Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is a stealth-action platforming game developed by Sucker Punch Productions for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. It is the third game in the Sly Cooper franchise. Sly 3 has optional 3-D stages, and comes with a pair of 3-D glasses inside the manual. Despite receiving lower ratings than its predecessor, the game received generally positive reviews from the gaming press and was as well-reviewed as the original game.
On November 9, 2010, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves was released on PlayStation 3 as part of the Sly Collection. Japan originally did not see a release of this game, until the Sly Collection was released on January 27, 2011 for the region.
The game begins with Sly, Bentley, and unknown members of the Cooper Gang about to launch a heist on Kaine Island, a heavily guarded island in the South Pacific. With the help of the unknown members, Sly makes his way to a vault on top of the island. Just as Sly manages to open the vault using his cane, a shot fires, closing the vault door. The shooter is revealed to be the owner of the island: Dr. M. He demands that Sly hand over the cane. Sly refuses, and Bentley suddenly appears and distracts Dr. M, allowing them to make their getaway. Just when it looks like they're in the clear, Dr. M strikes back, controlling a monster. The monster first attacks Bentley, capturing him in exchange for the cane. Sly throws the cane into the monster's mouth, freeing Bentley. The monster throws the cane away, and it lands on a magnetic buoy. The monster grabs Sly and starts to crush him painfully. It looks like the end for our hero.
Sly, in his last moments, remembers the events of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus and Sly 2: Band of Thieves. He remembers finding a thief named Jim McSweeney in jail, who was the muscle in Conner Cooper's gang. McSweeney tells Sly about the Cooper Vault, a vault where all Coopers stash their loot. McSweeney gives Sly a map to Kaine Island, where the vault is located. However, upon arrival, they find the island has been taken over by Dr. M, and made into a seemingly impenetrable fortress. Sly realizes that it will take a world class gang of thieves to break into the vault.
The majority of the game is a large flashback that recounts how Sly and the gang hired four other professionals to help with the heist. The gang first sought to bring back Murray, who left the gang after Bentley was crippled during the Clockwerk Incident. They found Murray in Venice, Italy under the orders of The Guru, his "dream-time" teacher. They later recruited the Guru during an expedition in the Australian outback. The gang continued on, recruiting Penelope, a remote controls expert and eventually Bentley's girlfriend; Panda King, a demolitions expert who joined the gang after his daughter is saved from General Tsao; and Dimitri, an underwater expert and diver.
After the flashback ends, Sly mentally begs for the pain to stop as the monster crushes him more and more. Luckily, due to the intervention of the others, including Carmelita, he is saved from death. After recovering and fighting off more of Dr. M's monsters, Sly gets inside the Cooper vault. Despite Murray and Bentley's best efforts to guard the entrance, Dr. M follows Sly in and confronts him. After a long battle, Carmelita arrives and places both of them under arrest. The doctor fires a laser blast at her, but Sly jumps in the way and takes the hit himself. Carmelita finishes off Dr. M and then goes to check on Sly. He wakes and appears to have amnesia, having no idea who Carmelita is or who he is. The Inspector lies, telling Sly that he is Constable Cooper, her partner. The two escape as the vault begins to collapse, leaving Dr. M to his fate.
After the heist, Dimitri went on to become a professional swimmer and became the object of all the ladies. The Panda King returned to China, living two doors down to his daughter's house, however, she is still un-married due to his "screening" of potential grooms. The Guru returned to the Outback and began to teach a group of rock stars (who appear to be a parody of the Beatles, and the ones who appeared in Don Octavio's opening cutscene) and hides at the center of New York City, where it is very safe to teach them. Bentley and Penelope install new security on the Cooper Vault, announcing plans to build a time machine and Murray goes on to become a racing driver, but stays in close contact.
After the end credits, we get to see where Sly has ended up, which is holding hands with Carmelita on a balcony in Paris through the eyes of Bentley. Suddenly, Sly looks back and winks at Bentley's vantage point, indicating to Bentley (and the player) that he faked his amnesia. Bentley then quips, "That sneaky devil!"
New variations in the game include additional playable characters besides those of Sly, Murray and Bentley. Firstly, Inspector Carmelita Fox is a playable character in some of the minigames and a couple of times in the game. Secondly, previously un-introduced characters, including a shaman named The Guru and a mouse named Penelope are included, as well as those previously mentioned such as Dimitri from Sly 2: Band of Thieves and the Panda King from Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus.
