Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is a three-dimensional stealth platformer created by Sucker Punch Productions. It was released exclusively for the Playstation 2 in 2002, and has since seen two sequels ( Sly 2: Band of Thieves and Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves) with the original game being republished as a Greatest Hits title in 2003, as well as being re-released in enhanced form (along with its two sequels) as part of the Playstation 3-exclusive The Sly Collection .
The game's story follows Sly Cooper and his friends Bentley the Turtle and Murray on their mission to track down the Fiendish Five, the gang that killed Sly's family and stole the Thievius Raccoonus -- a family heirloom that contains all the knowledge one needs to become a master thief.
The gameplay in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus primarily consists of platforming, but it also incorporates other gameplay elements, such as stealth.
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is split into five stages along with a short tutorial section at the beginning. This tutorial section starts you off on a mission where Sly must attempt to steal a file on the Fiendish Five from the Interpol headquarters in Paris, France.
After stealing the file, he confronts Carmelita Fox, a police vixen who has apparently been on Sly's trail for a while (there's little dialogue tidbits here and they're hinting at some back story between the two).
After escaping, a cut scene reveals Sly's history with the Five, and sets up the story for the rest of the game. Sly comes from a long line of master thieves who only steal from criminals. His family's most prized possession is the Thievius Raccoonus, a mysterious book that has been handed down in the family through centuries, detailing each of their master thief "moves." This book eventually leads to a lot of trouble for Sly, who when he was just a little raccoon lad "balancing on his fathers knee," had to resort to hiding in a closet while the Fiendish Five came to his door, overpowered his father, and killed his family in order to steal the book.
After ransacking the house looking for the book, the gang ripped the it into five pieces, each taking a piece back to their lairs so the coopers could never rise to steal from them again.
Sly was then dumped off at an orphanage where he met his two best friends, and partners in crime: Bentley, a turtle with a plan, and the brains of the operation, and Murray, a hippo, who's the muscle and wheel man of the group. They vow to track down the Fiendish Five and get back the Thievius Raccoonus.
To do this, Sly must complete a stage for each member of the Fiendish Five, which is made up of a number of levels. To move on he must collect the key at the end of each level, which can be used later to unlock new sections, and eventually open the way to the final boss.
The Fiendish Five (in order of appearance)
- Sir Raleigh - A frog and chief mechanic, Sir Raleigh grew bored of his luxurious life and decided to try his hand at pirating.
- Muggshot - A big bulldog bruiser, who, after seeing his first gangster film at the theater, decided that a life of crime was the life for him. Though he used to be a scrawny little mutt, he pumped up and became the muscle of the Fiendish Five.
- Mz. Ruby - A swamp gator and voodoo priestess, the chief paranormal expert.
- Panda King - Demolitions expert, Panda King grew up poor on the mean streets of China. Every night he saw the nobles shoot off their fireworks, but when he tried to design his own he was shunned for his shabby clothing. Feeling bitter, he turned to crime.
- Clockwerk - A shadowy figure, it is discovered that he has kept himself alive for thousands of years through a mixture of magic and science.
Sly Cooper's combat system is simple; you use the X button to jump (tap again while in the air to double jump), the square button to attack, the triangle button to use any unlocked abilities (you get these by breaking all the hidden clue bottles in each level and unlocking the levels safe), and the circle button to trigger actions (such as running along a tight rope or walking on a ledge). Some of these actions can only be triggered near blue sparks that appear floating around the levels, described as a thieving opportunity in the game, which only a raccoon master thief can see.
The damage system in Sly Cooper is very much like the Mario games, in that all your attacks are one hit kills (except when your going after a boss, which involves some sort of puzzle). The same goes for you; if you get hit you're dead. However, you can pick up lucky horseshoes scattered around the levels, which serves as a sort of health bar, giving you a second chance after being hit; this saves you from losing a life. When you collect a lucky horseshoe it will appear on your back, attached to your backpack. The color of the horseshoe (silver or gold) indicates how many you have (silver being 1, gold being 2), and thus how many chances you have left to be hit without dying.
In addition to combat, the game includes some light stealth elements, like tip-toeing up behind guards to get a sneak attack, or avoiding motion sensors so as to not set off an alarm, which alert nearby guards to your position and/or set off traps.
The Load Out
The main weapon you use throughout the game is Sly's cane, which is just your average blunt object, though it is stylish in its appearance. There are also many other cool weapons you use periodically throughout the campaign including turrets, car-mounted battering rams, Carmelita's Shock Pistol, and jet pack-mounted missiles.
Platforming and combat may take center stage in Sly Cooper, but numerous gameplay genres are also exhibited by Sly and his partners throughout the game. These include multiple dual-joystick shooting, lap racing, and rail shooting sequences, as well as a boss battle that features rhythm gameplay.