What a way to end the series on the PS2. This game took everything that the first two games offered and put them together to make a fantastic third game in the franchise. Sly Cooper 3 was released only one year after Sly Cooper 2 (2004) but it was leaps and bounds ahead of the second game as far as game play. Sly Cooper 3 was my favorite in the series, but what makes it so much better than the rest? Well, let’s find out.
First off, the story picks up right where the second entry ended. It’s been one year since the events of second game where, Bentley was crippled by the final boss. This is what I actually like, in so many games, especially cartoonish game, the characters die, time and time again or get beat up and nothing ever happens. This time, Bentley’s legs were crippled and instead of him being magically healed, he is now stuck in a wheelchair. But, his mobility hasn’t been taken away, instead it has been improved. Being the genius that Bentley is, he has morphed his wheel chair into a super computer center complete with all the gadgets he needs to move around. That included jet packs to help him jump up to ledges. Meanwhile, Murray, feels guilt about Bentley’s injury, something other video game franchises don’t deal with too often.
Murray is so upset that he wasn’t able to save Bentley and blames himself for what happened even though in reality it really didn’t have anything to do with Murray. But Murray, is almost suffering through post traumatic stress disorder. Because of this, he leaves the group and finds himself in the Australian desert with the help of a new mentor named “The Guru” who is deeply spiritual.
The main plot of Sly Cooper 3, is that a new villain named Dr. M, who had worked with Sly’s father in his gang is trying to crack the Cooper family vault which must hold treasures and other stolen artifacts throughout the history of time. I actually found this refreshing, it was different than just stealing Clockwerk parts each level. Sly Cooper 3 also installs one of the most common themes in video games.
Building a team.
Mostly in RPGs, you assemble a crew or army to take on the evil empire or something like that. In order to crack the vault, and take down Dr. M on his island, Sly recruits different members of gangs to help him. Each member has a specific duty, like electronics, diving, or mind control. Each member was fun to recruit, and the level designs on Sly Cooper 3 continued the trend of being bigger and better than the previous two titles.
If you have played the Spyro series, then you are familiar with how each title got a little bit more versatile with the levels. As I recall there was a skateboard level and a few flying levels. With Sly Cooper 3, the same narrative over the course of the game occurs. Sly will fly airplanes (one level kicked my butt for awhile), as well as a pirate ship that was AWESOME to use. It was very similar to Assassin’s Creed and ships. You would shoot cannons, and take over ships. I thought of it as a very good new element to the game instead of just stealing or sneaking around, I like a little confrontation.
One thing that Sly Cooper 3 incorporates is embracing the past villains, Dimitri and Panda King. Now, Dimitri was just a sleaze bag but Panda King had a role in killing Sly’s family so I found it curious that Sly would work with him, although he was very hesitant at first. If I were Sly, I would want no part in having the asshole who killed my parents work for me. But, I’m not Sly, so Panda King, and Dimitri join the crew along with The Guru and Bentley’s crush who is also a nerd Penelope.
In the past titles of Sly Cooper, one would only play as Sly, Bentley and Murray. But, in Sly Cooper 3, the game allows you to play as other characters depending on the situation and what is needed to get past the level. I liked this a lot, as not only it developed an emotional attachment to the characters, but it allowed you to really feel like you were playing with a team. Panda King shot fire works throughout the game, the Guru controlled the minds of thugs, Dimitri went diving into the ocean and shot sharks, Penelope flew her RC toys around and of course Bentley and Murray were playable too along with Carmelita (Sly’s love interest and detective that tracks him down). It really changed the pace of the game up, kept it refreshing.
As for Dr. M, once you recruit everyone and reach the island, it’s not too difficult to break into the vault. It was actually cool seeing what was inside of it, with the help of Bentley who for a second is jealous of all the attention the Sly is getting, and Murray, the trio enter the first level of the vault. Sly enters alone into a booby trapped filled path which was cool to see the history of his family and each of their treasures. In the end, he finds Dr. M at the end of the vault, and after a boss battle that wasn’t too difficult, the vault collapses. Dr. M, driven crazy by his years of trying to break into the vault stays inside it as crumbles. Thinking back, I would of been way more pissed then Sly was, all your family history now at the bottom of the ocean? Sly was just “oh hum bug” about it. Each character finds a happy ending, especially Sly with Carmelita (get it, a happy ending) haha.
Overall, Sly Cooper 3 built on what one and two did, and made it even better by creating new playable characters, new worlds, and new playing mechanics. I loved the pirate ship! This game was great, the best in the series. I give it a 9.5/10.