band of Thieves is in some ways a major overhaul. There’s a further emphasis on stealth and whilst you’ll be doing plenty of the bouncing around prevalent in the original game, Sly 2 is objective based so here there’s other tasks, ranging from stealing keys from the pockets of guards to hang-gliding through the air, amongst other things. In regards to variety it’s much more generous than the original game, though it’s difficult to say if this results in a better game, particularly if you have a penchant for platforming above anything else.

From a gameplay standpoint, Sly’s friends play a more prominent role in Sly 2: Band of Thieves and they both offer contrasting play styles to Sly’s agility: Bentley has darts to send his enemies to sleep, as well as bombs to see them off for good and to blow up mission objectives, Murray on the other hand is the most resilient member of the team as well as the physically strongest.

The three games are set all over the world, granting plenty of variety to the backdrops.

Unsurprisingly, Sly 3: Honour Among Thieves doesn’t bring changes to the magnitude of the second game, but there’s enough variety and ingenuity in the new missions, as well as some new playable characters so as to not make it feel like a lazy sequel. There are also challenges, of which are entirely optional, but enjoyable and necessary if you want to 100% the game.

Exclusive to this collection are some separate Move compatible mini games. They’re fun and the controls work well, but they don’t have the depth to have much long term appeal and simply feel as if they were included in a bid to bring something new to the collection. It hardly shows off the potential of Move either and if the device could sweat, I’m pretty sure that there wouldn’t be a drop of it to be seen after performing such simple tasks.

The three games contained within The Sly Trilogy are all wonderful games, bursting with personality. To put together this delightful and generous package, developer Sanzaru Games have fittingly treated them with the respect and meticulous handling that such classics deserve.