If anyone deserves a share of the HD re-release spotlight it’s Sly Racoon. Kratos lacerating limbs PS2 style looks great in HD. The forthcoming ICO & Shadow of The Colossus Collection will be nothing short of incredible all over again. These things are to be expected. The more games that get the HD reboot the better. So it’s just great that Sony has faith in the Sly Raccoon franchise and has given the original Thievius Raccoonus a HD revamp pedestal to stand on.
All three Sly platforming games were fantastic titles in their own right, with each additional sequel packing more visual delights and gameplay improvements then the game that preceded it. This HD Collection gives you the opportunity to trawl back through Sly’s three previous adventures and as you complete them one at a time you’ll be immediately exposed to just how the franchise grew and improved over time. Sly 1 gave us the characters, the visual flair and the gamplay, but was a very linear experience. Part 2 upped the ante significantly and brought a wealth of gameplay variation. Part 3 grew on 2’s merits and added a host of new characters, new weapons and options. It’s great to see a family of games grow and evolve together and this really justifies the existence of these HD collections.
Sly looks better than ever. Sure, he plays the same, but what do you expect? Sanzaru Games and Sucker Punch have done an excellent job in transferring Sly to a more current gen look and the results are very impressive. Character models are colourful, sharp and smooth, the all encompassing cel-shaded nature of the game’s visuals just pop in HD. Everything looks like it could be ‘this generation’ and not just an intelligent recycling of old visuals. Everything seems deeper, boss battles are bigger and worlds seem infinite. It’s a great advert for what can be achieved with these HD refurbishments.
Of course, the gameplay and architecture of the original games remain intact so if they didn’t appeal to you then, then they simply won’t appeal to you now. The audio design is the same, but seeing as how the characters and dialogue was so wonderfully crafted all those years ago, it’s great to hear everything come to life all over again.
If you have a Playstation Move then you can take advantage of four mini-games that have been added to the package and although they work well, you probably won’t play these more than once. The Move levels are very tagged on. They include three shooting games and a helicopter flying game. They’re also includes a 3D option.
Sly Cooper is one of Playstation 2’s truly great original characters. If you’ve never played a Sly game before now you really have no excuse now. With three great games at its core and a host of extras at your disposal, The Sly Cooper Collection is more than worth a look.
TGL SCORE 8/10
Format: Playstation 3
Developer: Sanzaru Games, Sucker Punch
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: December 1st 2010