Even before Seattle-based Sucker Punch was bought by Sony in 2011, the studio had been almost inseparable from the PlayStation line-up. Sly Cooper and Theivius Racoonus
was released in 2002 and kickstarted the PS2 generation of mascot platformers, this time with an emphasis on stealth. Sly Cooper is a thief trying to recover some stolen pages detailing all the hidden techniques of thievery. All these years later, the cel-shaded art direction is a real standout. The reception was certainly solid, but there were two other big games playing in the same platforming arena on PlayStation: Ratchet & Clank from Insomniac Games and Jac & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy from Naughty Dog
. It still sold well amongst these big games, but over an extended period.
When 2004's Sly 2: Band of Thieves
came out, life was a little easier for sneaky little IP. You see, the game was received very well indeed, with its combo of better graphics, story, and game design. When Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
his PS2 in 2005, the series' look and feel were filed down to perfection by Sucker Punch. The charmingly sleazy charisma of Sly and the gang was plastered across the screen, even in the 3D levels that required the use of glasses. This marked an end to the PS2 generation for Sucker Punch and an end to their time with Sly Cooper. The remastered versions were forged into The Sly Collection, which was developed by Sanzaru Games and released in 2011. This was a great testbed for their work on the fourth and final game in the series, 2013's Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
. The team would also release the spin-off Bentley's Hackpack
, based upon your Turtle team member and tech powerhouse. Thieves in Time didn't quite hit the highs of previous games in the series and signalled an end for Sly Cooper's adventures.
For us at TrueTrophies, 2009's inFamous
was a founding father of the good years of the PS3 and the making of the modern Sucker Punch USP for its games: open-world, morality-driven, with silky smooth controls. The courier-turned-superhero Cole McGrath gets blasted into being an electric-charged conduit after an accident in downtown Empire City. What follows was a wonderful comic book adventure that felt fresh and modern, well suited to the PS3 era. Blasting with your powers was truly and deeply satisfying, the morality system was perhaps a little basic, but certainly strong enough to make you want to play the game twice over to see what happened the other way around.
2011's Infamous 2
moved the action from New York-alike Empire City to the New Orleans-alike New Marais. The plot was bigger and so was the electrical power set. In many ways, this sequel was the perfect Infamous game. It came out just before open-world game formulas were growing tired and superhero films were about to saturate every entertainment market. Infamous II got the Festival of Blood
expansion, which started a trend amongst the Sony first-party of releasing one major expansion for its exclusives. It was a solid non-canon Vampire adventure, all-in-all.
2014's Infamous: Second Son
was the first big PS4 event game post-launch. It brought the series, Sucker Punch, and PlayStation exclusives into the new generation really, really well. The visuals were outstanding, as was the open-world of Seattle and the solid — if not innovative — story. The array of weird superpowers felt so right
. Second Son was offering PS3 game design operating at maximum capacity, the best way to begin breaking the barriers of old tech. It is no surprise that Sucker Punch was constantly in touch with Sony for this game, making sure it was going to hit the PS4 soaring.
The big expansion was First Light
, a neat package focused on the neon-powered conduit Fetch — a character present in Second Son. This was probably the best of the main game bundled into a perfect sliver of extra content. When 2020's Ghost of Tsushima
entered the scene with six years of dev time under its kimono, the samurai action-adventure brought the open-world game back to nature while presenting an unusual story. With this, Sucker Punch made the case that it was at the top of its game and ready to push even harder in the future.