Couch Review: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

The Cooper Gang returns, bigger than ever!

We finally reach the final game in the original Sly trilogy. Released back in 2005 to critical and financial success, Sly 3 brought the stealthy, platforming fun just like its predecessors. I loved it back when I played it as a kid as this was and is still my favorite game series. Now as an older gamer who has played a fair share of bad games, how does Sly 3 stand up after almost 14 years? Join the Cooper Gang in their third entry on the PS2 and find out!

Master Thief…Master of Stealth?


*Spoilers for the ending of Sly 2*

After finally putting the end to Clockwerk once and for all, Sly and his gang are now recovering for their next job. The gang now only comprises Sly and Bentley, now in a wheelchair after becoming handicapped at the end of Band of Thieves, with Murray leaving the team after feeling powerless that he let his friend get hurt. Sly and Bentley decide to track down Murray and bring him back to the team so they can finally get to the their next score. The legendary Cooper Vault, said to hold all the treasures and prizes that the Cooper Family had collected over many centuries.

Travel across the world!

There is one problem, the vault is located on a island that has been fortified by the mysterious Dr. M, who has decide he wants to the contents of the vault himself. The island is now a fortress that seems impossible to get into. To solve this, Sly and the gang figure they must expand their team and find all sorts of talented thieves in order to finally break into the fortress and get back the Cooper Family history and treasures.

New improvements to thievery!


Gameplay in Sly 3 is basically an improved version of Sly 2. Many improvements include the ability for Bentley and Murray to pickpocket when in the last game only Sly was able to. The treasures collected from the stealing now automatically get sold on the returning ThiefNet system. TheifNet hosts many different skills and techniques for the gang, some returning from the previous games and many new ones as well. New skills include new combat techniques for Sly, like a charged push attack, a spin attack, and a swift uppercut with the cane. Combat is much improved from the previous game with these new techniques as Sly in Band of Thieves only had a few options with his cane. A gameplay preview can be seen below from JohnGodGames.

The quest to acquire new team members also comes into gameplay as well. I will not spoil the new members here but some include explosive expert, psychic master, and a master of machines. These new members add some more variety to the gameplay. Their inclusions do have some limitations to how they work but that will be talked about in the Negatives section. As a Sly game does, the gang goes to many different areas across the world. Some include the windmill plains of Holland, the dusty Australian Outback, to even tropical Islands! These areas are colorful and have plenty of missions scattered about to do for the story. It also helps that these hubs are really fun to explore as well!

Familiar faces pursuing our favorite thieves!


When playing Sly 3 again, it became clear that the inclusion of the new members of the Cooper Gang, where not well placed throughout the game. You are able to freely explore hubs with the usual three members but the new members are only available in certain missions. This makes sense for certain members but for others not so much. I felt the ability to explore areas would have been only enhanced by these characters. It just feels the new members felt tacked on. As a kid, the idea of playing all these new characters was exciting but now the novelty has gone away.

Different gameplay styles!

Going off of that, the new characters have very different play-styles than the Sly,Bentley, or Murray. Some of them are unfortunately not very fun. One character in particular uses RC vehicles for mission objectives similar to a few missions in Sly 2. One of these vehicles is a small car. This car does not control very well in my opinion. The physics just feel off and when you have to move the car in a certain way in order to proceed with a mission, it becomes infuriating. This terrible controls also comes to another member who does underwater missions in first person perspective. Here the controls just feel awkward as simply moving forward does not feel right. I am sad that these control so poorly in comparison to the main three who all control like a dream.

Give these bosses a bruising!


Revisiting Sly 3 has given me a lot of good insights on nostalgia. While I had fun going back to this game, there were parts that just felt short of the quality of the rest of the game. These parts with the new members while charming in their variation to the gameplay of Sly just become irritating as missions go on. The rest of the game is still amazing though. Sly 3 is a great game with a few of its mechanics not being of the same great quality. Sly 3 is available for PS2,PS3, and PSVita. Have you played Sly 3 before? What are your thoughts? If you have not, will you? Comment down below and continue the discussion.

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One comment

  1. This review brought me back to my childhood and brought back memories of struggling to make progress in the game before I had to return the rental disk to BlockBuster.


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