Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (also known as Sly 4) is a platformer game developed by Sanzaru Games. It is the first Sly Cooper game in the franchise that does not have Sucker Punch as the developers. Sly 4 is not a reboot of the franchise, but a continuation after the events of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. The game follows Sly, Murray, and Bentley getting the gang back together as they must go back through time and protect the Cooper dynasty. Development of the game started after the success of Sanzaru Games' Sly Cooper HD Collection.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time's development was teased after completing all three HD versions in the Sly Collection. An official announcement of the game's release was at the Sony Pressconference of E3 on June 6, 2011.
The story takes place right after the events of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. The gang disbanded in the previous game to live out their 'happily-ever-after' stories. Sly pretended to have amnesia to have a relationship with Carmelita, Murray is a famous racecar driver, and Bentley has continued to build machines (including the Time machine that places Sly's family lineage in danger) with his girlfriend Penelope. Bentley eventually reforms the gang when he finds out that his time machine was stolen. Sly, Murray, and Bentley must partner up one more time to stop a new fiend from destroying the Cooper lineage and ultimately changing the way of life that Sly and company have setup for themselves.
The Sly Cooper franchise has been all about switching between characters to achieve certain missions in the game; this will be in the game, but it won't be that prominent. The developers have made a slight change in the game by focusing more on Sly Cooper's story missions than Bentley and Murray's. Sly is portrayed to be more resourceful and wise in this game; instead of the the impulsive raccoon that has been seen in previous games.
Sly, Murray, Bentley and company will not be the only ones partaking in Sly's adventure. As Sly progresses through time he will gain more-and-more ancestors that will act as playable characters. Each unique and with different skills.
Like it's predecessors, Thieves in Time involves a blend of stealth, navigating through semi-challenging obstacles, and accomplishing mini games to achieve success in the mission -- all while in a free roam environment. Most of Sly's normal abilities have carried over into this game like parkour on rooftops to cross ropes/pipes and also pickpocketing guard's satchels. New gameplay features include costumes that give Sly special abilities. Before, costumes could only keep Sly from being detected by guards and allow him into places where guards are heavily armed. Now, costumes will give Sly certain abilities like the use of archery, heavy armor that will protect Sly from any attack, and the ability to slow down time. No longer will Sly run into guards and have to relay a code in order to get pass them. Any suits earned throughout the game can be viewed and used in any mission via the 'Costume Selector' in the menu.
The Safehouse makes a return in the game which will act as the place to switch characters and also access the ThiefNet which acts as the upgrade menu for all characters.
Treasures and Clue Bottles also make their return in the game. Treasures act as a collectable item in the game which can be sold for coins to purchase upgrades, however, in Thieves in Time, the Treasures are kept for viewing in the Safehouse. For the first time Clue Bottles will give new abilities to all characters and not just one when picked up. This is a major change from the first two Sly games. Announced on May 18th, 2012 owners of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time for both the PS3 and the Vita can unlock the 'X-Ray Goggles' which will help locate all of the hidden goodies. Cross-save compatibility is also available.
Locations visited throughout the game are 3x bigger than the previous games, and have various 'challenges' that will test a players skills. Local multiplayer will be making a comeback in the form of two mini-games, Alter Ego, a hacking minigame, and Ping Pong. However, even through fans' demand, online multiplayer is not included in this game.