Originally created 11/10/05

Entertaining gameplay makes 'Sly 3' a winner



Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is like a good book or movie - you hate to see it end.

The third game featuring master thief Sly Cooper and his gang gets just about everything right.

Because Sly is a raccoon and he works with a turtle, hippo, koala, panda, lizard and rabbit, the cartoonish graphics are perfect. The game has a clean, colorful, fun look.

Voice acting is great, and the dialogue is witty. The background music is even catchy.

Sly 3 knows it's a video game and doesn't try to be anything else. That's part of what works so well. Characters even tell one another which buttons to push on the controller to perform certain actions.

Throughout the story, you play as several characters, each with his own special abilities. Even the tasks they have to pull off are so varied that gameplay never gets repetitive. It's almost like a series of fun minigames blended seamlessly into a bigger piece.

The story involves Sly and his sidekicks, Murray and Bentley, on a quest to open the old Cooper vault, which contains Sly's family secrets.

Unfortunately, the vault is on a heavily guarded island owned by a villain intent on opening it himself. Sly and the gang have to recruit some people to help, including some of Sly's enemies from the previous games.

The Sly Cooper games are filled with interesting, over-the-top characters (General Tsao, a Chinese chicken), and it's nice to see some of them again.

The game is challenging but not controller-throwing, hair-pulling difficult. Some of the optional, timed missions that you unlock can seem impossible, but, again, they're optional.

Sly 3 added some 3-D levels and even supplied a pair of glasses. The best part about these levels is that you can turn the 3-D off. The effect is just not very good and is more trouble than it's worth.

Still, Sly 3 is an exceptional game that's appropriate for players of all ages. The story is rather long, which is a refreshing change from many recent games that are good, but too short.

Reach Dustin Turner at (706) 828-2903 or dustin.turner@augustachronicle.com

GAMEPLAY

'Sly 3: Honor among Thieves'

The specs: Cartoonish action game developed by Sucker Punch for PlayStation 2;

Rated: E

Cost: $39.99

Rent or buy? Buy; the story is long, and it's worth owning

The verdict: * * * * * out of * * * * *