Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves Review

Sly Cooper and gang return to action in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. If you’ve played the first two games in the series, then the gameplay will be pretty familiar to you. This is certainly not a bad thing as Sly 3’s predecessors were excellent games. However, the addition of a few new playable characters and some 3D sequences has not really changed the game much from last year’s Sly 2.

As Sly 3 opens, Sly is trying to break into the family vault whose existence he only recently learned about. The vault is in the hands of the evil Dr. M who has built an entire fortress around the vault complete with a lab dedicated to finding a way into it. Things start to go south for our hero and we flash back to the beginning of the events leading up to the fiasco, and this is where the gameplay really begins. The Sly gang is missing its muscle in the form of pink hippo Murray, who blames himself for an accident that left the gang’s brains and resident explosives expert Bentley in a wheelchair. It is up to you to bring Murray back into the fold, recruit some additional help, and successfully break into your family’s vault to recover the treasures inside.

The Sly Cooper games have always been known for their cartoon-like, cel-shaded graphics, and Sly 3 continues this legacy. The game makes you feel like you’re part of a living cartoon – and not one of your cheesy, garden-variety Saturday morning cartoons either. The colorful, dynamic worlds and well-animated characters would be more at home in a top-tier theatrical release than a boob-tube show on a tight budget. The cutscenes are even more stylized, evoking a comic book look and feel that is so well done that you’ll look forward to each cutscene with anticipation instead of desperately searching for the skip button.

Sly gets a bird's eye view of Venice.
The gameplay is best described as stealth platforming. As a thief it is best for you to stay in the shadows and out of sight, hence the stealth aspect of the game. However, there is still a heavy emphasis on jumps, grinds, and all of the other staples of a platform game. The difference in Sly 3 is that you are not constantly punished for misaligned jumps or misplaced steps. Anything that you can climb up, on, or over, slide across, jump on, etc., etc. is signified with a little aura of sparkling blue light. Furthermore, when you try to jump, grind, or what have you, a quick press of a button ensures that you will nail the jump, stick to the rail, or cling to the what have yous. This is a godsend for those who hate being punished for minor errors in judgment and timing and just want to get on with enjoying the game. On the flipside, this mechanism makes the game a lot easier – perhaps a tad too easy at times. This is great for the youngest gamers but Sly 3 has an all ages appeal and so should ratchet the challenge up just a notch or two.