Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is a stealth-action platforming video game that was developed by Sucker Punch Productions for the PlayStation 2. It is the third video game in the Sly Cooper franchise. Sly 3 has optional 3D stages, and the PS2 release came with a pair of 3D glasses inside the manual. Despite receiving lower ratings than its predecessor, the game received generally positive reviews from the gaming press and according to review aggregates was as well-reviewed as the original game.
Sly 3 released on September 26, 2005 in North America and November 18, 2005 in Europe on the PS2. On November 9, 2010, it was released on PlayStation 3 as part of The Sly Collection HD remaster. 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 giant mutant. 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 Dreamtime 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 Fox, 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 unmarried 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!"
There are six episodes in this game, and one small prelude level that starts off the game. The episodes are as follows:
- Prologue: 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
- Cooper Gang (In order of recruitment)
- Sly Cooper (Age: 21) — The leader and co-founder of the Cooper Gang. He is attempting to enter 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.
- Bentley (Age: 21) — Co-founder of the Cooper Gang, and the technical and strategic expert of the gang. 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 (Age: 21) — Co-founder of the Cooper Gang, and the main muscle of the gang. 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 Dreamtime 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, Italy.
- The Guru — A shaman koala from Australia known as the "Guru of the Stone," who becomes the chief mystic of the Cooper Gang. Murray goes to him as his student following the events of Sly 2. The Guru is an expert in the mystical art of Dreamtime, which allows him to perform such feats as blending perfectly into his surroundings, possessing others, and telekinesis. Guru speaks Diksha, but everybody seems to understand him. He is recruited in Yuendumu, Australia.
- Penelope — A Dutch mouse and an RC expert, who becomes the RC specialist of the Cooper Gang. While she is briefly playable by herself in the story, she mostly utilizes various remote-controlled vehicles, like an RC chopper and an RC car. Bentley has a crush on her. She likes Sly at first, but gradually falls in love with Bentley. She is recruited in Kinderdijk, Holland.
- Panda King — A former member of the Fiendish Five, master of explosives and fireworks, and a secluded monk, who becomes the demolitions expert of the Cooper Gang. His daughter, Jing King, was captured by the maniacal General Tsao, and Sly promised to help get her back if the Panda King will use his skill in the Cooper Vault job. Because of his former ties to the Fiendish Five and a grudge against Sly for his defeat, the Panda King and Sly do not initially get along. The Panda King was recruited in the Kunlun Mountains of China.
- Dimitri Lousteau — A former member of the Klaww Gang, who becomes the frogman of the Cooper Gang. He became a popular dance instructor on a cruise ship after the fall of the Klaww Gang, but wound up in jail again. After Sly had no choice but to break him out of jail, Dimitri became a free agent, helping out Sly and the Cooper Gang in the process. He is recruited in Blood Bath Bay.
- Inspector Carmelita Fox (Age: 24) — Sly's love interest, and an Interpol officer who is obsessed with capturing Sly and the Cooper Gang. The Cooper Gang orchestrates multiple scenarios where she unknowingly (and comically) helps the gang out of several tight scrapes. In the story, she is only playable during some of these situations.
- Don Octavio — A Venetian mob boss. After changes in musical tastes prematurely ended his opera career, the Italian Mafia recruited Octavio as a member, and Octavio rose through the ranks until he became a Don. He plans to strong-arm the city of Venice into complying with his demands by polluting the city with tar. The Cooper Gang had to take down Octavio in order to recruit Murray.
- The Mask of Dark Earth — The physical incarnation of an ancient, malevolent entity known as the Spirit of Dark Earth. The Guru of the Stone was tasked with preventing it from getting out of its prison in Yuendumu, but when miners set up shop in the area, they inadvertently unearthed it. It possesses others by forcefully latching itself onto their faces; it makes the host larger, more powerful, and more aggressive. The Cooper Gang had to destroy the Mask of Dark Earth in order to recruit the Guru.
- The Black Baron — The host, and repeat winner, of an annual dogfighting contest known as the ACES competition. The Black Baron hired Penelope as his chief mechanic. While a skilled pilot, the Black Baron owes at least some of his victories in part because he will resort to cheating when things are not going well for him. The Cooper Gang had to defeat the Black Baron in order to recruit Penelope.
