Sly 2: Band of Thieves is a platformer game with stealth elements in it. The game has the basic premise of hub worlds, but there are a lot of changes to the game beyond that. Players will have the opportunity to play as Bentley and Murray as well as Sly.
Each area still has a hub world, but each hub has individual missions with an overarching storyline, culminating with a boss battle; it plays out like one, huge heist with every mission setting up for the finale. Each level in the first game had Clue Bottles, while each hub world has 30 hidden throughout it. Once all 30 are collected, players must find a hidden safe, which can be opened and will yield a new ability.
Abilities and upgrades to a character's fighting prowess are bought at each hub world's hideout using coins that can be found from destroying objects and defeating enemies. New upgrades are unlocked as you get farther into the game. Some abilities need to be assigned to buttons in order to use them, although some do not need to be assigned.
Sly gets the ability to pickpocket from enemies during the game. This allows Sly to loot coins and items to sell at ThiefNet to earn even more coins. A guard will have an item if their pouch has a glowing aura around it, otherwise they only have coins.
Band of Thieves does away with the charm system from the first game, with every character having their own health bar. Each time they get damaged, they will lose some health and if it gets depleted entirely, they will go back to the last checkpoint. Enemies in the game also take more than one hit to defeat.
Each character also has a special gauge that is used for abilities. It is depleted when a character uses abilities and both it and health can be refilled by collecting red "plus" signs dropped by enemies or from destroyed objects.