Sly 2: Band of Thieves is the sequel to the highly-acclaimed Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. It expands on the original game by giving the gameplay much more variety, adding more playable characters, and taking it in a more action-adventure oriented direction in general. Each character changes the gameplay considerably, making game more diverse than the previous installment Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus.
Sly 2 is set in 1999, and focuses on the gang's efforts to recover and destroy the disassembled Clockwerk parts. The gang arrives at a museum where the Clockwerk parts are supposed to be, upon arriving, however, they discover that the parts have already been stolen.
Inspector Carmelita Fox, whom was awaiting their arrival by hiding one of the nearby sarcophagus', instantly holds the Cooper Gang responsible for the crime, and along with Constable Neyla quickly pursue Sly and the gang as they make their escape.
The parts are revealed to have been stolen by international network of thieves known as the Klaww Gang, who use each individual part to help empower their own criminal empires. Fearing that they may try to revive Clockwerk, Sly, Murray, and Bentley set off in search of each Klaww Gang member to progressively acquire and destroy the parts.
Early in the game, Constable Neyla offers her help in apprehending the parts from the Klaww Gang. Sly willingly accepts her offer, and quickly proves useful in acquiring the Clockwerk parts. Things continue to go well until Neyla suddenly calls off the aforementioned deal, and proceeds to arrest Sly, Murray, and claims that it was Inspector Fox whom was helping them with their heists. They are then placed under watch of fellow Interpol officer, The Contessa. Bentley, who was able to dodge Interpol's clutches, tracks down Sly and Murray, and breaks them out. They then resume their plan to steal the remaining Clockwek parts.
A while later, however, one of their operations in Canada goes wrong and the gang ends up in captivity (again), and one of the members of the Klaww Gang, Jean Bison, recovers all the parts they've obtained and sells them to Arpeggio, the leader and founder of the Klaww Gang.
Shortly after, Neyla is revealed to be working for the Klaww Gang, and Arpeggio, now in possession of all the Clockwerk parts, explains his plans to hypnotize the city of Paris into a state of hatred using light frequencies and absorb it with the Clockwerk body to gain the powers of flight and immortality. However, Neyla double crosses Arpeggio and fuses herself to the Clockwerk parts to become Clock-La. The gang then has to disable Arpeggio's blimp from hypnotizing all the citizens of Paris and defeat Clock-La.
After fighting Clock-La and making her crash into the ground, Murray pries open her beak and Bentley attempts to remove the source of Clock-La's power, the hate chip, from her. When Bentley attempts to climb out of Clock-La's mouth, however, her beak slams shut and leaves Bentley paralyzed from the waist down, presumably for life. Carmelita then arrives on the scene and, having missed out on the action, crushes the hate chip, which causes the Clockwerk parts start decaying rapidly. She then, as usual, attempts to arrest the gang, but Sly, seeing that his gang was in no shape to make for a quick getaway, offers himself in turn for letting Bentley and Murray go. On the ride to jail, however, he noticed his friends had left him a little present, and manages to escape from Interpol's clutches once again.
While Sly 1 was strictly a platformer, Sly 2 reinvents the series by changing the way the game is structured and adding much more variety to the gameplay. The game is split into eight episodes, and each episode takes place in a different part of the world. Each location the game takes place in acts as a hub world, but the setup is changed from the first game by the fact that many of the game's missions now take place directly in the hub.
While in Sly 1 the only objective was to reach to the end of each linear level in order to get a key, Sly 2 is all about completing various missions that lead up to a grand heist where they steal the Clockwerk parts. Every objective you are tasked with in the game relates to making it possible to achieve this, and once you complete all the normal missions in an episode, it unlocks the episode's heist mission, which is a long, multi-part mission where most of the game's boss battles take place.
Other changes from the first Sly include increasing the number of hits both you and your enemy can take, as well as allowing you to control Bentley and Murray. Furthermore, new skills, some of which are essential to certain missions, can be bought at the safe house. For each of the game's missions different characters are required as each character has a very different skill set, and thus can only do missions that pertain to their abilities. The character needed for a job is indicated by a beacon that can be switched on with the L3 button.
Sly's gameplay in this game is still relatively similar to Sly 1. His specialty is still sneaking around streets and rooftops to avoid being noticed. While combat with Sly is not exactly ideal, he's no slouch either, and has plenty of moves for both fighting and sneaking.
Since his role in this game has been increased, his abilities have been exemplified so that he is now a more courageous, strong and brave individual that is highly useful to the Cooper gang. Due to his large size, he is not very stealthy, but he is strong, so he can lift heavy objects and take out guards in a few hits.
Bentley's abilities in this game have also been focused on. Bentley is not a very good fighter due to his small size, and so follows a more stealth oriented gameplay experience. While direct confrontation will almost surely end in defeat, he can use various gadgets such as sleep darts and time bombs to take out enemies one by one.
There are three more locations in this game than were in the first and they are all interconnected in some way. The locations are the Natural History Museum in Cairo, Egypt, a popular club in Paris, France, an Indian Palace near Calcutta, India, a forgotten temple near the Indian Palace in Calcutta, a Gothic Mansion in Prague, Czech-Repbulic, a hunting ground in Canada, a lumber camp in Canada and in the sky on Arpeggio's air fleet heading towards Paris.