Sly Cooper is a media franchise consisting of a series of stealth-action platformer video games for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PC; two comics, released before the second and third games; several books, including strategy guides; an upcoming film; and an upcoming television series.
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Sly 2: Band of Thieves and Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves were developed by Sucker Punch Productions. The fourth title in the series, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, and spin-off title Bentley's Hackpack were developed by Sanzaru Games. Sanzaru was also supposed to develop an additional title called Sly Cooper: Network of Thieves, and Vigil Games was also supposed to develop another Sly Cooper game, but both games were canceled. The spin-off flash game Thievius Raccoonus was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. The Adventures of Sly Cooper, a series of two comics, was created by Sucker Punch and published by GamePro Magazine and DC Comics. Books include Sly Cooper: To Catch a Thief written by Michael Anthony Steele; How to Draw Sly Cooper & Friends, a how-to book written by Conrad Wells and illustrated by Erik Demski; and strategy guides for the first and second games, as well as for The Sly Collection, released by BradyGames. Sly Cooper, the film, was being produced by Rainmaker Entertainment and Blockade Entertainment. Sly Cooper, the television series, was being produced by Technicolor Animation Productions. There is also a variety of other merchandise, including (but not limited to) magnets, T-shirts and statuettes.
The world of Sly Cooper is a fictionalized version of the real world that is populated by anthropomorphic animals, with film noir and comic book motifs. It is also filled with super-science and magic. The focus of the story is Sly Cooper, a young adult raccoon and the latest descendant in a long line of master thieves who pass down their expert techniques from generation to generation using the Thievius Raccoonus, a book which contains all the Cooper family's secrets and tricks. While the Cooper family has accumulated a massive amount of wealth through their thieving ways, Sly places greater value on his friendship with his partners Bentley and Murray, and his flirtatious relationship with Inspector Carmelita Fox.
Sly Cooper is the protagonist of the series. He is a young male adult raccoon that is part of a long line of master thieves. Early in his life, he witnessed the death of his parents when the Fiendish Five stole his family's Thievius Raccoonus. He was sent to Happy Camper Orphanage, where he met his two best friends, Bentley and Murray. Together, they formed the Cooper Gang. Sly is the nimblest of the gang and is sent out the most on missions. He uses a hooked cane as a multi-purpose tool.
Bentley is the brains of the gang and considered a classic nerd. He is a turtle that is skilled with electronics, computers and gadgets, and generally helps with reconnaissance and mission-planning while Sly is out in the field. He lost the use of his legs after being briefly crushed in the jaws of Clock-La, and he now operates a wheelchair, which he handily equips with gadgets.
Murray is the muscle and wheelman of the gang, who is in charge of driving the gang, in the Cooper Van, to various locations. As a large pink hippopotamus, he is amazingly strong but somewhat dim-witted. He often ventures to the field on missions requiring such strength.
Carmelita Fox, a member of INTERPOL, is Sly's primary love interest. She is a vixen who has her mind set on capturing Sly but also demonstrates some romantic feelings for him, which Sly often uses to escape capture at the last minute.
Common gameplay elementsEdit
The games are primarily third-person action-platformer games. The player controls Sly or one of his companions through many missions of several levels, relying mostly on stealth to avoid encounters and alarms while collecting treasures or other items. Sly is very agile and can use many of the features of the architecture for stealth, indicated to the player by a blue glow, explained in-game as a visible manifestation of Sly's "thief sense." For example, Sly can perch on the top of sharp points, sneak along narrow ledges or use his cane to swing from hooks. Sly also uses his cane to defeat foes, although it makes a noise that may attract other enemies in the area. He prefers to use sneak attacks when possible, due to his little endurance. Because of his heritage, Sly has several special moves that he learns throughout the games that can also increase his stealth or speed, or allow him to eliminate foes silently. The player also may play as Bentley with his gadgets, or Murray with his strength, and many minor companions in the third and fourth games. There are also minigames scattered throughout the gameplay.
In each game, characters mostly interact through the use of binocucoms, which the player can trigger at any time during gameplay. From Sly 2 and on, waypoints become a recurring gameplay feature as well. They serve as an important navigation tool for players in each level. They used mostly during jobs but are also used to find jobs and locate the safe house in each hub world.
In each episode, the gang pulls off a series of heists, and to accomplish such goals, they must first complete several sub-missions. In the first game, each sub-mission is located on a level accessible from the main heist level, while the second, third and fourth games use a nonlinear, open-world approach to have various missions located around the same large level. There is typically a boss fight at the end of each heist, which typically concludes the mission.
ThiefNet is another recurring feature throughout the series. It makes its debut in Sly 2. It allows players to sell loot (Sly 2 only) and purchase power-ups. It can be accessed at any time in the safe house of any hub world.
