Sly Cooper is an exceptional stealth platformer video game series that spanned from the PlayStation 2 to the PlayStation 3. They followed the adventures of a master thief, Sly Cooper, and his friends as they perform heists and save the world. Fans have hoped that the series isn’t quite “dead” yet and that it will make a comeback in some form in the future. With the most recent installment in the series, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, ending on a massive cliffhanger back in 2013, it’s a slap in fans’ faces that we haven’t seen what happens to Sly and the gang. It’s clear that the series needs a major comeback, but where can it go next?
Much of the Sly Cooper series has Sly, Bentley, and Murray, and some of their other acquaintances, focus on Sly’s ancestry. He comes from a long line of master-class thieves who have pulled off the greatest heists in world history. He constantly tries to live up to them, and most of his stealthy maneuvers come from a book that each of his ancestors have added to over the years. Thieves in Time had Sly and his friends travel through time to work with some of those ancestors. The game ends with each of Sly’s friends making it back to the present and with Sly stuck somewhere else in time. It’s now up to his crew to find out where and when he landed and rescue him. That’s no way to end the series.
There’s an unlockable secret ending in Thieves in Time that reveals to the player that Sly is trapped in Ancient Egypt. Obviously, the story should continue from there. With Sly going to a time period unexplored by the previous game, they can use that to explore why Clockwerk and the Fiendish Five (the villains from the original game who play a major role in the overall canon) despise the Cooper Clan so much. Clockwerk is pretty old and had to replace his body with robot parts in order to keep up with the Coopers over time. Seeing those origins take place would be vital to the series’ story, and it would be fun for the fans to see the story come full circle in such a way.
Perhaps Bentley, Murray, and Carmelita make their way to Ancient Egypt early in the game where they must help Sly travel through the years to get back to the present, similar to the previous game. This time, however, we could see Clockwerk gradually roboticize his body after each bossfight as we explore his origins deeper. Through exploring Clockwerk’s origins, we could see more of the Cooper Clan’s past, which was one of the best aspects of the previous game.
If Sly and his friends do work with a different ancestor in each time period again, then the game could all lead up to finally seeing the relative who’s had the most impact on Sly (and on the games’ story as a result): his father. The original game explains that Sly’s father was struck down by Clockwerk and his goons. Sly was sent to an orphanage where he met Bentley and Murray as a result.
Sly being able to meet his father and go on this one adventure with him would add a lot of heartfelt emotion to the story. Plus, it would allow the player to get more of an insight as to who his father was as an actual character and not just as a plot device. Whether he’s there for the whole game or just one level, having Sly’s father present would be hugely impactful. It would feel like what the whole series has been building up to.
There only really needs to be one more game to give the franchise a satisfactory conclusion. The story will come full circle by seeing how things went down before the events of the original game with Clockwerk and Sly’s father. Sly and his friends would make it back to the present by the end of the game. Due to the events of the previous games, Carmelita will likely no longer be a threat to the Cooper gang since she’s now helping them and is in a romantic relationship with Sly. Sly will finally get to know his father more, the threats to his lineage will have been dealt with, the romantic subplot has reached a conclusion, and the story would come to a close with Sly and friends either retiring from the thief life or continuing to use their abilities for good in ways the law cannot help with.
It’s been a rather long time since one of the most iconic PlayStation series received a new installment, but it truly needs that one last game to wrap everything up nicely. Hopefully we do see that happen one day, unlike that Sly Cooper movie that received a teaser trailer several years ago then was never made. This series has become terribly ignored by Sony like many others (Jak & Daxter, Twisted Metal, PaRappa the Rapper, and Ape Escape, just to name a few). It would be an absolute shame if we never get to see what happens after that huge cliffhanger Thieves in Time left us with, especially since the Sly Cooper series could realistically wrap up with just one more great game.