The lights are on
Sly Cooper is a master thief raccoon who lives in a world of anthropomorphic animals. Altaïr, Ezio, and Connor are master assassins who live in a slightly different version of our world. The two worlds and their protagonists, however, share far too many similarities to ignore.
Ignoring the fiction of the two worlds, both games share a lot of similar mechanics, and Sly Cooper has a similar history and skill set as The Assassins. The first Sly Cooper game was more of a straight platformer divided into levels, but the second and third games offered open worlds for Sly and his team to explore, with missions that will be familiar if you have ever played an Assassin’s Creed game.
Pickpocketing – Both Sly and The Assassins have the ability to pickpocket enemies. You can do it for profit and fun, but there are also missions in both games that require you to steal things from right underneath the nose of your target.
Disguises – Disguises are a big part of the new Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, but before Aveline’s adventure in New Orleans, Ezio donned the occasional guard costume to sneak around unnoticed. There is at least one instance where Sly also dresses up to sneak around. In Sly Cooper 3, he pretended to be a pirate.
Tailing from rooftops – Overhearing conversations and following people from rooftop is a useful tool in both the Assassins' and the thieves' tool belts, and both games feature plenty of missions where you do just that.
The Assassins and Sly share more than just similar mission objectives. They also share skills.
Expert parkour – The Assassins effectively invented parkour and are highly skilled at achieving great heights and expertly balancing where there is very little foot room. You know who else has impeccable balance and can climb like a squirrel? A raccoon named Sly Cooper.
Gadgets – Ezio has Leonardo Da Vinci, Sly Cooper has his turtle pal Bentley. They even share at least two handy gadgets. Both have deployable parachutes to save them from dangerous falls, and in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Ezio had a hook to help give him extra reach while climbing. Sly has been using a hook to help him climb since day one.
Here’s where it gets a little crazy. Desmond is an assassin who comes from a long line of experts in the craft. He is able to learn from his ancestors by exploring his genetic memory, and the Bleeding Effect means that anything his ancestors learn, he is able to learn.
Sly may not have the technology of the Animus to help him learn from his ancestors, but he does have the Thievious Racoonus, which gives him access to all of the skills his ancestors have mastered in the past.
In Assassin’s Creed II, Ezio’s home has a basement that features statues of his ancestors. In the end of Sly Cooper 3, Sly explores a cave that also features statues of all of his ancestors. There is even one ancestor of Sly's in particular who is wearing an outfit that looks remarkably similar to the hoodie getup the assassins have been donning since before 1191. Rioichi Cooper is technically a ninja, and we will find out more about him in the next Sly Cooper game, but there is no denying that he is wearing a hoodie.
My indisputable theory is that Sly Cooper’s universe exists in the same one as Assassin’s Creed, but thousands of years after Desmond’s experiences. The Assassins finally achieve their goals, overtaking the Templars, and then evolution takes charge making humanistic animals the dominant species. The reason Sly is a master thief and not a master assassin is because there is no need for assassins with The Templars gone, but that family still likes to take part in illegal activity of some kind, so they started stealing. It all makes perfect sense and I reject any counterarguments that you are able to bring forward.
Email the author Kyle Hilliard, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.