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The Sly Collection review

AT A GLANCE
  • Unbeatable value - 3 games for $40!
  • Heists are great fun
  • Compelling characters and world
  • Platformer overdose
  • Couple of low-res movies
  • Unneeded Move minigames

While most of the world spent last week freaking out about Black Ops, Sony quietly dropped one of the year’s best deals in our laps and failed to tell a single soul. The Sly Collection, an HD upgrade of three amazing PS2 platformers, was released with practically zero fanfare yet all three titles remain some of the strongest run-and-jumpers of the past decade. For $40 you get Sly Cooper, Band of Thieves and Honor Among Thieves, each magnificently remastered in 720p, and totaling something like 30 hours of consistently solid gameplay. All for $20 less than a typical new game.


Above: As his name implies, Sly is a master thief all about stealth 

What made the Sly series so fun? Sneaking. Stealing. Dashing across tightropes as security cameras blanket the area. A healthy camaraderie among its ever-growing cast of anthropomorphized animals. While Ratchet was busy blasting things head on and Jak descended into angst overdose, Sly kept his Clooney-like cool while arranging elaborate heists with Bentley (a genius turtle) and Murray (a hulking hippo with a heart of gold), while the disturbingly sexy Carmelita Fox tries to lock ‘em up for good.


Above: The first (only?) trailer for Sly Collection

Once you get past each game’s tutorial-heavy beginning, they gradually unfold in a way that combines the best parts of Prince of Persia (acrobatic leaps from one handhold to the next) and Uncharted (fast action scenes broken up by ledge-climbing and snappy banter), punctuated by unique boss battles that play with typical platformer conventions. We’re definitely not saying Sly is on the same action level as Uncharted, but for what is ostensibly an easy kids’ game, Sly sneaks in its fair share of intense set pieces.


Above: Sly 3 introduces (not sneaky) planes, several new playable characters and more 

Even though each game’s structure is essentially the same – complete a series of goals in each themed world – the complexity of the levels grows with each sequel. As a compiled trilogy, they work exceptionally well and change things up enough that you don’t mind when they dip into typical “collect X things to progress” pitfalls. For the most part, missions are constantly throwing you into new situations, like a Robotron/Geometry Wars-style shooter, an offroad race and, as seen above, a World War I-esque flight level. It does sometimes seem scattershot and too broad, but surprisingly none of these minigame missions feel like detestable padding.

As far as the Collection goes, there are some oddities that managed to slip through. For example, if you want to stop playing one Sly and fire up another, you must exit the entire disc, all the way back to the XMB, and re-load the game. Why can’t we just go to the Sly Collection title screen? And while 99% of the game is brilliantly up-ressed to 720p, there are certain movie clips that are in their original (i.e. blurry as hell) PS2 format. What happened there?

On the next page we’ll run through each game on the disc, just in case you’re wondering how each stacks up.

More Info

Release date: Nov 09 2010 - PS3 (US)
Nov 09 2010 - PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS Vita, PS3
Genre: Adventure
Published by: SCEA
Developed by: Sanzaru Games, Sucker Punch
Franchise: Sly Cooper
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Alcohol Reference, Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Use of Tobacco

43 comments

  • secretsearcher - January 28, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    WANT
  • roth426 - January 14, 2011 7:37 p.m.

    I absolutely love this series I herd that it was coming out back in September i was like a a fat kid in a all you can eat cake store I wish i would have been out in September i had money then i guess i just have to wait till spring
  • Chevapravatdumrong - November 25, 2010 4:05 a.m.

    I'm worried that this game will be too easy and childish is that the case?
  • forza - November 21, 2010 4:56 a.m.

    Wondering how the Move works with this game?
  • FanofSaiyan - November 21, 2010 1:44 a.m.

    @Elvick Close but it's actually Sly Cooper & The Thievius Raccoonus. This game could spark many remakes on the PS3...
  • Deutero - November 18, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    nice review. its great to see a site try to get an overshadowed game out into the public when its publisher wont
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  • benjman - November 17, 2010 6:58 p.m.

    if you want a new PS3 to play this on go here: http://ps3.freebiejeebies.co.uk/34716 i got a brand new ps3 160gb with 2 games all for free!
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - November 17, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    @Elvick A sliver of a sliver of PS3's install base looks at that blog. And as its official blog, a post there literally the least they could do. Expected, even. But beyond one post on their official site... nope, better to advertise Move instead. It worries me because if this doesn't perform well, future HD remakes could be shelved.
  • Amatarasu - November 17, 2010 5:47 a.m.

    dammit, every time i say "Meh, who needs a ps3?" THEY PULL ME BACK IN. Captcha: Authority. Bulbasaur
  • Elvick - November 17, 2010 3:42 a.m.

    The second screenshot for Sly 3 isn't Sly 3... it's Sly 2. Also, Sony posted about Sly Collection on the Playstation Blog the day it shipped. So it's not like they haven't said anything about it's release, it's just that no one noticed.
  • FauxFurry - November 17, 2010 12:26 a.m.

    It's on the PS3 yet there are no fur textures on the characters?! Even Starfox Adventures on the Gamecube had that! Boo! Petty whining aside,it's nice that people can play these games again without needing to buy one of the older PS3s with PS2 compatability or dust off their old PS2s to do so,now in HD for a whole new level of sharpness for the character models' jagged pointy bits. Wait,what's that part about disturbingly sexy? Sexy is only disturbing for people of any kind when it comes to murderers and under-aged folks... and jailbait serial killers,I guess.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - November 16, 2010 10:40 p.m.

    I can't recommend this collection enogh. I own all 3 of these games on PS2 and I've played them multiple times and I still bought the collection. I recently bought Rock Band 3 with the keyboard, GOW: Ghost Of Sparta and Black Ops and I've been playing The Sly Collection the most. When I saw the teaser for Sly 4, that was one of the happiest times of my life.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - November 16, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    Great review Brett. Sony might not be advertising this enough but the real Sly fans and trophy whores knew about this and we all bought it. I've been trying my best to tell everyone that this is a must buy. I've gotten a few people to buy it and they all love it. I've been a huge fan of the series ever since the first Sly. I think a Sly GMOTD is in order.
  • NightCrawler_358 - November 16, 2010 9:58 p.m.

    sweet, never got around to playing this. I was more of a Jak and daxter fan, but now with this price, definite buy!
  • ayoyo227 - November 16, 2010 9:17 p.m.

    I still remember spending hours playing these with my friends a few years back. I'm so glad it's coming out again!
  • thefreakysurgeon - November 16, 2010 8:21 p.m.

    cant wait to get this for Christmas!
  • cj12297 - November 16, 2010 5:22 p.m.

    so its as good as black ops?? jk
  • Wolverine08 - November 16, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    oh I gave such lovely velvety memories of Sly, the chance to play them again on PS3 WITH trophies is a must for me. Sly 4 couldn't come out soon enough!
  • FanofSaiyan - November 16, 2010 1:25 p.m.

    Arguably one of the best low-key games of the year (since everybody's waaay to busy playing Black Ops at the moment...).

Showing 1-20 of 43 comments

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