- Muggshot — A former member of the Fiendish Five, and a repeat contestant in the annual ACES competition. Muggshot and his dogfighting team are skilled enough to get second place in the previous competition, making them one of the Cooper Gang's biggest obstacles in winning the current competition. Muggshot holds a grudge against the Cooper Gang for their previous encounter with him, so he personally goes after them during the competition.
- General Tsao — A ruthless Chinese general and self-appointed leader of a village in the Kunlun Mountains. He forced the Panda King into exile and kidnapped Jing King, the Panda King's daughter, with the intent of marrying her. He comes from a line of formidable generals and believes his family to be superior to all others. The Cooper Gang had to rescue Jing King from General Tsao and defeat him in order to recruit the Panda King.
- Captain LeFwee — A pirate residing in Blood Bath Bay whose craftiness and strategic thinking earned him the moniker of "The Smartest Man on the Seven Seas." He winds up in possession of the map to the diving gear that belonged to Dimitri's father, Reme Lousteau. The Cooper Gang had to retrieve the diving gear and defeat LeFwee in order to recruit Dimitri.
- Dr. M — The main antagonist of the game, Dr. M is a mad doctor who takes over Kaine Island to find a way into the Cooper Vault. He has enough security on the island, from weaponry to gene-spliced mutants, to ensure that no one else would come to steal the Cooper Vault from him.
There are now a total of eight playable characters. Sly, Bentley and Murray are once again playable, but Inspector Carmelita Fox and the four new members of the Cooper Gang are playable in certain sections of the game. However, only Sly, Bentley and Murray can free roam.
Sly's core gameplay in Sly 2 remains intact, but he has gained a few more abilities that help him at specific points of the game. He can now crack certain safes by turning their dials and feeling for certain vibrations, fly a biplane armed with turrets, use a variety of disguises to fool guards, and command a pirate ship armed with cannons.
Bentley's core gameplay from Sly 2 is also still present, but with new additions. Bentley is now confined to a wheelchair, which ironically makes Bentley more versatile than in Sly 2. He can use his wheelchair as a means of attack, to slow his descent and jump farther distances using its hover pack, and drop bombs into the guards' pockets. He can also now engage in pickpocketing, like Sly, but with a different approach to this: he uses a magnet-hooked fishing pole called the P.P.P. (Pick Pocket Pole) to literally reel in coins and loot. He can also search for the codes to certain safes by thoroughly examining paintings.
Murray's core gameplay from Sly 2 is also largely the same with some additions. He, too, can now pickpocket, but by hoisting stunned or unsuspecting guards above his head and shaking them down for the goods. The coins must be picked up off the ground after the guard is shaken, but Murray will catch the loot he gets. His Dreamtime training has given him another move, the Aboriginal Ball Form, which has several uses: it allows Murray to roll around like a ball, cover himself in a damaging energy field, bounce to incredible heights, and generate shockwaves upon bouncing off the ground at high speeds and heights.
Carmelita mainly uses her shock pistol to shoot enemies. By default, a strafe appears on screen to better aim shots from the pistol, but it can be toggled on and off whenever the player feels like it. Her only melee attack is a short-ranged roundhouse kick called the Power Kick, but this is usually not as useful as the shock pistol. She also has a Mega Jump that launches her a good distance into the air, but she has to stand still to perform it.
The Guru uses his Dreamtime abilities to complete missions. He mainly possesses enemies to traverse the area at fast speeds, which also allows him to break certain structures by ramming the possessed guard into them. While he cannot attack on his own, he can order a possessed enemy to attack on his behalf. He can also use his staff to blend in with his surroundings, preventing enemies from spotting him and tricking enemies that have already spotted him.
Penelope is almost never directly playable, with her preferring to use her RC chopper or RC car to complete missions. Her RC chopper can drop bombs from above and has a grappling hook that can latch onto enemies, obstacles, and other objects. The chopper's thrusters are used to pull anything the hook latches onto. Her RC car traverses the ground fairly quickly and is equipped with a turret that can shoot any obstacles that get in its way.
