Sly 2: Band of Thieves is the second entry in the Sly Cooper series and sequel to Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. It was developed by Sucker Punch Productions and initially released on 14 September 2004 for the PlayStation 2. It was later re-released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita as part of a remastered HD collection on 9 November 2010 and 16 April 2014, respectively.
Set two years after the events of the previous game, Sly 2 follows titular protagonist Sly Cooper and his partners in crime, Bentley and Murray. The story centers around their mission to defeat the Klaww Gang and steal the scattered pieces of Sly's archenemy, Clockwerk. All the while, they find themselves on the run from Inspector Carmelita Fox.
In Sly 2 the player once again controls Sly Cooper, who makes use of his thieving skills and agility to stealthily pull off jobs. He retains most of his abilities from the first game, including some that he learned from the Thievius Raccoonus: the dive collection technique, Ninja Spire Jump and Rail Walk.
In addition to Sly, the player can play as Bentley and Murray. Bentley follows a more cloak-and-dagger approach to stealth. He cannot climb poles or jump very far, but he is equipped with sleep darts and bombs to subdue enemies one by one or sabotage enemy equipment. He can also hack enemies' computers, which brings the player to a top-down shooter-like mini game. In contrast, Murray's strength allows him to help the team with heavy-duty tasks. His brute strength allows him to take on groups of enemies by himself with powerful hooks and upper cuts. He can pick up objects and enemies to throw around, and his Thunder Flop can stun enemies.
Like its predecessor, Sly 2 is divided into episodes, with each one taking place in a different location. They stray away from a hub-and-spoke design and are larger, and feature jobs that usually take place at least partially in the hub world, instead of an A to B platforming level. A safe house located in the hub is where the player can switch characters or escape from pursuing enemies. Clue bottles also make a return and are now scattered throughout every hub world. There are 30 in each location, and once all of them are collected the player can access a safe located somewhere in the hub world.
Loot and power-upsEdit
Another new feature is pickpocketing. When Sly sneaks up behind an enemy, he can reach out with his cane and steal coins out of their coin pouch. The coins come in clusters and go directly to Sly's coin count. If there is an aura around an enemy's pocket, they are carrying a piece of loot, and once Sly pilfers the loose coins, he can grab the enemy's item and sell it later back at the safe house. Murray and Bentley cannot pickpocket.
Similar to loot items are treasures, which can be found on pedestals located throughout every hub world. Just like loot, the player can sell treasure for coins, provided they can return it to the hideout without taking any damage. Some treasure is timed and must be brought back to the hideout quickly; otherwise, it will disappear and the player will have to go pick it up again.
Using collected coins, the player can purchase power-ups (also called gadgets) for each character from an online store known as ThiefNet. Sly's power-ups center around stealth and evasiveness, Murray's power-ups center around power and combat, and Bentley's power-ups consist mainly of gadgets and gizmos. Most power-ups need to be assigned to a button via the "Gadget Grid" (accessed with ); others some have passive effects. Power-ups are also found in the safe of each location.
In lieu of the one-hit and lucky charm system from the first game, each character now has a health meter called the Thief Meter. Health is diminished every time the player is attacked by an enemy or hits a hazard. If it is depleted, any job in progress must be at least partially redone and the character will re-spawn at another location. The meter can be refilled by collecting health pickups dropped from defeated enemies or broken objects. Located beneath the Thief Meter is the gadget meter, which depletes whenever the player uses most power-ups. When it is completely depleted, the player can no longer use power-ups. Just like the Thief Meter, the gadget meter can be refilled by collecting health pickups.
The game also makes use of the PlayStation 2's optional USB Microphone, allowing the player to use the sound of his or her own voice to distract in-game enemies. This adds a new twist to the stealth elements, as the player themselves have to refrain from making noise.