Sanzaru Games may be a relatively new developer, having only been around for the last five years or so, but Sony has bestowed upon them a huge vote of confidence, entrusting them with one of their first party franchises, Sly Cooper. Thieves In Time is Sly’s first outing in almost eight years, as well as his debut on the PlayStation 3 and Vita (not counting his appearances in PlayStation Move Heroes and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale). While most of the game remains true to its PlayStation 2 predecessors, this caper is going to send Sly and his friends through time to help restore order to the Cooper clan. We had a chance to ask Sanzaru Games’ President Glen Egan some questions about the release, and got some insight into the development process of Sly’s latest, and highly-anticipated heist, Thieves in Time.
Multiplayer: What are the biggest differences between developing Sly Cooper (or any game) now versus developing ten years ago?
Glen Egan: The biggest difference is in the level of detail, now with the polygon pushing power of the PlayStation 3, coupled with HD TV’s, the world is so crisp and vibrant compared to the fuzziness of the last generation. We look at that as an even bigger opportunity to create a universe that immerses a player in details, and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is just that kind of world.
Multiplayer: Sly has added some friends and foes over the years, who do you think has most influenced the series?
Egan: Clockwerk! He is the main antagonist of the Cooper Clan. Without the events surrounding Clockwerk, Sly would not be the raccoon he is today. It’s a similar story with Batman and the Joker. Would Batman be who he is without the events that took place with the Joker?
Multiplayer: If Sly were a thief in the real world, what would be his dream heist?
Egan: Sly is an honorable thief, he only steals from other thieves. This gives him a sort of Batman/Robin Hood kind of aura. I think Sly’s dream heist in the real world would be to clean out a greedy corrupt dictator that was oppressing his citizens and bankrupting his country with his overly opulent lifestyle.
Multiplayer: Where did the concept of time travel come from for the new game?
Egan: The concept for time travel comes from the end of Sly 3. Right at the end of the credits Bentley discusses his next big venture – creating a time machine. We kind of took that notion and ran with it.
Multiplayer: If this was Sly’s first game, how do you think things would be different?
Egan: If this was Sly’s first game I don’t think we would be time travelling to meet his ancestors. I think we would focus on who he is, and explore his and the gang’s origin.
Multiplayer: How does the Sly experience translate to a portable game, since this is Sly’s first release on a handheld platform?
Egan: Sly Cooper is the perfect game for a handheld platform. It has everything you would want in a handheld game and really brings the Playstation 3 home experience on the go. With the Cross-Save feature players can push their save up to the cloud back and forth between the Playstation 3 and PS Vita games. This is a feature you don’t see often, I think this coupled with Cross-Buy makes this an awesome PlayStation experience.
Multiplayer: How was the handoff from Sucker Punch? Has anyone from the original team been weighing in on this project?
Egan: Throughout the game’s development Sucker Punch has taken a look at builds and has sent along feedback. They had a lot of good tips on specific aspects of the game and really wanted to see where we were going to take the Raccoon and his gang next! In addition our production team over at Sony worked on all the original games so we are in good hands with feedback and taking Sly in the correct direction.
Multiplayer: Since this is the first original Sly game from Sanzaru, do you think fans have altered their expectations for this release?
Egan: I think we have delivered what the fans want: a true sequel to an incredible franchise that people love. The feedback we are seeing on the forums, based on playing the demos, has really helped to validate that, the big message we keep seeing is “This FEELS like a Sly Cooper Game” – this is one of the best pieces of feedback we can hear. Another big expectation has to be the graphical fidelity of the game since it’s on new hardware. I think this is also something we have delivered on in every way – the game looks just gorgeous running on the Playstation 3 and Vita!
Multiplayer: Why do you think it has taken Sly so long to appear in his own game on the PS3?
Egan: Sucker Punch has been incredibly busy with inFamous, so I think the key piece of the puzzle was Sony finding a developer with the passion to make it happen. Sly just needed the right developer to rekindle the franchise and we are very honored that Sony would allow us to do that.
Multiplayer: Raccoons are one of the most underrepresented species in video games, what other games and genres do you think might benefit from a visit from our nocturnal friends?
Egan: Raccoons are quite versatile creatures, and I could see Sly and the gang in an action RPG or even a 1st person space shooter!