A few weeks back I did an article called “Five Underrated Video Game Characters”. The response was good and I am thinking of making a part two sometime in the near future because there are many more characters I could put on this list. One of these characters was Sly Cooper. A character that I believe has huge potential as a video game character. The lack of games for both the PS2 and PS3 lead me to believe that Sony had just blown off the character as just another failed attempt at creating a mascot. I was delightfully surprise last week with an announcement from Sony that caught me totally unaware. On Tuesday January 28, Sony and Rainmaker studios announced that they’re were not only going to make a Ratchet and Clank movie to come out in 2015 but in 2016 they will also release a movie based on the Sly Cooper franchise.
For those that don’t know, the first game Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus came out for the PS2 in 2002. The game was created by Sucker Punch studios who would later go on to become the creators of the Infamous series on the PS3. The Sly Cooper games follow master thief Sly Cooper. Sly is a modern day Robin Hood who only steals from “bad guys.” He never steals from innocent people because there is no “fun” in it. He gets this “code” from his long line of “honorable” criminal ancestors. This comes into play in most of the game since they center on Sly trying to recover pages from a journal. This journal is a collection of thief techniques that his ancestors created.
Sly is not alone in his adventures around the world. He is also joined by his best friends Murray and Bentley. Murray is a tall pink hippo and is described as the muscle of the group. While Bentley a turtle who is in a wheelchair is the brains of the operation. Usually in the game Bentley is used as the one character that gives you your objectives for each level by coming up with complicated plans. The game would also include a third character Inspector Carmelita Montoya Fox. She’s part friend, foe, and love interest in the Sly Cooper games. Her goal is to finally catch Sly as she chases him and his friends around the world. Often times however Carmelita ends up teaming with Sly to fight a more dangerous villain.
The game centers on a mix of traditional platforming and some elements of stealth. Each game has several chapters and in each chapter you have a hub world that you can explore freely. Similar to games like Super Mario 64 or Banjo Kazooie you hop, job, and navigate through each level. Like the Zelda games Sly would pick up weapons and upgrades to help him get through tougher levels. Furthermore, there mini games inside that would be parodies of classic games, for example Pacman and Defender.
There were three games on the PS2 and one game on the PS3. The first three games can also be purchased in a HD re-mastered version on the PS3. The HD version is very hard to find so if you get a chance pick it up I highly suggest them.
I am hoping that with the announcement of these movies will it elevate these characters’ popularity. If you would like to see both the Ratchet and Clack and the Sly Cooper trailers I will have them below so you can see for yourself. Will this marketing scheme work out for Sony? I am not sure given that most video games turned into movies are not all that great. However, Disney did find a way with Wreck-it-Ralph, so who knows? We will have to wait another year or two to find out. Till then give their game a shot, you won’t be disappointed.