Sly is a stylish platformer that is just plain fun.
PerfectJones wrote this review on .
Initially I was put off by it. The cell-shaded graphics, the kiddy-appealing characters, a character that uses a cane as a weapon- all of this made me think that this game wouldn't be my type. I later found out though that my initial impressions couldn't be further off. Sly is a great stealth-based 3D platformer that plays slick and is challenging enough to give any gamer a positive feeling of accomplishment for completing its levels.
The character you control is, of course, a raccoon named Sly. Sly grew up in an orphanage, befriending two other uniquely-talented dudes. Bentley is the brains behind Sly's missions, giving vital information so that Sly doesn't die so easily. Murray drives the crew to each of the locations of the missions, and does other miscellaneous tasks. This crew of misfits are out to regain the Thievius Raccoonus from a gang of thugs who stole it from Sly's family when he was young, following this act with the slaying of his parents. Sly and his pals are out to regain his family pride through his family's best skill: thieving.
Each level is constructed in a fairly linear fashion. You go from beginning to end, jumping platforms and avoiding detection. Your cane helps you not only to dispatch enemies but also to latch onto horizontal and vertical poles. This technique is very simple yet also is strangely satisfying. All you need to do is jump and then hit circle and your guy will automatically grab onto any pole near him. From here you can climb vertically, horizontally, or diagonally depending on the pole. The circle button also activates certain context-sensitive stealth moves, like crouching behind cover and putting his back against a wall to climb around tight edges and avoid spotlights at the same time.
It's important in Sly (and sometimes difficult) to play stealthily. Sly starts with no armor or health so if you get hit or you jump in lava you have to start over from the last save point. On the bright side though is that there are a good amount of save points in each level and you can collect 100 coins to get an extra life. However even with all of this in mind the game is very challenging but not really in a frustrating way. The camera defaults in good views while also letting you take control of it via right analog stick whenever you feel like it. This is nice because not only will you need a better view to see where you need to go but also because it allows you to take in those nice graphical touches that your character and the environment he's in have.
The cell-shading really compliments the storyline and overall style of this game, giving it a cartoonish/comic-book appeal. While initially I didn't like this I must say that after playing Sly I am a supporter of cell-shaded graphics. It's used perfectly in this game and this game just wouldn't be great without it.
The problems with Sly are few but noticeable. For example, sometimes when you get a lucky charm (which is like an extra life but it teleports you back to where you messed up) it doesn't function like it should. One time I fell in lava and instead of teleporting me back to a platform I jumped from it brought me back into the lava. This has happened more than once. However the charm works correctly 9 times out of 10 so I really can't complain too much. Plus it was my error that I was in the lava to begin with! Other than that on rare occasions it seemed the context-sensitive stuff didn't seem to work, but it could just be me.
Other than these problems though Sly is a pretty fun game. It's got substance (much of which I purposely left unmentioned) and plenty of style. It would be a crime if you were into platformers and/or stealth games and you never played it since it is one of the best platformers/stealth games out there.