Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves review

The globe-trotting Cooper Gang expands its roster and horizons as it tackles its biggest caper ever

Pros

  • Some of the best platform action on PS2
  • Constant diversions keep things fresh
  • Jazzy charm and witty dialogue

Cons

  • The new characters are too limited
  • Some minigames are long and tedious
  • 3D mode is just a gimmick

Few phrases create a more elegant image than "master thief," and few heroes are as elegant as Sly Cooper. Over the years, the raccoon cat burglar has used stealth, team strategy and ninja-like skills to pull off his capers, and in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, he's got more resources than ever to snatch treasures from canine mafiosi, dingo miners, and other cartoon lowlifes.

Ramping up the charm and the underhanded tricks, Sly 3 takes Sly and his accomplices on a globe-trotting, platform-hopping adventure. The action is Metal Gear-meets-Mario, with players sneaking past guards (or stealing from them, or knocking them out from behind, or just smacking them around), squeezing into hiding places and leaping onto rooftops, all while laying the groundwork for Sly's massive capers. Like Sly 2, the game is divided into hours-long, free-roaming "episodes" packed with missions that set up the episode-ending heists. Each mission requires the skills of a certain character; Sly's sneaking, jumping and climbing abilities are the mainstay, but sometimes you'll need to use Murray the big pink hippo -who's good at throwing things and hitting people -or Bentley, the wheelchair-bound turtle genius who excels at demolitions and computer hacking.

This time around, though, they're not your only options. Sly 3 is the story of the Cooper Gang's biggest job yet, infiltrating the lair of an evil genius who's set up shop around Sly's gigantic ancestral vault. A caper that big takes a big group of specialists, so in a nod to Ocean's 11, Sly 3 has players seeking out and recruiting a psychic guru who controls enemies with his mind, a heavy-weapons expertwith a vendetta againstSly, a scuba diver whofights sharks and recovers treasure in first-person sequences, and a mechanic with a fleet of remote-control vehicles. At certain points, you'll even get into gunfights as Sly's love interest/nemesis, Inspector Carmelita Fox. None of these newcomers are as versatile as the three main heroes, but riding around on hypnotized enemies or blowing up Chinese vampires with fireworks does make for nice changes of pace.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionSeemingly engineered for short attention spans, Sly 3 is overall a lot of fun and keeps a snappy pace from start to finish.
PlatformPS2
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor rating7+
Release date26 September 2005 (US), 11 November 2005 (UK)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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