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Sly 2: Band of Thieves

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Sly 2: Band of Thieves is the second entry in the Sly Cooper series and sequel to Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. It was developed by Sucker Punch Productions and initially released on September 14, 2004 for the PlayStation 2. It was later re-released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita as part of a remastered HD collection on November 9, 2010 and April 16, 2014, respectively.

Set two years after the events of the previous game, Sly 2 follows titular protagonist Sly Cooper and his partners in crime, Bentley and Murray. The story centers around their mission to defeat the Klaww Gang and steal the scattered pieces of Sly's archenemy, Clockwerk.

Characters

Cooper Gang

  • Sly Cooper: The leader of the Cooper Gang and a master thief. He'll need help from Murray and Bentley to steal the Clockwerk parts. Age: 20
  • Bentley: The demolitions expert of the Cooper Gang, Bentley has now taken to the field to help Sly and Murray pull off heists. He lends his gadgetry and knowledge to the team. Age: 20
  • Murray: Having grown braver and more courageous he now helps the team on the field using mass muscle. Age: 20

Klaww Gang

  • Dimitri Lousteau: A nightclub owner iguana from Paris who specializes in forgery of paintings.
  • Rajan: A power-hungry tiger from India who grows spice for the Klaww Gang.
  • Jean Bison: A bison who uses his trains to ship the Klaww Gang's spice throughout North America.
  • Arpeggio: The mechanical expert of the Klaww Gang who is very sensitive of his inability to fly.

Interpol

  • Inspector Carmelita Fox: Love interest of Sly Cooper and Interpol agent who constantly chases after the Cooper Gang. Age: 23
  • Constable Neyla: Carmelita's partner who is not exactly who she seems to be.
  • The Contessa: A high-ranking prison warden working for Interpol. She has gained a reputation for using hypnosis in order to "re-educate" criminals.

Plot

The Cooper Gang breaks into the Cairo Museum of Natural History in order to steal the Clockwerk parts. However, they are caught by Inspector Carmelita Fox and Constable Neyla, who mention that the parts have already been stolen. Neyla purposely hints that the parts might have been stolen by a group of criminals known as the Klaww Gang. After escaping the museum, the Cooper Gang begins tracking down the Klaww Gang.

The trio first travel to Paris and steal the Clockwerk Tail Feathers back from Dimitri Lousteau, a club owner and "underworld celebrity," who was using the feathers as a printing press for forged money due their unique alloy being unaffected to wear. While there, Sly is confronted by Neyla, who claims that she wants to help the Gang collect and destroy the Clockwerk parts. After putting the forger behind bars, the gang heads off to India, where they steal back the Clockwerk Wings from Rajan, a tiger who controls the Klaww Gang's illegal spice operations and uses the wings to earn prestige. After pursuing Rajan into the jungle, the trio manage to steal back the Clockwerk Heart. Unfortunately, the gang is double-crossed by Neyla, who gets them, along with a framed Carmelita, arrested The Contessa, a high-ranking prison warden whose mastery of hypnosis to "re-educate" criminals has earned her a reputation within Interpol.

Being the only one to not be captured, Bentley travels to Prague to free Sly and Murray from the Contessa's prison. In the process, he learns that she too is a Klaww Gang member, using the illegal spice as part of her hypnosis techniques so that the thieves in her care will confess where they've hidden all of their wealth. Though the Contessa initially escapes, the gang tracks her down and steals the Clockwerk Eyes from her, freeing Carmelita in the process. The prison warden is brought to trial for the crimes she committed, and Carmelita reluctantly takes Sly's help in an escape (still being a framed cop).

The gang then tracks down Klaww Gang member Jean Bison to steal the Clockwerk lungs, stomach, and talons. However, Bison captures the three of them at his lumber camp and sells all of their Clockwerk parts to the final Klaww Gang member, Arpeggio. The trio defeats Bison and sneaks on-board Arpeggio's airship as part of a Trojan Horse-type plan. In doing so, they are forced leave the team van behind, much to Murray's dismay.

The trio's journey culminates in a confrontation with Arpeggio. They learn that him and Neyla have been working together all along and have managed to reconstruct Clockwerk's body. Arpeggio reveals that he intends hypnotize the citizens of Paris (that have consumed spice from Dimitri's nightclub) into a state of rage and hatred in order to obtain immortality after he has merged with Clockwerk's body. However, Neyla double-crosses him and bonds with Clockwerk herself. Dubbing herself "Clock-La," she crushes Arpeggio in her beak and flies away.

Knowing they need to act fast, the gang disables the blimp's engines to stop Clock-La from drawing energy. After some help from Carmelita, the mechanical hybrid is beaten and crashes down in Paris. Bentley manages to grab Clock-La's Hate Chip, but his legs are crushed by her beak in the process. Murray manages to free him before Clock-La explodes. Carmelita, who is angry at not having had a whack at Clock-La herself, smashes the Hate Chip, thereby killing Neyla and ending Clockwerk's reign of terror on the Cooper Clan.

Carmelita suddenly places all three of the thieves under arrest, but Sly decides to give himself up peacefully in exchange for letting Murray and Bentley go. Carmelita, who is reinstated as an Interpol agent and given a promotion by her boss, takes Sly on-board a helicopter. Although initially silent, the two begin conversing about past adventures and interests, prompting Sly to relate it to a first date. However, as Carmelita is about to share some champagne she'd been saving for Sly's arrest, she realizes that the short journey has taken over two hours. Whilst she checks the cockpit, Sly realizes that Bentley and Murray left him with a little parting gift by rigging the chopper to fly in circles. As Sly makes his escape by paragliding out of the chopper, Carmelita remarks that she'll see him again soon.

