Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves: Review

Sly Cooper 2 was a huge change in the direction of the franchise.

Sly Cooper 2 was a huge change in the direction of the franchise.

Continuing on my quest to beat the Sly Cooper HD Collection, I turned my attention to Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves recently, and wow, I  was not expecting what I played. Sly 2 was released only a year after Sly 1, but in 2004 they changed a whole lot of things. Some franchises like Mega Man, Contra, and Street Fighter, you know what you are going to get. There isn’t going to be any ground breaking new features in the game, but with some franchises like Resistance, and now Sly Cooper, the sequels change the entire direction of the franchise. So what was so different from the first to the second Sly Cooper? Well, where to begin? Let’s start with the trailer.

Sly Cooper 1, was a basic beat this level by killing all the enemies and reaching the end of the level. Sly Cooper 2, was so much more. It felt like a mission with each job. You had to scout your enemies and locations by taking photographs and sending them back to Bentley. You did seven to ten odd jobs to secure your perfect plan and then you executed the plan in order to get the reward. Also, length was a huge part of this game. Sly Cooper 1 I beat in two days. Sly Cooper 2, took me almost three weeks to beat. The developers also added two more playable characters with Bentley and Murray. You may remember them from the first game as Bentley is the little turtle that is the brains, and Murray the dumb hippo that is the muscle. Each character, including Sly, brings a different set of skills to the mission and all three are needed to complete the level. It was fun learning how to play as each character, because each one is different with their interactions with the world. Sly, is the most balanced, he can attack, he can sneak, he can run. Murray, you don’t have to sneak around because he can beat up any guard, and with Bentley you have to choose your steps carefully often putting enemies to sleep with his dart gun to get passed them. Each one of them have big personalities, so it was fun to see them go back and forth with their ideas.

Murray plays the typical role of strong but dumb, Sly is of course the main character and Bentley is the little nerd.

Murray plays the typical role of strong but dumb, Sly is of course the main character and Bentley is the little nerd.

After taking down Clockwerk in the first game, the gang is it at again trying the defeat gang leaders of the world that have stolen Clockwerk’s parts and used them for their own benefit. Together the gang leaders call themselves the Klaww gang. I’m not entirely sure they are trying to put him back together, but I know with the final gang leader, that was his intent. I found that story line a little bit boring, as I just defeated clockwerk in the previous game, I didn’t want to face him again. Luckily (spoiler) you don’t. Another thing lost from the previous game was the need to collect the clues. I really enjoyed searching high and low for every bottle, but in the second game with SO MUCH more to do, I lost interest in the need to collect clues and crack the vault. It just seemed secondary to the main mission.

The leaders of the Klaww gang were unique for the most part.

Your typical slimy coke dealing club owner. Dimitri is a chameleon who has seen better days.

Your typical slimy coke dealing club owner. Dimitri is a chameleon who has seen better days.

Rajan the Tiger isn't great like Tony Tiger, but he sells illegal spices that act like Bath Salts. What fun.

Rajan the Tiger isn’t great like Tony Tiger, but he sells illegal spices that act like Bath Salts. What fun.

Jean-Bison had the coolest story as he is from the 1800s and was frozen in a glacier. He awakens and continues to kill the environment as he is stuck in his old ways.

Jean-Bison had the coolest story as he is from the 1800s and was frozen in a glacier. He awakens and continues to kill the environment as he is stuck in his old ways.

Not sure why there isn't a good picture of Contessa on the internet, but Contessa is a double agent, pretending to be a good guy but does experiments on mental patients of hers, kind of like Nazis did to Jews in WWII.

Not sure why there isn’t a good picture of Contessa on the internet, but Contessa is a double agent, pretending to be a good guy but does experiments on mental patients of hers, kind of like Nazis did to Jews in WWII.

This pussy parrot is all talk as you don't even get to fight him. He is the leader in putting Clockwerk back together but falls victim to an even more evil gangster.

This pussy parrot is all talk as you don’t even get to fight him. He is the leader in putting Clockwerk back together but falls victim to an even more evil gangster.

Neyla is a rogue partner the entire game and you just know she has plans for herself. She ends up joining her soul with Clockwerk's parts.

Neyla is a rogue partner the entire game and you just know she has plans for herself. She ends up joining her soul with Clockwerk’s parts.

So most of the game, is based on you traveling to a different location around the world, plotting out the best heist to steal a clockwerk part from one of the Klaww leaders. Near the end of the game, the rogue character Neyla reveals she wants to mesh her soul with Clockwerk’s parts to live forever. She achieves the joining part and becomes Clock-La. Most of the bosses, including the last one are easy to beat, with the build up to the bosses being the more difficult missions. It just took a lot of time to complete the plan for each boss, so that annoyed me a little bit. Officer Carmelita returns to “foil” the Cooper’s gang plans but like the last game she is late to the party and ends up arresting the gang leaders after you defeat them. One of the cooler missions involved Sly stealing a costume and mask for a costume party, to scope out the building he would be stealing from. Sly must dance with Neyla and like the last game it’s a button memorization game in order to beat the level. It was cool to throw those little games in Sly 2 because it got tiring doing some of the same jobs over and over. Another little upgrade was the thiefnet that Bentley helped run. After collecting coins, Bentley could buy gadgets to help the gang out. For example, you needed a paraglider in one mission and a alarm clock in another.

Sly Cooper 2 was much more challenging than Sly Cooper 1, much longer, and many more mechanics to the game. It also showed a little bit more of a dramatic side. In the end, after defeating Clock-La, Bentley is crippled by the falling parts leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. This is a permanent, story line done to Bentley’s character and it affects Murray’s conscience directly. The injury, just made the game seem a little bit more real, and that just because they are cartoonish characters, they have feelings, and can be injured or even killed too.

Sly 2 was a big change from Sly 1. I wasn’t expecting it, it was still a very good game. Final score 8.9/10.

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