Dig into the underworld of Hong Kong as an undercover police agent and infiltrate the local Mafia, bust the small fries and ultimately lock up the big fishes.
Sleeping Dogs was intended to be an original IP, but in 2009 the developer came under Activisions wings with a major budget bump and the condition that it would become a sequel to the True Crime series. Two years later however, Activision called it quits, and the developer instead turned to Square Enix. That partnership resulted in the title we’re presented with today.
As an open world crime-based adventure title, it is arguably overshadowed by the great GTA franchise. That doesn’t mean that there’s no place for it though; quite the contrary. I love a good game with sandbox elements and I’ve been craving something new, ever since I finished the surprisingly entertaining Saints Row The Third.
If Bruce Wayne was broke and lived in asia
So your name is Wei Shen. You’re an undercover cop that has returned to your old neighborhood in Hong Kong, where you’re tasked with infiltrating the criminal underworld. In doing so, you’re met with plenty of tough characters, curse words and bloodied fistfights.
The gameplay is heavily weighted on a flowing and combo-based combat style that resembles that of the superb Batman Arkham Asylum/City. Sleeping Dogs doesn’t have as many cool fighting combos, but if it would have had just as many, one could argue that it just tried to imitate the Rocksteady title. I just don’t see any problem with that. Even though the combat system is a bit simplistic, it still delivers a good challenge, where timing is essential.
You also get to drive around like you’d expect from a open world title like this and the fictitious version of Hong Kong is fun to explore. It does get old after a while though, but it’s up to you, when you want to start the next mission.
Wet clothes look the best
It’s almost uninteresting to bring up the graphics on a platform that is nearly seven years old, so negative realities such as missing anti-aliasing is pretty much expected from AAA titles nowadays. Sleeping Dogs doesn’t focus on smooth edges either.
The developer does find some rendering power in the hardware for some pretty good looking lighting effects though, and in the very first scene of the game, you witness this by the reflecting light in the characters rainsoaked jackets.
Since the game engine operates with a huge city, you’ll experience unloaded textures pop in and out from time to time and the skyline in the distance isn’t that great looking. However, the developer did manage to capture a great atmosphere.
While it doesn’t exactly surmount the feel of either the open world-ness of GTA IV or the flowing combo-based combat sequences of Batman: Arkham City, it still provides a lot of satisfactory challenges. If I must be vehemently honest. And I must. I really have to admit, I like this game.
If you like this type of game, you shouldn’t be disappointed if you decide to pick up Sleeping Dogs, as long as you don’t expect as good a story as in GTA IV or the same level of silliness from Saints Row The Third. If you’ve played any of the two games in the True Crime series, you can consider this a sequel in spirit. But if you’ve never played them, this new IP is standing out just fine on its own.