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Sly Cooper

Hands-on With Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

Sly Cooper

Sid Shuman's Avatar Posted by on Mar 01, 2012 // Director, SIEA Social Media

Earlier this week, Rey and I visited Foster City-based Sanzaru Games, the developers of this fall’s Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. As the first original PS3 entry in the classic PS2 thieving series, and the first to be developed outside of Sucker Punch Studios, Thieves in Time represents a long-awaited return to form as well as a natural entry point for series newcomers.

Where Sly 2 and Sly 3 let you slip into the roles of Sly’s partners in crime, Thieves in Time expands upon that concept by granting you control of Sly’s infamous ancestors — the Cooper Clan members named in the hallowed pages of the Thievius Racoonus. In one chapter set in ancient Japan, I played as Rioichi, Sly’s sushi-slinging ninja ancestor. Slinking past sleeping guards while searching for a special set of sushi knives, I used Rioichi’s Leaping Dragon ability to soar through laser fences and other high-tech traps designed to derail the Cooper Clan’s devious destiny. Other playable ancestors, including the medieval knight Sir Galleth Cooper, promise to bring more specialized skills to Sly’s moveset. In our chat, Sanzaru President Glen Egan was careful to point out that the playable characters are designed to expand upon Sly’s stealthy skillset, not subtract from it.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time for PS3

Thieves in Time further advances the series’ sneaky formula through collectible Costumes that grant Sly new powers. The Archer costume fires an arrow-tipped tightrope that bridges the gap to otherwise inaccessible new locations. Costumes will also come in handy if you set out to find all the hidden Clue Bottles and myriad collectible items scattered throughout the game’s sprawling levels. Like Sly 2 and Sly 3, Thieves in Time’s open-world design gives you the freedom to splinter off on side quests or re-explore old areas. Sanzaru has even added a handy Compass that points out your next goal — a thoughtful addition, especially given the sheer size and increased verticality of the new environments.

As always, Sly is more agile than other would-be platformer heroes. Rather than line up each jump perfectly, you can leap into the air and tap Circle to land on a platform auto-magically. Though I badly bungled my first platform jumping exercise, within minutes I was zipping through a withering series of jumps at top speed — an exhilarating, empowering feeling, especially if you’ve ever felt victimized by ponderous platform-jumping segments in other games.

Have questions about Thieves in Time? Leave them in the comments and I’ll leave responses over the weekend.

//Add Your Own


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+ karlcool12 on March 1st, 2012 at 1:19 pm said:

can we expect to see bentley and murray gameplay at gdc


+ stackrabbit on March 1st, 2012 at 1:23 pm said:

I have 2 & 3. Almost done with 2. Looking forward to this. Any news on Final Fantasy X HD???


+ ultimatepunchrod on March 1st, 2012 at 1:35 pm said:

This actually seems really cool. I loved the first game and unfortunately didn’t like the 2nd and 3rd games as much. I didn’t hate them or even dislike them, but there was just something about the simplicity of the first game that I loved. I like that they’re going back into his ancestors and you get to play as them though. This looks good.


+ theXecutioner on March 1st, 2012 at 1:40 pm said:

The game is looking gorgeous! Really psyched to fill my 2012 platforming fix with Sly and the gang.

My question is: What has Sucker Punch’s reaction been throughout the experience? What did they say when the idea of the game first came about? And what do they think seeing the game as it is now, far along in development?

Bonus question (if you feel like answering two): What kind of game, original or otherwise, would you like to make after Sly 4?

Best of luck finishing up guys and gals!


+ wr515 on March 1st, 2012 at 1:51 pm said:

Dear Mr Glean Egan.

1-I just wanted to say thank you VERY MURCH all of Sanzaru Games.

& 2-is that I think that what I would like to see happen in the New game a kinda new twist on the beginning cutscene of the game.

Like perhaps have a very stylish animated cutscene showing off all of Sly’s past adventures from game’s 1 to 3.

So basically kinda like in God of War III
I just think that it would be appropriate considering the 5 year gap from the third game.

BUT what about you-2??


+ Shin-Ra on March 1st, 2012 at 1:52 pm said:

The compass is a great addition, even in Sly 2 & 3 the buildings could tower over you so much you couldn’t see the mission markers in the distance.


+ TANZEB123 on March 1st, 2012 at 1:52 pm said:

I have one question. When is Sly 4 coming out? Is it coming in fall or winter?


+ xZEEZO on March 1st, 2012 at 1:55 pm said:

Amazing! here is my question : did the gameplay feel like the old sly games ?

or did it feel better or worse ?


+ dlbpc on March 1st, 2012 at 1:56 pm said:

My question is why is there so much detail on everyone? Sly looked really bad in his closeup earlier today at the Gamespot demo.


