"Sly 2: Band of Thieves-Platinum" Review - LevelSkip - Video Games
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"Sly 2: Band of Thieves-Platinum" Review

Philip has only been a self-proclaimed trophy-hunter for around 6 months but that won't stop him from reviewing every game he's platinumed.

"Sly 2" game cover.

"Sly 2" game cover.

The first game I ever platinumed was Sly 2: Band of Thieves on January 28th, 2018. I know I’m a little late but I just bought a PS3 at the end of 2016 and didn’t become a serious “trophy hunter” until a year later.

This platformer/heist game was released by Sucker Punch Productions in 2004 and its variety of gameplay and intricate story is why it’s considered to be one of the greatest PS2 games of all time. In 2010, the developers of the 4th Sly game, Sanzaru Games, released an HD remastered version of the original Sly trilogy for PS3 and later for the Vita.

Storyline Background (Minor Spoilers)

The background of this story is a typical comic book origin story. Sly Cooper is a member of a long lineage of master thieves that only steal from other thieves. When he was a child, he witnessed a villainous group called the Fiendish Five murder his parents and take off with pages from the Thievious Raccoonus, a book of all the abilities and locations important to the Cooper family. He was then sent to an orphanage where he met his two best friends and future members of the Cooper Gang, Bentley the turtle and Murray the hippo. Together, they use their skills to steal back the pages of the Thievious Raccoonus and put a stop to the Fiendish Five. However, the leader of the criminal quintet is Clockwerk, a seemingly ageless owl that has appeared in the background of photos of all of Sly’s ancestors, just staring at them. It turns out he used to be just a normal owl until he turned his body into a machine fueled by his hate and jealousy for the Cooper Clan. At the end of Sly 1, we see all of Clockwerk’s dismembered body parts sinking into burning lava.

Two years after this incident, Clockwerk’s body parts were refurbished and put into a museum. However, they were stolen by another villainous group known as the Klaww Gang, who are using them for their own criminal schemes. Sly and the Cooper Gang spend the duration of the game attempting to steal back all the parts one by one from each of the Klaww Gang members.

My Past Experiences

It’s hard for me to believe that I bought the original of this game on a whim at my local videogame store 10 years ago, having no idea what it even was. However, I’m glad I did. The second I brought this game home, I was hooked. I instantly fell in love with the simple yet varied gameplay that anybody could understand.

I love how the game lets you play as three different characters at your will, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Bentley is the brains who, although he isn’t very strong or agile, can hack into any system and unlock any door. He also has a bow and arrow fashioned with fast-acting sleep darts that can instantly knock out guards, and bombs that blow up seconds after you drop them. The second character Murray (I’m sorry. The Murrraaay) is a hippo, who like Bentley, isn’t agile, but instead of the brains, he is the brawn. He can defeat any enemy with two swift punches to the face. He is basically the character you use when you want to clean house. However, despite these characters’ strengths, you’ll almost certainly spend most of your time as the main character Sly. It is his game after all. Sly is a raccoon who has almost superhero-like agility that he uses to climb up lampposts and balance on tiny pointed objects. He applies these abilities to access places the other team members can’t. He also uses his trusty cane to pickpocket keys to unlock doors and treasures that you can later trade for coins that can be used for new abilities.

The game walks you through each mission in a way that kids can understand without them being talked down upon. Many games, even ones made for kids, have complicated controls that make gameplay hard to figure out, but not Sly 2. Sly 2 thrives on having easy to understand controls that kids can pick up with no problem at all.

Gameplay

Sly 2 is separated into 8 different hub worlds that each consists of 10–15 missions that are easily identifiable by holographic markers. Each mission is used to set up a big heist that the gang completes at the end of each hub world. The object of the game is to complete each mission as they come up. There are usually three or so missions available at a time with each a different color depending on who is needed to complete it (Sly-blue, Bentley-green, and Murray-Purple). When all missions are completed in a section of the hub world, we are greeted by a lovely PowerPoint presentation voiceovered by our resident nerd, Bentley going over the next part of the heist. This can honestly get kind of annoying, mostly because you can’t skip them. It was cool the first time, however, once you’ve been playing the game for two hours and you’re on your fifth Bentley ppt presentation, you start going a little insane.

Like I mentioned earlier, each hub world is concluded with a big heist. These are almost always the longest missions and it consists of gameplay from all three characters using their respective strengths to steal back the Clockwerk parts.

Trophies

The trophies were surprisingly easy. I did all except one of them during the main story and did the final one soon after. The most annoying part of the game for me as a kid was always collecting all the clue bottles in each hub world. However, you don’t need to do that to platinum the game. All you need is 30 bottles for the “Soda Popped” trophy, which are super easy to obtain while playing through the game normally.

Overall Review

Overall, this game is amazing and super entertaining even after what is probably my tenth playthrough. It’s one of the only games for kids that I’ve encountered that immerses you the way Sly 2 does. Other kids’ games I could think of like Spyro and Jak and Daxter feel like games to me. Don’t get me wrong, they are fantastic and some of my favorites. However, I was never immersed in them the way that Sly does. From the crazy music when you are spotted by guards to the iconic sound effects, I felt like a thief. I had to keep reminding myself to do the missions because it feels so good to just snoop around, pick the guards pockets, and stealth attack them in the hub worlds. The dialogue is also very silly but engaging at the same time.

Due to the simplicity of the trophies and the massive enjoyment I believe people of all ages will get from it, I give this game a Platinum It ranking.

© 2018 Philip Myers