We have a new episode out today, as we are joined by Mike Doucet to go over the history of Sly Cooper, and also ponder about its future.
As of the date of this writing, it has been 7 years since the last Sly Cooper outing, Thieves in Time, was released for the PS3. That is just a few months short of the 7 and a half years between Sly’s last outing on the PS2, Honor Among Thieves. Despite the similar length, the circumstances leading up to Thieves in Time made it feel like Sly had skipped more than one generation, when in fact, it didn’t.
And here we find ourselves at the advent of a new flagship console for Sony and Sly is nowhere to be seen. Barring a shocking reveal, it seems like Sly will skip this generation entirely. That is not surprising, considering that Thieves in Time was quietly released by Sony, with little fanfare and for a $39.99 price tag, near the end of the PS3’s life cycle. As with many things Sony financed during that time, such as the Move controller and the Wonderbook, the release of Thieves in Time felt like Sony going through the motions as opposed to them celebrating a beloved franchise.
The lack of Sly on the PS4 is also understandable considering that Sony’s last release featuring a classical mascot, the rebooted Ratchet and Clank. That title released to allegedly great sales, but numbers backing that statement were never released, and a sequel was never put in motion (perhaps because Insomniac’s Spider-Man took precedence). Since then, Sony has released the occasional platformer (Knack II anyone?), but it certainly has not been the company’s main focus.
Yet, there is proof that the platforming genre still has life left in it. For one, Sony itself has proved it with the release of Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, which was as great a re-invigoration of the genre as any other effort out there. More pertinent to Sly, the remake of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon demonstrate that these games are heavily steeped in nostalgia, and consumers will pay to take in that nostalgia. Crash and Spyro were much greater sellers in their heyday than Sly ever was, but in the right hands and with the right marketing, such games can sell.
Which brings us back to the future of Sly. There have been rumors that a Sly game may be in the works, though none that have been backed up by solid evidence. Regardless, the gaming landscape as a whole would benefit from the reintroduction of this thieving character. The Saturday morning cartoon cel-shaded style is instantly memorable, the jazzy soundtrack is a great throwback to 60’s caper movies and more importantly, the game is built around a solid cast of characters that are the beating heart of the franchise.
These are the topics that we discuss on our latest episode and it seems that we are all fairly optimistic about the future of Sly. If nothing else, we hope the episode will bring this franchise into new homes, as it deserves the greatest audience possible. Even if there is no future for the franchise, we can rest assured that Sucker Punch Productions and Sanzaru Games have provided us with some decidedly fun games that will stand the test of time.
Music on this episode:
– Ashif Hakik – Back Alley Heist (Sly Cooper)
– Peter McConnell – Paris Rooftops (Sly 2)
– Peter McConnell – Blood Bath Bay Theme (Sly 3)
– Peter McConnell – Dimitri’s Disco Club (Sly 2)