+ Shin-Ra on March 1st, 2012 at 2:01 pm said:

There’s a closeup of Sly one minute in, I think he looks better than ever. Stylised shading and outlines doesn’t mean he needs to be simple.


+ cyberworrier94 on March 1st, 2012 at 2:01 pm said:

So getting this game, now all I ask is for a Jak 4 and I’m set.
Also, will the game have some DLC content, like an extra story, and is Sly and Carmaleta still together.


+ Hunjay on March 1st, 2012 at 2:08 pm said:

Hey Glen, just a general question on when you think you’ll release some character concepts, a new trailer, or a demo?


+ SlyCooperFan100 on March 1st, 2012 at 2:09 pm said:

YES! More information at last! :D

I love this. Seeing more of the game, as well as learning that we get to play as Sly’s knight ancestor Sir Galleth, along with more of the costumes we get, and seeing more of Rioichi in action just makes me so much more excited for the release. I can’t wait!! :D


+ jazzyrider on March 1st, 2012 at 2:10 pm said:

When is this coming out? I played Sly 2 & 3 on the ps2 and haven’t been paying too much attention but is there a remastered collection for the ps3 I missed?


+ jhernandez360 on March 1st, 2012 at 2:12 pm said:

Will you be able to play as Bently and Murray!


+ Hunjay on March 1st, 2012 at 2:18 pm said:

;) ;) ;)


+ crazyfooINC on March 1st, 2012 at 2:26 pm said:

I can’t possibly wait for Thieves in Time to be released; from what I can see at the moment, the game looks absolutely incredible. The sheer amount of things behind it make me want to plunk down money for two copies, and even a collector’s edition!


+ Carl-G on March 1st, 2012 at 2:36 pm said:

COOL:P I loved the HD updates;) Looking forward to number 4:P + Demo soon please? ;)


+ dlbpc on March 1st, 2012 at 2:39 pm said:



+ andre-arkade on March 1st, 2012 at 2:47 pm said:

Hi Glen Egan!! I wanted to know if you are planning to release a demo on psn(Just a little one, plz) And wanted to know if the Collector’s edition plan is really working?


+ ALPAH-OMEGA56 on March 1st, 2012 at 2:48 pm said:

GLEN EGAN I LOVE YOU, also will murray and bentley be in more than 1 boss fight this time, i was really disappointed that murray and bentley barely had and any fights in sly 2 and 3


+ andre-arkade on March 1st, 2012 at 2:49 pm said:

Oh, and awesome work Sanzaru, thanks for everything!!! ;)


+ D-Squad3 on March 1st, 2012 at 2:49 pm said:

Sigh, I still need to get the Sly Collection!


+ TechnoEK on March 1st, 2012 at 2:58 pm said:

Oh man so psyched, I loved the Sly Cooper Series, the detail looks amazing.


+ JH-FallenReaper on March 1st, 2012 at 3:00 pm said:

ill get this for sure but i also need to pick up the sly collection.


+ infamousfan21 on March 1st, 2012 at 3:17 pm said:

Wow! looks cool. but was really hoping to hear a release date. :/


+ Seeing_Red_Again on March 1st, 2012 at 3:18 pm said:

Woah, Sly 4 looks more amazing every time I see it. Thanks for the great preview and new footage Sid! I hope Sanzaru Games comes back to talk more about Sly 4 soon

Sid, do you know if Sony are planning a special Anniversary edition for Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time or anything since it is releasing in the year of Sly Cooper’s 10th Anniversary


+ jace729 on March 1st, 2012 at 3:31 pm said:

Just wanna clear something up.

Sanzaru has even added a handy Compass that points out your next goal — a thoughtful addition, especially given the sheer size and increased verticality of the new environments.”

That was in the third game, it’s not exactly new. But still looking forward to the game.


+ evildevil97 on March 1st, 2012 at 3:48 pm said:

I’d love to see some Bentley and Murray footage.


+ khknight on March 1st, 2012 at 4:37 pm said:

This looks good and all but…the gameplay looks too much like the PS2 sly games. I was hoping for a sly game that takes full advantage of the ps3 hardware and do something that the past sly games couldn’t do on the ps2.


+ Sir_Dr_JM on March 1st, 2012 at 5:17 pm said:

I Love Love Love Sly and the gang! So glad to hear more about them, keep it coming! I am really diggin the look of this one too, and it looks like some classic Sly game play with even more on top.

I always loved in the first Sly the cut-scenes when you got pages of the Thievius Racoonus after beating a boss and it would go into a little scene about the ancient ancestor in those pages. *Fingers crossed for some old west with Tennessee Kid Cooper*!

Any word on Carmelita (Considering this one takes place after the third game things with Carmelita could be quite interesting.. ;) …or maybe we see some of her ancestors too?!?!)