The Panda King takes to the field armed with fireworks to complete missions. He mainly attacks by placing the fireworks into a pack and releasing them. He can target multiple enemies while loading the fireworks when the player moves the camera in their direction. His only melee attack is a Flame-Fu-style karate chop, which instantly sets weaker enemies on fire, but this is usually not as useful as the fireworks.
Dimitri uses his swimming prowess to complete missions. His playable sections can be described as underwater first-person shooters. He can swim up, down, sideways, forward, and backward. He can also swim faster and in farther strides by power-swimming; this comes at the cost of stamina, which can replenish itself. His only weapon is a spear gun, which has a fairly slow rate of fire, but is nonetheless essential to completing his missions.
There are now certain moments of the game where the player has to engage in a conversation in which you are presented with a speech bubble and a dialogue tree, mostly when negotiating with another character. In order to progress any further, you will need to choose the option in the dialogue tree that best solves the issue at hand. In most cases, failing to pick the right one will just allow you to pick from the remaining choices, but there are a few times where failing results in you starting the conversation over.
Loot no longer needs to be sold back at the safe house. The item's worth is added immediately to the coin count.
The actual locations of Sly 3 change as missions take place. Time passes, and important environmental objects that get destroyed in the story, like the Ferris wheel in An Opera of Fear and the windmills in Flight of Fancy, will remain that way as soon as they are gone.
The game 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. Certain objects in the levels are only visible when being played in 3-D. The 3-D effect is focused on 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.
A variety of bonus features are present in the game, with more of each of these features being unlocked as you progress through the game.
There are bonus missions based on completed story missions called Master Thief Challenges. These are set with specific restrictions, like time limits or starting the player with 50% health, to make completing them a little more difficult. An extra treasure hunt mission for each hub world is attained at the end of the game. Doing all of the Master Thief Challenges is required to reach 100% completion.
Completing an episode also gives access to concept art pertaining to that episode, from various locations within that episode, to the designs of the antagonist and the new Cooper Gang recruit in that episode.
Bonus videos, including a two-part short called "Goodbye My Sweet," a documentary on the early development of the first two games called "The Evolution of Sly," and a music video for Dimitri's theme, are unlocked with specific game completion percentages.
An offline two-player mode was included, consisting of four split-screen mini-games. The following two-player games are available in Sly 3:
- Cops and Robbers — A one-on-one match in the Venice hub world. 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. The first player to get five points wins.
- Biplane Duel — A one-on-one dogfight. Player 1 is Sly, and player 2 is Carmelita. The first player to defeat the other ten times wins.
- Hackathon — A co-op hacking game. Player 1 is Bentley, and player 2 is Penelope. Both players work together to get through all the hacking levels with a shared set of lives. If you did not recruit Penelope in the game yet, player 2 will be Sly.
- Galleon Duel — A one-on-one naval battle. Player 1 is Sly (with Murray at the helm), and player 2 is Bentley (with Penelope at the helm). The first player to defeat the other three times wins.
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.
SoundtrackThe soundtrack for Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves was composed by Peter McConnell. It was released in 2006 and contains 29 songs, including three songs from the Sly 2: Band of Thieves soundtrack.
SequelBrian 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 Cooper games, each episode contains stereotypical references to the countries involved in that episode; for example, Team Iceland's Viking helmet in Flight of Fancy.
- An Opera of Fear contains many references to The Phantom of the Opera, such as Octavio's face mask.
- The A Cold Alliance job "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.
- This is the first game in the series where the prologue episode can be replayed.
- 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.
- This is the only game in the series not to feature any clue bottles.
- New characters appear on the episode select menu after completing certain episodes. Bentley appears after completing the first two challenges in the Hazard Room. Murray appears after completing the Venice level. Carmelita appears after completing the whole game.
- The Japanese version of the game is notable for changing many of the voices onwards to later installments, such as in the HD collection and appearances in Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale:
- Sly Cooper: Tomokazu Seki to Takeshi Kusao.
- Bentley: Mitsuaki Madono to Daisuke Kishio.
- Murray: Takashi Nagasako to Hajime Iijima.
- Carmelita Fox: Tsubasa Makoto to Mie Sonozaki.
- Panda King: Chafuurin to Juurouta Kosugi.