0
Your rating: None

Paris, France. Midnight. An unseen figure sticks to the shadows along the streets. All is quiet in the city of lights save for the occasional meow of a stray cat. It is heard, but not seen - just like the lone figure skulking through the darkness. The mysterious figure darts from corner to corner, cover to cover. It evades capture and the watchful eye of roving guards armed with flashlights and with the intent to attack on sight. The lithe figure leaps into the air, disappearing from the sight of an all too curious guard; it flips deftly in mid-air and lands behind the patrolling guard without a sound. The rest happens almost too quickly to follow; within seconds the flashlight wielding guard is pick pocketed and knocked out with two quick blows. The streets of Paris are quiet once again. Who was that mysterious figure cloaked in darkness? It was you. You, my friend, are Sly Cooper, master thief.

Sly 2: Band of Thieves puts the player not only in the shoes of the previously mentioned Sly Cooper, but also his comrade

Sly 2 Band of Thieves

 

Sly 2 Band of Thieves

ESRB: Everyone - E
Platform: PlayStation 2
Category: n/a
 
Share/Bookmark
9
9
8.5
9
8.75
 
Author:
Paris, France. Midnight. An unseen figure sticks to the shadows along the streets. All is quiet in the city of lights save for the occasional meow of a stray cat. It is heard, but not seen - just like the lone figure skulking through the darkness. The mysterious figure darts from corner to corner, cover to cover. It evades capture and the watchful eye of roving guards armed with flashlights and with the intent to attack on sight. The lithe figure leaps into the air, disappearing from the sight of an all too curious guard; it flips deftly in mid-air and lands behind the patrolling guard without a sound. The rest happens almost too quickly to follow; within seconds the flashlight wielding guard is pick pocketed and knocked out with two quick blows. The streets of Paris are quiet once again. Who was that mysterious figure cloaked in darkness? It was you. You, my friend, are Sly Cooper, master thief. Sly 2: Band of Thieves puts the player not only in the shoes of the previously mentioned Sly Cooper, but also his comrade’s Bentley and Murray as they travel around the world stealing from the crooked and giving to themselves. For those new to the series Sly 2 and its predecessor (Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racconus) are both platformers with an emphasis on stealth and pulling off jobs that only a master thief like Sly Cooper can handle. It's been two years since the first game; two years since Sly Cooper and his pals recovered a book handed down for generations in Sly's family; a book known as the Thievius Raccoonus. It is a journal describing the thieving exploits of the Cooper family, and anyone who reads it can become a great thief. The tome had been stolen by a group known only as "The Fiendish Five”. After trouncing four of the members of the crime ring Sly came face to face with their leader; Clockwerk. A demented and twisted creature who disposed of his body and replaced it with cold, hard steel so he could hunt the Cooper family for generations. As the story usually goes, good triumphs over evil, even if good has committed a few major felonies along the way. Trouble with that is that evil is never one to stay defeated for long. What was left of the villain Clockwerk has been stolen and it's up to Sly Cooper and the gang to steal all of those parts back before someone rebuilds him and the nightmare starts all over again. Sly 2 retains its cel-shaded appearance from the previous game. Everything here looks great and each stage comes to life with its own personality. The streets of Paris at night are done in deep blues and light purples; until you manage to slip past the security outside of the local nightclub where, even when things are closed, it's rather lively. The jungle stages are lush, filled with bright greens, towering trees and plenty of places to climb, jump or slide. Each of the worlds is surprisingly large and what's even better is that you'll never encounter a graphical hiccup, and you'll more than likely be able to see anywhere in the stage if you can get yourself up high enough. There's no annoying fog or pop-up to be found. To put it quite simply; Sly 2 is a pretty game. Very pretty. It's made great use of cel-shading and despite the cartoonish characters (Murray, the purple anthropomorphic hippo comes to mind) the game keeps from being both too serious and too cartoony at the same time. The music in each stage is also quite well done, and it remains subdued as you slink about city streets or steamy jungles. When you're discovered or you enter combat, however, things pick up and the music becomes more pronounced. As you dispatch your foes or run and hide until the coast clears the tunes will gradually fade into the background again. Voice acting is also done quite well, with each character's voice matching their personality perfectly. The burly hippo Murray speaks loudly, boisterously, and, more often than not, in the third person ("The Murray never backs down from action!"). Cooper's other companion, the brainiac Bentley speaks with a nasal voice and is quite nervous on his first time in the field. Like the thief that he is, our man Sly Cooper has a cool, calm voice, and speaks in hushed tones. Sly also narrates the before and after mission sequences, animated scenes that resemble a high-quality Flash movie. It's these scenes that transition the game from one gorgeous world to the next and further develops the plot. Roaming in these wonderful game worlds is what makes Sly 2 so much fun. The plot is only one of the many things that will keep a person playing the game but it's nothing next to the core gameplay. Unlike the first game Sly 2 does not restrict the player to tiny hubs where a number of keys must be found to progress. Here you are free to explore at your leisure until you're ready to tackle another job, no fancy keys necessary. Be careful though, as guards patrol the streets and even some of the rooftops and in Sly 2 they're out for blood. Band of Thieves puts more of an emphasis on stealth than its predecessor, as facing down multiple foes is most assuredly a death sentence; especially when it comes to the heavier, flashlight-wielding guards, whom can attack from a distance. Smaller foes will either confront you or call for backup, depending on the situation and type of an enemy. Thankfully Sly has been given a stealth attack that he can use when a guard is unaware of his presence, knocking out the baddie in mere moments without alerting his comrades. You're also able to pickpocket unsuspecting guards, stealing a generous amount of coinage or even loot that you can sell back at the safe house. In a move of sheer brilliance, Sucker Punch has also disposed of the tedious bottle collecting from the first game that required you to snatch up anywhere from thirty to seventy bottles in order to get a single thief move. This time around Sly begins with a generous dose of acrobatic and super-sneaky thief movies and the majority of the other moves can simply be bought from Thief Net, a website that's like a black-market e-bay, a place where you'll spend all your hard-earned coinage. There are still bottles to collect, but these are optional and certainly not a crucial element of the gameplay like in Sly's first outing. There are also no more lives, and no more one-hit deaths. Now you have a health meter, and if you do manage to fail a job or die trying one you'll simply redstart at the last checkpoint. You also have the option of quitting a job entirely if you so desire. As you play through Sly 2 your goals in each world will centre around one task and it will take several jobs to prepare for the big heist. Each of the three characters has a speciality and they all have to use their strengths in concert in order to accomplish each world's goal. For instance, in the opening stage Bentley has to do a little demolitions work, Murray must silence some alarms with brute strength and Sly has to place a bug and do some breaking and entering. Despite having three separate characters and even more mini-games Sly 2 controls like a dream. It's easy to slip quietly around guards and jump from rooftop to rooftop as Sly, and just as satisfying to pummel a horde of angry guards as Murray. The three amigos all share a similar control scheme so nothing ever gets too confusing, and the controls for the mini-games (Bentley's RC Chopper and his hacking interface, for instance) are also intuitive and easy to pick up on. What more is there to say? Sequels do not have to suck. No, Sly 2 improves on its predecessor in every way possible. It is the best platformer you'll play all year, guaranteed. The pacing is wonderful, controls are intuitive and responsive, the gameplay is addictive, the worlds are beautiful and the plot will keep you coming back for more. If all that isn't enough Sly 2 is only $39.99, so it won't empty your wallet. If you enjoyed Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus or are just a fan of platformers in general Sly 2: Band of Thieves will not disappoint.





 
 

Post this review on your own site!

Just agree to our Terms of Use and cut-paste your brains out.

Recommended for you...