The game also contains 3-D sections. 3-D glasses have been distributed with each copy of the game, and are used in certain parts of the game. However, 3-D is optional in these sections, allowing the player to switch the levels into normal once more. Some levels are playable in 3-D from the beginning, while other levels require the 3-D feature to be unlocked, another feature being objects in the levels are only visible when being played in 3-D. The 3-D effect is focused upon certain objects in the background rather than the characters themselves, minimizing the necessary blue/red separation and making it easier to watch someone playing in 3-D without a set of 3-D glasses.
Also, to increase replay value, an offline multiplayer mode is included, along with challenges and extra movies unlocked with specific game completion percentages. The multiplayer mode consists of four mini games to be played by two players in splitscreen. Challenges are missions that are set with specific standards, along with a Treasure Hunt mission for each world attained at the end of the game.
Murray and Bentley can now pickpocket. Murray can hoist stunned or unsuspecting guards above his head and shake them down for coins and loot. The coins must be picked up off the ground after the guard is shaken, but Murray will catch the loot he gets. Bentley uses the P.P.P. (Pick Pocket Pole) to reel in coins and loot. When the magnet attaches to the guard's pocket, Bentley moves away from the guard to reel in the goods.
Loot no longer needs to be sold back at the safe house. The amount an item is worth is added immediately to the coin count. Special treasure is absent from the over world. The actual locations of Sly 3 change as missions take place; time passes, and environmental objects, like the ferris wheel in An Opera of Fear and the windmills in Flight of Fancy, will be destroyed.
Sly 3 also features new gameplay elements and skills, such as safe-cracking, searching for clues and objects in paintings, aerial combat, disguises, pirate ship battles, and conversations.
The following two-player games are available in Sly 3:
- Cops and Robbers - Player 1 is Sly, whose objective is to get pieces of loot to their respective locations. Player 2 is Carmelita, whose objective is to defeat Sly before he delivers the loot. First one to get 5 points wins.
- Biplane Duel - Player 1 is Sly, and player 2 is Carmelita. Both players' objectives are to defeat each other 10 times first.
- Hackathon - Player 1 is Bentley, and player 2 is Penelope. Both players work together to get through all the hacking levels. However, before you get Penelope in the game, player 2 is Sly.
- Galleon Duel - Player 1 is Sly, and player 2 is Bentley. Both players' objectives are to defeat the other with the ship's cannons 3 times first.
(In order of Cooper Gang recruitment)
- Sly Cooper — (Age: 21) Since his escape from Carmelita's helicopter, Sly has learned some new skills. He is now a master of disguise; able to become any one of a variety of identities. He is also now attempting to penetrate the Cooper Vault, a secret storehouse that contains all the loot the Cooper Clan has stolen over the years. Upon finding the island that a past Cooper Gang member named Jim McSweeney tells Sly about, Sly finds that the island is already owned by a mysterious Dr. M, and that it would be nearly impossible to enter. To this end, Sly starts searching for thieves that will help him break into Dr. M's island. Dr. M appears to be a member of Sly's dad's Cooper Gang as the brains. In the end, Sly seemed to have finally obtained that date with Carmelita.
- Bentley the Turtle — (Age: 21) Bentley is worse for wear from his participation in the battle with Clock-La. Now a paraplegic, Bentley is confined to a wheelchair. However, he's not about to be stopped, and has equipped the chair with multiple features to stay in action. In Holland, he meets Penelope, an engineer who becomes his girlfriend.
- Murray the Hippo — (Age: 21) Murray suffered the worst psychologically from the Klaww Gang ordeal. Blaming himself for Bentley's injuries, he left the team and took up a life of non-violence and solace, studying under the Guru, an Australian "Dream-Time" master. However, Sly and Bentley's recruitment of a new band of thieves quickly pulls him back into the action. Murray is re-recruited in Venice.
- The Guru — A shaman koala from Australia, known as "Guru of the Stone". Murray goes to him as his student. Guru has magical abilities like using the Dreamtime to blend perfectly into his surroundings and possessing other people. Guru speaks Diksha, but everybody seems to understand him. He is recruited in Australia and he is the only person in the Cooper Gang that doesn't use metal equipment.