Anyways, looks awesome, Good luck with it Sanzaru! Who knows, maybe if you do this one justice, ND will have you make a ps3 Jak game that kicks arse too :)


+ Pashmina626 on March 1st, 2012 at 5:38 pm said:

How much longer do we have to wait until we can finally get our hands on the game as I myself cannot wait.


+ dizeeStL on March 1st, 2012 at 6:21 pm said:

I think these guys can pull off a good Sly game.


+ infamousfan21 on March 1st, 2012 at 6:59 pm said:

@Comment32 We have to wait until fall. If you go to and check the new video, Glen will say it comes out in the fall.Plus the video is different than has actual gameplay like the PAX 2011 interview.You see Rioichi gameplay and the gamplay to find Sir Galleth.


+ sbattu on March 1st, 2012 at 9:15 pm said:



+ Wozman23 on March 1st, 2012 at 9:25 pm said:

Looking real good! Definitely one of my most anticipated titles this year. Can’t wait to see more. I’ve already preordered; now I just need to know when I can get my hands on it.


+ starBlinky01 on March 1st, 2012 at 9:26 pm said:

My fav Sony franchise right here! (well second to the Jak series I must say! (or maybe tied even hmm!))

The game looks really great guys, although I’m worried slightly since its not sucker punch.. I’m a little worried that playing ‘variations’ of sly throughout the game won’t be as fun as playing different characters. I wish you guys success with it though – this was the one series other than Jak that I wanted to come to PS3, I was and still am really excited to play the game.

I hope we can still play as Bentley and Murray.. :) And maybe some other characters that are non-sly. :)


+ starBlinky01 on March 1st, 2012 at 9:58 pm said:

I watched the video again on frame by frame, I noticed that arrow you guys mentioned in the write up.

Does that only come up after you press a button and then goes away after a short while or something? At 2:52 it almost looks like the circle button brings up the arrow and the rest of the HUD.

I’m just worried about the whole arrow thing, I don’t want it to be there all the time being all annoying. I hope its optional for when you’re stuck you can press select to see the HUD/arrow.


+ Celldweller01 on March 1st, 2012 at 10:57 pm said:

Wow, Sly’s looking amazing! Can’t wait until this comes out!!! So then, I have only one question.

Will mini-games like hack, turrets ect. be back?


+ VideoGamer35 on March 1st, 2012 at 11:09 pm said:

side missions?! lemme hear about those more! and maybe some concept artwork? and I personally need a release date, please? + more ancestors please :D?


+ TallCrowe on March 1st, 2012 at 11:32 pm said:

Looks great, I need to get me that HD collection.


+ slydaniels on March 1st, 2012 at 11:52 pm said:

@30 Um like what? Its a platformer dude.

We don’t know if it’s gonna use sixaxis, move or not but it might. (if that’s what you meant.)


+ faisal22g on March 2nd, 2012 at 12:38 am said:

cant waii


+ Oxybelis on March 2nd, 2012 at 12:42 am said:

Though I do not like Sly’s redesign, gameplay looks good.


+ Donkey_Ghost on March 2nd, 2012 at 3:37 am said:

Damm Nice


+ Donkey_Ghost on March 2nd, 2012 at 3:37 am said:

Looks like a Unreal 3 engine


+ Dragonht07 on March 2nd, 2012 at 5:54 am said:

Awesome. We’re getting some new information on this game. This keeps getting better and better and I’m a huge Sly fan. ^^ Hope to hear more on this game soon and hopefully release a demo to try it out. ^^ C’mon Glen, along with this game, could you ask Sony for a Collector’s Edition for Thieves in Time? All of us fans would love to see that.


+ iZalman007 on March 2nd, 2012 at 6:24 am said:

Finally! New info! I was so happy when I saw the new gameplay yesterday. Thumbs up from me, Sanzaru! Everything looks great!

I have a simple question: Waiting three months for this was hard. When can we expect even more info? Anything before E3?

Also, I’d like to give you feedback on the stuff I saw. I must say, the thing that bugs me the most is Sly’s face. I really like the detail, but I feel you made his eyes too big. Apparently, this is not the case when he’s in his archer costume, but when “normal Sly”, that’s where it occurs – also a few times in the cutscene where he talks to Sir Galleth.

That’s all for now – thanks again!


+ basluuk20 on March 2nd, 2012 at 6:46 am said:

mmmm looks realy cool ! i cant wait! but we still wait to the fall :( ik hope it was coming out in the summer

is there some new info on the E3 ?


+ ThumbsOfSteel74 on March 2nd, 2012 at 8:14 am said:

The triumphant return of Clue Bottles!!! W00t!!!

Can’t wait for this!

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