Sony's pick-pocketing raccoon is on the move.
Longtime PlayStation supporters and fans of great adventure games in general will find a lot to like about Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time for the Vita. Developed by Sanzaru Games in place of series creator Sucker Punch, this entertaining 3D romp pays homage to the celebrated PS2 franchise with similar mechanics and the familiar cast of heroes, while continuing the plot from the critically acclaimed Honor Among Thieves. All told, the positives outweigh the title's issues, including lengthy load times, weird mini games and some touchscreen/motion-controlled gimmickry.
Story-wise, a "reformed" Sly Cooper teams up with pals Bently, Murray and love interest Carmelita Fox to figure out why pages from the Thievius Raccoonus have changed. As the title clearly implies, this involves time traveling to different eras. An overused twist, but one of the game's coolest selling points because it takes players to a variety of different locations, from Medieval England to the Wild West, Feudal Japan and Ancient Arabia; detailed hub worlds rich with collectible goodies.
This change of scenery presents a welcome layer of variety, but also diversity to the gameplay. Sly runs into an ancestor in each locale, and from this meeting, players gain access to new playable characters and abilities; they'll even control Bently and Murray.
Gameplay, meanwhile, is a solid mix of stealth-based missions, exploration and beat-em-up segments with bosses to conquer. There's little to advance the genre (everything comes down to pattern memorization), but we doubt longtime Sly fanatics will mind.
Of course, having one foot in the PS2 era has its drawbacks, namely the aforementioned loading and camera troubles. For the most part, though, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a welcome throwback.
Review code provided by Sony.
What's Hot:Quality Sly Cooper experience, Cross Buy functionality if you purchase the PS3 version, multiple time periods to explore, plenty of collectibles.
What's Not:Load times galore, camera troubles, unnecessary motion/touch controls.