Sly 2: Band of Thieves HD via the Sly Collection is a direct sequel to Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. Sly 2: Band of Thieves can be purchased as one download off PSN or bought on Blu-ray as The Sly Collection. It can also be bought individually on PSN as well. Which brings me to the 1 hour demo of Sly 2 i played. PSN+ members often times get to try out full games for 1 hour before purchasing (or not). Sly 2: Band of Thieves HD was developed by Sanzaru Games and published by SCEA. It released November 9, 2010 exclusively for the Playstation 3.
Much like Infamous (another Sucker Punch game) Sly 2 doesn’t really have a starting menu screen. However after the game started i paused and looked at the controls: LS-move, Select-equipt power-up, RS-move cam/R3-binocucom, Square-swing cane/smash/power-up whack/juggle slam, X-jump/double jump, O-climb/land/pick pocket/sneak, Triangle-juggle/dive spin, R1-run. As far as the controls go they are fine except having to push Circle everytime you want to climb or land on something. The level design fit the controls well.
Sly 2: Band of Thieves HD starts out similar to its predescesor. You’re about to enter and rob a museum for an artifact. Except this time Bentley “The Brains” and Murray “The Brawn” actually help Sly in-game co-up style. Bentley opens up encrypted doors and Murray uses his brawn to fight along side Sly. The story of Sly 2 is similar to the first game. There is a immortal badguy associated with the Klaw Gang named Clockwerk. Clockwerk wants to kill all Coopers which obviously means trouble for Sly since the guy is over 100 years old.
Getting back to the tutorial level in Sly 2: Band of Thieves its similar to the first game’s tutorial. You break in a museum trying to locate Clockwerk Tailfeathers without alerting guards walking around. As you are about to escape you get busted by Inspector Carmalita Fox. Next, a on-rail sequence engages with Sly, Murray and Bentley running while Fox is shooting at them. They eventually make a clean get away. Now your at the hideout where you can buy items via Thiefnet such as Trigger Bombs, Fists of Flames and Smoke Bombs. You can buy items and sell them that you collected when doing jobs. You get most of your money from hitting objects and making gold coins pop out.
The first mission is called The Black Chateu. Your in Paris and this is where the first boss you target of the Klaw Gang Dimitri the lizard resides. You learn about Dimitri’s failed art dream and his rise at becoming a thief. He also owns a nightclub in Paris that you must infiltrate and take photos of which includes a generator, a printer and Dimitri himself. What i enjoyed most about Sly 2: Band of Thieves compared to the first game is the flexibility and diversity in missions. Instead of the super linear style the first game had you can now choose missions. You get assigned a few different jobs for instance. The Black Chateu starts off with me having to uplink satellites around Paris rooftops while not getting caught by guards.
Another job had me infiltrating Dimitri’s office and setting a bug. You can check out where missions are by looking at waypoints with L3. Since i only had an hour i was able to complete a few jobs and all of them were different for the most part. You can also crawl under tables and into vents for stealth purposes during jobs. There are still the same collectibles like bottles with clues in them. Another gameplay element i love about Sly 2 over the first is the health system. The first game was one hit one kill which was archaic for a 3D platformer game. Sly 2 has a actual health meter which you can refill with health items that drop from time to time when hitting objects and defeating badguys.
The presentation is layed out better in design and gameplay over the first game which shows me Sucker Punch (a long time ago) can learn and improve as developers. The visuals ran super smooth at 60 frames per second however the game doesn’t look any better than the first. The sound design along with Sly 2′s music was top notch. The writing and voice actors created a world within itself which led to a fun pleasant atmosphere. But more so than anything i was impressed with the overall game design as compared to the first.
I know i am late to the party regarding Sly 2: Band of Thieves HD. Better late than never i always say. I only had one hour but i must say Sly 2 is better in almost every category compared to the first game. Thanks for reading.