Sly Cooper and the Thievius RaccoonusEdit
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (also known as Sly Raccoon in European countries) was released in 2002 for the PlayStation 2. Sly must recover his family's Thievius Raccoonus, a book listing all the special thieving skills his family has collected over several centuries, which was stolen by a rival gang, the Fiendish Five, led by Clockwerk, a mechanical owl-manifestation of evil. Meanwhile, Sly and his gang must keep ahead of INTERPOL Inspector Carmelita Fox, who promises to one day capture Sly and put him away for his crimes.
Sly 2: Band of ThievesEdit
Sly 2: Band of Thieves was released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2 platform. In this game, a series of mechanical parts of the shattered Clockwerk has been stolen by the Klaww Gang. Together, they could be used to revive the defeated Clockwerk; separately, they each have super functions. While Sly and his gang follow these leads, they are pursued by Carmelita and her partner Neyla, who are after both them and the Klaww Gang.
Sly 3: Honor Among ThievesEdit
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves was released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 platform. Sly has learned of the Cooper Vault, a gigantic gauntlet of the wealth his family accumulated over the years. He must find a way, however, to defeat Dr. M, who has taken over the island where it is located to try to break into it. Sly must regroup his old gang and recruit new members to succeed at reclaiming his family's history, all while still on the run from Carmelita.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in TimeEdit
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time was released in 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita platforms. Bentley, the keeper of the Thievius Raccoonus, notices that pages are beginning to disappear. He creates a time machine to allow the gang to go back in time and stop the insidious plot to erase the Cooper history.
Sly Cooper is a CGI movie that was originally set for release in 2016, though the current release date is unknown. It is heavily based on the first game of the series, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus.
Sly Cooper is a CGI TV series that was announced in June 2017. It will focus on Sly and the gang attempting to save their city, with Carmelita hot on their tails. It was originally aimed to release October 2019 but has not aired yet and its status is unknown as of April 2020.
Thievius Raccoonus was a downloadable game for the PC which coincided with the European release of Sly Raccoon, and was available from the official European website of the game, www.slyschool.com. It contained several minigames loosely based around settings from the first game and was designed as a promotional game, which allowed players to win several prizes.
Bentley's Hackpack was released in 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita platforms, and later in 2014 on the App Store for iPads and the Google Play Store for Android tablets. It is a standalone mini-game pack released to coincide with the release of Thieves in Time. Players "take control" of Bentley and have access to three of the arcade machines at Bentley's Arcade, which feature more challenging versions of the three hacking minigames from Thieves in Time.
The Sly CollectionEdit
At E3 2010, The Sly Collection was announced for a Fall 2010 release. It is a remastered collection of the first three Sly Cooper games on a single Blu-ray disc ported to the PS3. It has been remastered to be compatible with HD and 3D. This 3D feature was available in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, but it was built into the game, while the 3D effect from The Sly Collection requires a 3D-ready television. The Sly Collection is compatible with the PlayStation Move, and hosts PlayStation Network trophies.
Sly Cooper and other characters from the games are also featured in two comic books, published in 2004 and 2005 by GamePro Magazine and DC Comics, to promote the release of Sly 2: Band of Thieves and Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, respectively. Both books are used to transition the story from one game to the next.
Sly Cooper: To Catch a ThiefEdit
Sly Cooper: To Catch a Thief is a novel based on the first issue of The Adventures of Sly Cooper and expanded upon the story told there.
How to Draw Sly Cooper & FriendsEdit
How to Draw Sly Cooper & Friends is a how-to book that teaches the reader how to draw several characters from the Sly Cooper series.
Untitled PSP gameEdit
An untitled Sly Cooper game for the PlayStation Portable was being developed by Vigil Games around 2005. According to concept art, it was going to take place throughout history (similar to Thieves in Time), but was canceled before it went into full production.
Sly Cooper: Network of ThievesEdit
Sanzaru Games began development on a Sly Cooper game called Sly Cooper: Network of Thieves in 2008, but when they began developing Thieves in Time, it was shelved and canceled. As a result, the game never entered the full production stage. According to Mat Kraemer, it was supposed to take place throughout time, but only two pieces of concept art were ever released, both of which appear to be for the same level in the game.
PlayStation Move HeroesEdit
In PlayStation Move Heroes, Gleeber and Lunk open wormholes in three worlds, which suck two heroes from each into Gleebtopia. These six heroes are Sly, Bentley, Jak, Daxter, Ratchet and Clank. Each of these are playable in a series of different missions that involve mainly moving an object or using the characters to complete other various objectives.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle RoyaleEdit
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is a fighting game that takes place in many different areas based on the games and characters in which they take place. Sly Cooper is featured as a playable character, though Bentley, Murray and Carmelita also make appearances as non-playable characters.
Other Sucker Punch gamesEdit
Sly Cooper references are in just about every game developed by Sucker Punch. For instance, Infamous: Second Son features graffiti, jacket pins and ringtone themes that reference Sly Cooper.