Gameplay

Playable characters

In Sly 2 the player once again controls Sly Cooper, who makes use of his thieving skills and agility to stealthily pull off jobs. He retains most of his abilities from the first game, including some that he learned from the Thievius Raccoonus: the dive collection technique, Ninja Spire Jump and Rail Walk.

In addition to Sly, the player can play as Bentley and Murray. Bentley follows a more cloak-and-dagger approach to stealth. He cannot climb poles or jump very far, but he is equipped with sleep darts and bombs to subdue enemies one by one or sabotage enemy equipment. He can also hack enemies' computers, which brings the player to a top-down shooter-like mini game. In contrast, Murray's strength allows him to help the team with heavy-duty tasks. His brute strength allows him to take on groups of enemies by himself with powerful hooks and upper cuts. He can pick up objects and enemies to throw around, and his Thunder Flop can stun enemies.

Level design

Like its predecessor, Sly 2 is divided into episodes, with each one taking place in a different location. They stray away from a hub-and-spoke design and are larger. A safe house located in the hub is where the player can switch characters or escape from pursuing enemies. Clue bottles also make a return and are now scattered throughout every hub world. There are 30 in each location, and once all of them are collected the player can access a safe located somewhere in the hub world.

Loot and power-ups

Another new feature is pickpocketing. When Sly sneaks up behind an enemy, he can reach out with his cane and steal coins out of their coin pouch. The coins come in clusters and go directly to Sly's coin count. If there is an aura around an enemy's pocket, they are carrying a piece of loot, and once Sly pilfers the loose coins, he can grab the enemy's item and sell it later back at the safe house. Murray and Bentley cannot pickpocket.

Similar to loot items are treasures, which can be found on pedestals located throughout every hub world. Just like loot, the player can sell treasure for coins, provided they can return it to the hideout without taking any damage. Some treasure is timed and must be brought back to the hideout quickly; otherwise, it will disappear and the player will have to go pick it up again.

Using collected coins, the player can purchase power-ups (also called gadgets) for each character from an online store known as ThiefNet. Sly's power-ups center around stealth and evasiveness, Murray's power-ups center around power and combat, and Bentley's power-ups consist mainly of gadgets and gizmos. Most power-ups need to be assigned to a button via the "Gadget Grid" (accessed with SelectButton); others some have passive effects. Power-ups are also found in the safe of each location.

Other

In lieu of the one-hit system from the first game, each character now has a health meter called the Thief Meter. Health is diminished every time the player is attacked by an enemy or hits a hazard. If it is depleted, any job in progress must be restarted and the character will re-spawn at another location. The meter can be refilled by collecting health pickups dropped from defeated enemies or broken objects. Located beneath the Thief Meter is the gadget meter, which depletes whenever the player uses most power-ups. When it is completely depleted, the player can no longer use power-ups. Just like the Thief Meter, the gadget meter can be refilled by collecting health pickups.

The game also makes use of the PlayStation 2's optional USB Microphone, allowing the player to use the sound of his or her own voice to distract in-game enemies. This adds a new twist to the stealth elements, as the player themselves have to refrain from making noise.

Development

History

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Sucker Punch Productions began work on Sly 2 immediately after the release of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. The first mention of the game was in an advertisement broadcast on MTV on March 9, 2004. The game was officially announced by Sucker Punch Productions the following day and also appeared on the April 2004 edition of the Official PlayStation Magazine. Later that year, Sly 2 was showcased at the Electronics Entertainment Expo. Two gameplay videos and one trailer were shown.

Behind the scenes

Originally there were plans to make a level based in Monaco, in which there would have been a job where Bentley crashed a yacht into the docks. Additionally, the original design of the Thief Meter showed the percentage of health remaining for the current character, and the bosses in the game had health bars that looked much like the bosses' health bars from Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. Both these designs were altered in the final game.

Reception

Sly 2 was well-received and holds a GameRankings score of 87.92% and Metacritic score of 88/100, the highest for a Sly Cooper game. The game was praised for its gameplay, story, and visuals, but criticized for its lack of difficulty and length. Scores from game reviewers are listed below.

Publication Score Publication Score
Edge 6/10 GameSpot 8.4/10
Eurogamer 8/10 GameInformer 8.75/10
GameZone 9.1/10 IGN 9.2/10

Trivia

  • The final cinematic in the game is the only one that has a character speaking as opposed to a narration.
  • Sly 2 has the most episodes of any game in the series, with a total of 8.
  • Sony sponsored a Toonami giveaway from September 6 – 18, 2004 for Sly 2. Contestants would watch Toonami on September 11 and 18 for a toll-free number. Calling it would enter the contestant into the competition. One grand prize winner received a copy of Sly 2: Band of Thieves, a 42" Plasma WEGA Integrated Plasma Television, a DVD Dream System, a fully automatic turntable and limited edition PlayStation 2 console and 500 first place winners received a copy of Sly 2: Band of Thieves.[1] This was the second Toonami giveaway for the Sly Cooper series.

References

  1. Cartoon Network site archive.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Sly 2: Band of Thieves

  • Who else just likes running around the levels and messing around?

    12 messages
    • heh i do enjoy me some mucking around. i remember telling my parents after they were shocked that i bruned through sly 1 so quickly i simply s...
    • Yeah, the first game was definitely pretty short. I remember reading reviews that talked about it being around six hours long. I recently ti...
  • Secret area in Paris

    5 messages
    • Oh. To be honest, I knew about it for 7 years. I'm not joking!
    • Yeah, a lot of people know about it.

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