I’m slowly working my way through Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and the main thing that’s keeping me going is knowing there’s a weapon that allows you to drop PlayStation characters and props from other games into the world. This magnificent, dimension-crossing gun is called the Ryno 8, and while I don’t have it myself yet, what I’ve seen of it looks like a perfect easter egg machine that pays tribute to a handful of my favorite series. Including Sly Cooper, who I’ve only really been seeing through cameos and references lately.
Ratchet: We made it outta the rift with a new super weapon: the RYNO 8!
Clank: It seems this device can drop objects from other dimensions into ours. Fascinating.#RatchetPS5Takeover #SunsetOverdrive @Guerrilla @SuckerPunchProd @Naughty_Dog @PlayStation pic.twitter.com/TavBdHw3oL
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) June 7, 2021
Using this weapon, Ratchet and Rivet can drop things like Sully’s plane in Uncharted, a Thunderjaw from Horizon, and the Cooper Gang’s van from Sly Cooper onto a battlefield, crushing enemies beneath them. But the Ryno 8 also brings a few characters through the dimensional rift as well. Including Jak and Daxter, Sunset Overdrive’s Fizzie, and Sly Cooper himself. And honestly, given that I haven’t seen my kleptomaniac raccoon king since 2013’s Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, and it doesn’t seem like I’m going to again anytime soon, I’m choosing to believe that his appearance in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is canon and Sly is safe and sound with his friends in his own time now.
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For those that don’t know, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time ended on a cliffhanger when it launched on PlayStation 3 and Vita, and it left our hero in a very precarious situation. That game is all about time travel, and Sly was left stranded in ancient Egypt with no way home because the time machine he and his friends had been using was broken in the trip. His friends in present-day swore to find him, and developer Sanzaru Games intended to resolve the cliffhanger with a DLC level. However, Sony didn’t greenlight the expansion, and a beloved PlayStation icon was left out of time and place. Last year, Sanzaru became a part of Oculus, making it very unlikely that a new Sly Cooper game will bring our boy home in the near future.
It’s sad because while Insomniac has had a vice grip on Ratchet and Clank, original Sly Cooper dev Sucker Punch Productions has since moved on to other things. From the Infamous games to Ghost of Tsushima, the studio hasn’t revisited Sly Cooper in 16 years. While it would be nice to see the series come home, Sucker Punch is probably making a Ghost of Tsushima sequel. Even if it weren’t, I have a hard time seeing the studio scale back to something without the open-world elements and photorealistic art style of the last decade of its output.
So rather than expect anyone to pick up the cane and help Sly find a way out of the predicament Sanzaru left him in eight years ago, I’m just gonna let myself believe that his appearance in Rift Apart, where he jumps from one dimension into Ratchet and Clank’s, then disappears into another, is actually him leaving ancient Egypt and returning to the loving arms of the Cooper Gang and Carmelita. I am done hoping for another Sly Cooper game. I am simply looking for an easy, plausible explanation as to how my thieving raccoon son could no longer be left in one of the most devastating, unintentional cliffhangers a game has ever put me through. So shout out to Ratchet and Rivet and their dimension-crossing space magic gun for saving Sly from his terrible fate. Real friends don’t let real friends stay marooned in a different time period.