The story of how Sanzaru Games sold Sony on creating a fourth Sly Cooper game is a known quantity, but it wasn’t until now that we’ve seen some of the presentations the studio showed the company when trying to get Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time greenlit. Well, YouTube user Tabreez Siddique has uploaded a leaked presentation for what would eventually become the game that launched in 2013, but that initial pitch was quite different from the PlayStation 3 and Vita game we have today.
The presentation was for a fourth Sly Cooper game that would have launched exclusively on the PlayStation Vita (referred to by its code name NGP or Next-Gen Portable) and implemented a fair amount of social features that never made it to the final product. From the looks of it, the plan was to have the game out for the Vita on or around its 2011 launch and would have used much of the device’s motion controls and touchscreen for input. Some of the social concepts in play were cooperative multiplayer and level creators that could be shared with friends. All of this would have been alongside a more standard Sly Cooper platformer experience that would have equated to half the game.
Another thing shown in the presentation that didn’t make it to Thieves in Time was a monster truck mini-game where you’d play as Murray, the hippopotamus muscle of Sly’s crew, using the Vita’s back touchpad and gyroscope features to drive. Some of the mini-games shown during the pitch, such as the hacking segments, did make it into the final product, however.
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Ultimately, these social features were dropped in favor of a more traditional Sly Cooper game. Which I really enjoyed when I played it back in 2013. However, it ended on a cliffhanger Sanzaru Games intended to wrap up with DLC, but it wasn’t greenlit by Sony. Since then, Sanzaru has been acquired by Oculus to make VR games, so a fifth Sly Cooper game doesn’t seem in the cards right now. And until one happens, I’m just gonna consider Sly’s appearance in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart to be canon. For my sanity’s sake.