Continuing down my favorite game series of all time, we have reached my favorite of them all. Sly 2: Band of Thieves is possibly my favorite game of all time. I love this game so much so like the Sly 1 review, this post may come off as very positive but for good reason. This game has so much fun and charm in its gameplay, plot and characters that I still remember so many parts of it even 16 years later. But my rose tinted glasses may hide a game that does not really hold up today.Does Sly 2 hold up to my passion for it or is this going to be a brutal revelation? Lets join the Cooper Gang for a heist and find out!
*SPOILERS FOR THE END OF SLY 1*
After the finally finishing off his family’s enemy Clockwerk, the Cooper Gang move to their next heist. Their goal is to find the parts of the mechanical bird and finally destroy him completely. They locate the parts on display in a museum in Cairo but discover upon arrival that the parts were already stolen. When realizing this, Sly must escape the pursuit of Carmelita and her new partner, Constable Neyla. Escaping the police assault puts Sly and his best friends, Bentley and Murray, on pursuit of the parts.
The group find out that those who stole parts are known as the Klaww Gang and each member has taken their share in the Clockwerk parts and have ran off to all parts of the world in their own criminal pursuits and operations. With some information at hand, the Cooper gang rush off to the first location and Klaww Gang member, Dimitri who seems to have the Clockwerk tail feathers. He has made his operation in Paris so the Cooper Gang’s quest for the parts begins!
Gameplay here has been updated and revised. The areas that the Gang go to now are one hub area with multiple missions strung across certain points on the map. Sly 1 had a few small hubs that connected to portals to mission areas but the ones in Sly 2 are much bigger. Sly controls just as well as before and maybe even better and now has both of his gang members with him to help. That is right, both Bentley and Murray are fully playable and have their own missions. Bentley is a much smaller fellow that handles better with stunning enemies with darts and going in for the kill with bombs. Murray is a tall drink of water who specializes in getting into enemies faces and giving them a one-two punch. Gameplay preview below provided by JohnGodGames.
Sly now is no longer as frail as before, brandishing a full life bar unlike the charm protection he had in the first game. This lays off the sometimes easy deaths from being spotted. But the enemies as well are multi-hit, as in combat scenario these guys will fight back easily and be harder to take down especially the flash-light guards. Guards now fully display their wallets to our thieves which allows for the new pick-pocket mechanic which allows for Sly to steal treasures and sell them on Thief Net. Thief Net now allows for Sly and the gang to purchase power-ups and new techniques like a smokescreen for Sly and Fist of Flames for Murray. The clue bottles even make a return, now being only 30 bottles in the hub and one vault hidden throughout the area. These are well hidden, so players will have to look around and listen to a familiar clinking sound of the bottle.
One problem that Sly 2 has comes around to its various missions in each story part called “Episodes”. Many of these missions are fun and make me want to replay them. The problem is that you cannot replay missions whatsoever. Meaning in order to a play a fun mission from Episode 6 you will need to restart the game and play all the way there to get back to that mission. Having the ability to just go back and replay certain missions would have increased Sly 2’s replay value much higher if players can go play whatever level they want after finishing the game.
Some missions are unfortunately good concepts but the execution is a bit on the shaky side. One mission that comes to mind is the Tank mission around the middle of the game. Murray takes control of a tank and has to take out other tanks in the area. Sounds like a blast which is too bad because the mission is bog down by the area design which does not really fit for a large tank where you have to precisely shoot at other targets. The controls are a bit awkward even after playing this game for years. I just cannot get used to them.
Sly 2 is not surprising still such a fun time and a great platformer. The missions have such a great variety and the areas are a blast to fully explore and see what they contain. The characters of the Cooper Gang are even more fun and comedic than the last game along with the antagonists providing great banter towards our heroes. The plot is simple yet effective and goes hand in hand with the gameplay. With all my heart, I love this game, even with its small issues. It is a pure fun experience that I feels someone should try at least once. Please go out and play this game and the others as well. Sly 2 is available on PS2, PS3 and PSVita. Have you played Sly 2? If you haven’t are you going to? What is your favorite platformer? Comment down below and keep the conversation going.
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