I have to start this review by admitting that I was one of those guys who didn’t play the original trilogy back on its intended platform, instead I immersed myself in the world of Sly Cooper and his gang when Sanzaru re-mastered the trilogy for the Playstation 3. I was an idiot for not picking up the game back in the Playstation 2 era, because they were fantastic adventure titles, and I quickly grew fond of the franchise. The original series was created by Infamous developers, Sucker Punch, and Sly Cooper 4 was the first title entirely developed by someone else, so I was expecting some changes, which might not be appreciated by some, but what the hell we have a month of no new releases and I don’t have anything better to do.
Audio and Video: As I always state in several reviews, I cannot complain about the audio aspect of any Sony first party titles, since they are among the few which cater for 7.1 audio, and in this title the surround effects are handled beautifully. The voice acting is good and the sound track of the title, just like its predecessors, is charming and suits the design of the title. The visuals of the game are average at best, Cell Shading really doesn’t require elevated graphical power to produce decent visuals, but I would have expected more really. The good thing about the simple visuals, apart from allowing the game to retain the series' old-school charm, is that the game runs at a very smooth and stable framerate, in turn enchancing the gameplay experience . Though, the best thing from the visual aspect of the game are the cut-scenes. They are proper cartoons that look great and simply bring out the charm of the series.
Gameplay: Well the game is simply a carbon copy of Sly 3, with time traveling and new playable characters. Gameplay pretty much stayed the same, and the only noticeable addition to the series was the introduction of playable Cooper ancestors. Each and every ancestor has a set of skills, which vary from one another and break the monotony of the game. The Bentley puzzles in the game are still great, even better I might add, and sometimes are even more fun to play than the rest of the game. The pacing is a bit screwed; especially when you are set off to waste time most of the game, which turns the game into an extremely boring and frustrating walk across the map. These instances gave me the feeling that the game has been intentionally stretched out, and it is really sad, because the good parts in the game are extremely good, but you tend to spend most of your time simply walking around doing nothing at all except for wasting time and listening to Bentley complain.
Verdict: The biggest fault in this game, in my opinion, was having too many playable characters. I would much rather have had only Sly and the Cooper ancestors as playable characters, than having Carmelita, Murray, and Bentley joining in too. Playing with weaker or slower characters isn’t challenging, it is simply frustrating. I would have also replaced the Thiefnet system and implemented a proper upgrade system which allows you to get the best out of your character in a good way. I might sound pedantic and cantankerous, but in all honesty, they carbon copied the crappiest title from the original trilogy, and didn’t even bother fix what made it crappy in the first place.
Overall Score: 6/10
Written By Matthew C.