This sequel sees Sly Cooper return to the PS2 in this classic blend of platform action. Platform games have a long history with consoles, but with developments in the first person perspective, it's easy to overlook the appeal of a good clean game like Sly 2. It is clean and fun for all the family, which when you get down to basics, is what a computer game should be. So what has changed since the last incarnation?



There are more choices for character play, and you can play Sly, Murray and Bentley - sometimes as part of the same level. As with all these multi-character platform games, each character has a different set of skills. Sly is for jumping and pick pocketing, Murray for punching and Bentley packs the cache full of bombs.

Together, they form a great team that can overcome the challenges put in their path. The controls are basically the same as the first game, so owners of the original can get stuck right in. This time the game sees the game unfold in several different environments, taking Sly and the gang all over the world trying to ensure that Clockwerk, Sly's arch enemy, doesn't get rebuilt.

The graphics are very good and cartoon-like here - but they're what you expect from this type of game and it will certainly draw in the kids. The storyline is strong and original. As the levels unfold there are a number of mini-games, and at times these can be a little tedious, but as an action gamer, I think it is a shortcoming of me rather than the game.

A criticism of the original Sly Cooper was that it was too short - fans will be pleased to hear that Sly 2 is longer and more accomplished, meaning it won't be finished before Boxing Day.

Verdict

Overall, this is going to be a big seller with the kids for Christmas 2004 and it should be because it is good clean fun. The dynamics of the game allow consequential outcomes from your decisions - so the game will evolve differently depending on how you solve each episode - on the whole though, its not too hard to get a successful outcome, and the difficulty balance is good - they haven't made the latter levels more difficult, something that can leave a bad taste in your mouth in other games.



Whilst Sly 2 has some appeal for adults, I think the kids will enjoy it the most. Having said that, my wife loves it.