September 16, 2002
Sly Raccoon - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
Q'1 2003SonySucker Punch1$99.95

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The graphics are very impressive.
Sly Raccoon is the latest game from Sucker Punch, a development team of 22 people who produced the highly acclaimed Rocket: Robot on Wheels on Nintendo 64. This second game from the developers is fortunately coming to the PS2 and the lengthy development period since early 2000 looks like paying off. This game sees you playing Sly Cooper, a thief. The game also has a pretty solid storyline.

Born into a family of the world's greatest jewel thieves, Sly is given the Thievius Raccoonus, an ancient book and family heirloom that is passed down from generation to generation. In it are all of the best-kept secrets of the art of thievery, put together over the years by Sly's ancestors.

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Use barrels to hide from darts.
On his eighth birthday, a gang of five villains break into his home, overpower his father and steal the Thievius Raccoonus. The gang split the book five ways and make off with one piece each of this treasure trove of information. Now, ten years later, Sly is ready to steal it back and restore the family honour. Needless to say, you'll control Sly as he sets about his adventure.

Set in a world with a wide variety of locations, all beautifully put together. Every character in the game has been "toon-shaded" - in other words, you get fully featured creatures that look like they've stepped straight out of an animated cartoon. And you'll be amazed at how smoothly they walk, jump and clamber about.

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Better tuck that tail back in.
Unlike most platform games - and, indeed, most games - Sly Raccoon isn't all about violent confrontations and jumping on people. Sly's a thief and a master of his art. Therefore you often do better to avoid confrontation entirely, sneaking in and out of dangerous areas and using all the stealthy skills at your disposal. You'll also find it rewards risk-taking - as long as you do it right. However, on occasion there will be no other choice then to attack the enemies. This can be done with your trusty metal hook through a variety of manoeuvres.

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Collect coins for an extra lives.
One of the most noticeable things about this game is the quality of the graphics. As well as a blend of realistic physics the game has some richly detailed, toon-shaded worlds. Sly himself is very reminiscent of the cell shading used in games such as Jet Set Radio on Dreamcast and XBox and UbiSoft's upcoming shooter XIII. After playing Sly Raccoon for some time now I have no hesitation in saying that this game is the best looking cell shading yet seen in a video game. As one of the world's greatest thieves, gamers will enjoy smooth, seamless gameplay and animations with very few load times.
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Sly's cel-shading is impressive.
The interactive environments are created using triple pass polygonal rendering for lighting and effects add mood and ambiance to a uniquely stylized look. Shadows, spots lights, building details and special effects take on a whole new look - and it does impress.

With an intriguing and gripping plot that unfolds as you progress through the game and discover new surprises, a fully-realised cartoon-quality world of vast and vibrant locations to explore, and an innovative, stealth-based approach to the platform game, Sly Raccoon promises to be one of the most imaginative and rewarding titles on the Playstation 2. Expect a release in PAL territories just after the New Year.