- Penelope — Although, only briefly playable, this female mouse possesses an RC Helicopter, like Bentley's RC Chopper, and a RC race car. Bentley has a crush on her. She likes Sly at first, but gradually falls in love with Bentley. She is recruited in Holland.
- Panda King — A former member of the Fiendish Five, a demolitions expert, and a master of explosives and fireworks, the Panda King was recruited by Sly in China to help overthrow Dr. M's Fortress. His daughter is captured by the maniacal General Tsao, and Sly promises to help get her back if the Panda King will use his skill in the Cooper Vault job.
- Dimitri — Dimitri Lousteau was a former member of the Klaww Gang. He became a popular dance instructor on a cruise ship after the fall of the Klaww Gang. Later, Dimitri becomes a free agent and is recruited by the Cooper Gang as a frogman, or water specialist. He is recruited in Blood Bath Bay.
- Inspector Carmelita Fox — (Age: 24) Carmelita is not actually a member of the Cooper Gang; however, she unknowingly (and comically) helps the gang out of several tight scrapes. She later decides to help the gang out, and is essential to certain missions. She also shows some interest for Sly Cooper, according to the ending.
There are six episodes in this game, and one small pre-level that starts off the game. This game is shorter than Sly 2. However, instead of collecting Clue Bottles, Sly 3 has Master Thief Challenges, special missions in which you have to complete a task in the given time, with a certain amount of health, or differently from the original job. The episode list follows:
- Prelude: Beginning of the End
- An Opera of Fear
- Rumble Down Under
- Flight of Fancy
- A Cold Alliance
- Dead Men Tell No Tales
- Honor Among Thieves
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves was positively received with reviewers praising its gameplay variety and split-screen multiplayer mode, but criticizing its length, cliffhanger ending, and lack of side character development. It received a GameRankings score of 84.18% and a Metacritic score of 83/100.
Brian Fleming of Sucker Punch Productions stated in an interview that "We're broadening ourselves a little bit, taking on some new challenges," but also noted that "I think it's extremely likely that you'll see us return to the 'Sly Cooper' franchise at some point in the future." Nate Fox, one of the game designers for Sucker Punch Productions, also stated in a phone interview when questioned about it that he'd love to make another Sly game, adding to the possibility of a sequel. An Easter egg found in the Sucker Punch game inFAMOUS shows a movie called "Sly Cooper 4" on the building's marquee; there is also a Sly Cooper symbol on Cole's backpack and back of his pants. Upon completing all three games as part of the Sly Collection, a movie option is enabled within the game's menus. The movie is a short video showing Sly's silhouette lurking in tall grass, followed by a Sly 4 logo, with Cooper's trademark cane used as a question mark, teasing the possible sequel. Kevin Miller, the voice actor who voices Sly, confirmed that he had been contacted about voicing Sly in Sly 4, furthering its possibility at the time.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, was finally revealed at Sony's 2011 E3 conference, but was being developed by Sanzaru Games instead of series creator, Sucker Punch. Thieves in Time was released in North America on February 5, 2013 and March 27, 2013 in other territories on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.
- As in other Sly games, each episode contains stereotypical references to the countries involved in that episode, for example, Team Iceland's viking helmet in Episode 3.
- Episode 1 contains many references to The Phantom of the Opera, such as Octavio's face mask.
- The Episode 4 mission, Laptop Retrieval, contains many references to modern wuxia martial arts films. The first section of Sly's battle with Tsao shows some similarity to the 2000 wuxia martial arts film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Similarly the second section of the battle bears much resemblance to the 2004 wuxia martial arts film, House of Flying Daggers, which contains a scene depicting a battle in a bamboo forest.
- This is the only game in the series where the villains aren't in a gang or organization.
- The picture of Sly and Carmelita in the European box art is the same picture when Sly mentions he helped her get away from the police in the Getaway cutscene in the A Tangled Web episode in Band of Thieves. Also the picture of Sly holding the Clockwerk Eyes on the back of the box is a recycled picture from the same cutscene.
- Sony sponsored a Toonami giveaway from September 19–October 1, 2005 for Sly 3. Contestants would watch Toonami on September 24 and October 1 for a toll-free number. Calling it would enter the contestant into the competition. One grand prize winner received $10,000 and 500 first place winners received a copy of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. This was the third and final Toonami giveaway for the Sly Cooper series.