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September 21, 2004
Sly 2: Band of Thieves - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
1/10/2004SonySucker Punch1$99.95

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It's love at first sight.
In recent weeks I've been thinking about writing an article about the best games on Playstation 2 that everyone seemed to overlook. Sega's Rez would certainly make the list, as would Sony's ICO. Another game in contention would have to be the prequel to this game, Sucker Punch's Sly Raccoon, a game that while selling an impressive 1 million units worldwide deserved to sell many times that number. It was an artistic tour de force, and a very respectable platform game as well. Sucker Punch Productions have been working on this sequel since the original was released, and this game is looking even bigger, and even better as a result.

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Ahhh... Paris.
Sly 2: Band of Thieves features Sly, Bentley and Murray along with a cast of new characters that work together to pull of a sting of big heists. Say goodbye to the Brat Pack as you know it because there’s a new Raccoon Pack in town that is raring to go. Word is out that Interpol has excavated the robotic remains of Clockwerk – Sly’s nemesis and sworn enemy of the Cooper clan. Sly and his gang discover the parts of Clockwerk are missing, and embark on a quest to ensure Clockwerk is never reassembled. The journey takes Sly and his crew to the far reaches of the globe, and along the way experience a plot full of deceit, surprising twists, and an exciting romantic triangle that will leave you wanting more.

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Attacked from above!
While the original title was a fairly straightforward platformer this game is aiming for a larger and more unique gameplay experience with team based heist the key to the game. You will now have to co-ordinate action between Sly, Murray and Bentley in order to succeed. Naturally each of the characters will have his own set of skills and strengths to help you throughout he missions. During the levels you will be able to roam the streets or take the exciting action to a new level and show off your expert stealth skills on the rooftops, steal priceless objects, discover underground hideouts, and more.

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The graphics are wonderful.
Gadgets will again play a major part in the gameplay with items such as binoculars, ice axes, spy cameras and parachutes all available to the players. The enemy AI has been improved further in Sly 2 so enemies will now call to their friends to help out, and should provide more of a challenge to the players. The original game was a little easy in the disposal of enemies at times. Finally the games storyline will be told by cut-scenes with the voice talent and music remaining faithful to the original game. All-in-all the game seems to have made improvements in all areas of the gameplay, but that's not all as the graphics have also been overhauled.

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Watch out for the torch lights!
One of the most impressive aspects of the original title were the graphics. Using a cel-shading technique, which Sucker Punch prefer to call toon-shading, the game had a cartoon quality and this game includes a significantly upgraded engine for even better graphics. During this sequel Sly and his gang will visit locations such as Paris, Prague, India, the Canadian wilderness which should provide a wide range of graphical styles.

With American's getting to play the game from September it's great to see the PAL release set for early October here in Australia - rather then the very long wait for the original game. Keep an eye on Sly 2: Band of Thieves it will be hot.