Let me start off by saying that I have completed the story and played through the game, so i've had plenty of time to analyze the details of this game. After finishing the main story I was pleasantly surprised with the direction Sanzaru brought the series. They did a lot of good things, but they made a few minor mistakes. (There may be some minor spoilers below, but i'll try not to say anything big)
The graphics were very well done, the worlds looked great and everything looked very detailed, especially the water. The characters look very good for the most part, but I feel like they made some unecessary changes to the character models. I don't like the changes they gave to Murray, he just kind of looks like something you would see in a childrens show, he looks like a hippo version of Barney. In my opinion they really dropped the ball when they designed Carmelita, i'm not going to go through all her flaws because we'll be here all day. Overall the game looks quite polished and i'm pretty impressed despite the setbacks in character design.
The gameplay is relatively similar to the other sly games in the series, lots of jumping and pressing of the circle button. They made a few minor changes to the way the game is played, like having to tilt the controller for a particular hacking minigame, some may find it frustrating, but I have no quarrel with it. They've also introduced several new playable characters throughout the game, like Sly's ancestors from different time periods. All ancestors have special techniques of their own, but they are pretty easy to get the hang of. Carmelita is also introduced as a fully playable character later in the game and she handles pretty well and uses the shock pistol effectively to dispose of enemies. Overall it feels like a Sly Cooper game and that's what matters most, though it has it differences from its predecessors.
The story picks up right where Sly 3 left off, with Bentley finishing the time machine. But after Bentley's girlfriend Penelope disappears and the Thevious Racconus is being erased before everyones eyes. Its up to the gang to go back in time and find out whats happening to the past so they can fix the present. The story is quite different from all the other games, some may argue that its too silly and makes no sense. I, however, don't see a major problem with it. This isn't the same old spy thriller we used to play all those years ago, but its still a very good story. My favorite part is the villains introduced throughout the story. They are all done very well and have a fantastic unique personality. Overall, the story captured the Sly Cooper feel we were all hoping for.
This game is just what we were hoping for, it fits right in with the rest of the series and Sanzaru has taken very good care of the game. There are TONS of things to collect throughout the expansive worlds and you will have a nice lengthy Sly Cooper experience, Is this the best game in the series? It might be! And the game is only 40$, You would be doing yourself a major disappointment if you don't buy this game. Overall: I would give it about a 9/10. The only real flaw being that they were a little heavy handed with the dialogue, it felt like the characters always had something to yell every few seconds and it got kind of tiring.