Sly Cooper vs. Infamous: Second Son

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
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By Kelsi Novitsky

Sucker Punch gives up the Cooper games to create the newest Infamous installment

When Sucker Punch Productions released Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus in 2002, not only did gamers fall in love with the witty animated Raccoon, Sly Cooper, but the third-person shooter/platform put Sucker Punch Production on the radar of the gaming world.

With the release of the fourth Cooper game, Thieves in Time, loyal Cooper followers were surprised to see Sucker Punch relinquish the game to Sanzaru Games Inc. to make room for their next big project- Infamous: Second Son.

Yet though Sucker Punch gave away its proverbial baby, Second Son is filled with references to the Sly Cooper game. Whether it be city graffiti depicting the furry thief or Second Son's main character, Delsin, choosing to have the Cooper jingle as his phone's ringtone, it's been made clear that Sucker Punch hasn't given up on the game that made it famous. The question now seems to be, if Sucker Punch Productions is still so attached to Sly Cooper, why give it up?

"While it's fun to live and stay with your family; it's useful to move and it's useful to go somewhere new and have new experiences," said Sucker Punch co-founder Brian Fleming in an interview with Game Informer. "You know, the market had dramatically changed during the Playstation 2, and M-rated content emerged as a huge thing. We'd only done exclusively E-rated content. I think that was something we were pretty clear on; that we knew that we were going to do Sly 3, and then we were going to do new IP."

According to Fleming, the change from a cartoon to a realistic open-world style game was a large spiritual change for Sucker Punch. Artists who were devoted to the cartoony style of Sly Cooper decided against animating a more realistic game, and left the production company.

"There were artists here who were central and a huge part of what we did on Sly," Fleming told Game Informer. "They left. We love them, but it just wasn't their path."

For the gaming world, the obvious shout-outs to Sly Cooper within Infamous are endearing.

"I think it's cool," said UMD sophomore Nick Lashinski. "You don't see a lot of other developers give homage to their previous games."

When it comes to content, Sly and Infamous are closer than a first glance would suggest. Sly Cooper, despite being a thief, seems to live off the idea that "it takes a thief to catch a thief" and often goes out of his way to benefit the greater good of society along with his own personal gain. In Infamous: Second Son, Delsin has the chance to be an unlikely superhero, or the ultimate criminal. The game play is changed based on the decisions Delsin makes. Similar to the Sly Cooper series, the game isn't black and white; good and evil. Instead, there is gray area. To some, Second Son also seems to have an X-Men twist.

"It's similar to X-Men, the phrasing they use, because X-Men would call them mutants," said Lashinski. [In Infamous] they refer to themselves as conduits, but periodically throughout the game, people will call them bioterrorists, putting a negative spin on the fact that they're different and special."

While gamers keep themselves busy with the nostalgia of Sly Cooper and a new set of powers in Infamous: Second Son, Sanzaru Games is hard at work continuing the story of the furry raccoon that Sucker Punch left behind. Sly 5: Master of Thieves is rumored to be released by Sanzaru , but no release date has been provided.

For now, gamers can keep themselves entertained by following Delsin around the city of Seattle with his new neon powers while wondering what will come next in the story of the cartoon raccoon who made Sucker Punch Productions famous.