Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Posted on November 5, 2012 by

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Sleeping Dogs, originally to be released as True Crime: Hong Kong is a video game that follows a third person open-world crime drama format and follows the story of Wei Shen, a cop in Hong Kong who is set undercover to infiltrate and dismantle the Triad gang known as the Sun On Yee.

The story takes a Scarface-like turn from there with Wei rising to the top of the Triads by completing various missions or objectives for them. Though there are other missions that may be performed for miscellaneous characters, such as finding evidence to convict persons of interest in the Triads, all missions earn the player experience that he or she can use to buy new skills and abilities. My only issue with the missions, while fun, are that most lack diversity in gameplay.

As expected from a Gangster, Wei gets into plenty of brawls and shootouts, both of which are handled quite well. The brawling mechanics are quite reminiscent to those of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, with the varied combos and counters that are critical to winning fights; however, Sleeping Dogs’ combat is less acrobatic and more realistic, and involves the ability to pull off often exceptionally violent environmental kills.

Gun combat, while fun and well done, displays nothing exceptional and borrows somewhat heavily from other 3rd person shooters, such as the Uncharted series.

Of course, there are plenty of situations Wei cannot simply face head-on, and the game features plenty of chases both on foot and in vehicles. While I have nothing bad to say about the running controls, which I found to be generally well done, vehicle control can be laughable. The driving itself feels stiff, and making turns requires a  forced approach no matter what vehicle you are driving.

That isn’t to say a van feels exactly the same as an expensive sports car or motorcycle.

Sleeping Dogs, despite this, manages to add abilities that I have not seen in the other open-world games: driving with ramming ability and stunt hi-jacks.

Overall, Sleeping Dogs is a good game that, while not perfect, is worth a play for those who enjoy the 3rd person open-world crime dramas, even if it’s only for those who want a diversion while waiting for Grand Theft Auto 5.

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