Sanzaru Games were the folks responsible for the recent HD remake of the original Sly Cooper trilogy for the PlayStation 3. After their time spent updating the fan-favorite from Sucker Punch, Sanzaru were handed the reigns for a brand new Sly Cooper title.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is the fourth in the series and the first from a company beyond Sucker Punch. However, Sanzaru Games are focused on retaining that Sly Cooper magic in their version of this classic franchise.

Ancestors introduce game mechanics.

Rather than creating a slew of new companions for Sly to encounter, the storyline of Thieves in Time is such that Sly meets his ancestors. Those ancestors are playable, and, in true Sly Cooper form, they bring with them a host of unique abilities and mechanics.

Everyone plays basically the same in Thieves in Time. Once you master basic mechanics, the ancestors each offer up their own unique abilities. That’s how the game develops. Rather than running through the same motions over and over again, Sanzaru are aiming to keep players constantly evolving.

So, you’ll start a level and be introduced to the basic principles of its core set of platforming puzzles. From there, those mechanics will slowly pile up and layer over one another until you, as a player, are gently coaxed into a strong challenge.

Boss fights are learning experiences.

It’s the same way for boss fights in this game. You’ll start fighting your foe and slowly be introduced to his, her or its basic mechanics. As you move through the boss’ attacks and hit different phases, things layer and pile up.

It’s not so much frustrating, especially in the mid-level demo I played, but it is challenging.

The whole demo presented this nice balance of learning and struggling. I would encounter a boss and have to learn my way towards beating it. That mechanic is key for the Sly series, if not gaming in general.

Sanzaru Games are working on a beloved property. They recognize that. And they recognize that Sly Cooper vets want their favorite franchise to expand while remaining intact.

It looks like this game will do just that.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time will launch this fall for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita platforms. It will be the same game on both systems, and it will feature cloud save functionality.

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