Born in Hong Kong and raised in the USA you play Wei Shen, an undercover cop returning to his homeland in order to try and wipe out the notorious Triad Gang.Wei is not your typical GTA clone cliché character with the rugged looks and sore throat, he is a sophisticated gentleman (when not womanizing) that wants to do right for his native people and in order to do that needs to work for both within the triad gang and alongside the police in order to really destroy the gang that scares and corrupts the city.
The problem is Wei gets a little too emotionally attached to the Triad way of life but is he strong enough to stick to the plan and take down the Triads or will he become one?Play to find out!!!
The story of Sleeping Dogs is brilliant and very well written.You will often look forward to going to the main missions knowing that you will uncover a new piece of information leading you to the next piece of evidence etc.
The short but sweet cinematics are reasonably well presented but you will mainly be focused on what is said rather than what is seen.
The first thing I want to mention is how “alive” Hong Kong feels in sleeping dogs.People are not walking around stiff or walking into walls and voices heard seem to be different every time and not constantly repeated.
As with the majority of 3rd person games sleeping dogs can be clunky at times.You may be running and find yourself stuck on a piece of wood no taller than 2 inches yet you have to back off and run up it at a different angle. This may be annoying when it happens but it is quite rare and definitely not enough to ruin the greatness of sleeping dogs.
Sleeping dogs is an action adventure similar to GTA and Saints Row but it is better in so many ways compared to the last instalments of the mentioned, this is because nearly everything has been done right.The story like I have already mentioned is near perfect, the driving is the most fluid driving I have had in this genre the fighting is impeccable and the environment is so real… I’ll elaborate.
Usually driving and riding vehicles can be an absolute chore but not in Sleeping Dogs.Sleeping dogs has the driving down to a “T”, you can drift properly if you have a fast/powerful car and handling is how you would want it to be.The traction changes according to weather so if the rain is pouring be careful because it will be a slippery ride! Motorcycles are controllable at high speeds rather than a blur that you hope is not going to crash any second and again drifting is a possibility depending on the bike.The vehicles in Sleeping Dogs are as close to “Burnout” as you can get which is a good thing in my book!
When you’re not driving you will be walking and running and it just so happens that Wei is a pretty nifty free runner.Sometimes a bit clunky when turning and trying to get over small objects but again not enough to ruin your experience because you won’t be doing it too much.It works nearly as well as Assassins Creed.
The hand to hand combat is so smooth and solid.You can grapple, counter, kick and punch or use the environment to teach your enemies respect.Taking on multiple enemies is not always easy though.If you try to rush your enemies or are constantly throwing punches/kicks etc you will find yourself on the floor or getting stabbed more often than not.Take a step back and allow your enemies to come forward and you will truly see the brilliant craftsmanship in the fighting.I would say that the fighting is very similar to Batman Arkham City which is a very good thing.
You won’t be wielding weapons as you do in GTA or Saints Row because you do not have an invisible back pack capable of carrying a huge array of weapons as you do in them games.You will mainly fight with your hand and legs but on the odd occasion you will pick up a knife or use a gun but this won’t be for long.I like this because it gives the game more of a real feel and a care for the civilians in the city.
There are 3 types of levelling in sleeping dogs, Triad, Cop and Faces.Triad is filled by completing triad jobs, cop is filled by completing undercover police work and face is filled by helping the citizens of Hong Kong whether it be good or bad!
Once a meter is filled you’re able to use an attribute in that area in order to unlock a new skill such as combo, gun handling or obtaining items out of trunks of cars.I thought this was a great idea that works really well.
Side missions are ok but do drag sometimes and become a little stale.Your typical run and collect missions are here but there is even karaoke to be sung and it isn’t fun!
I found myself trying to impress a girl by singing “Take on Me” by A-Ha and although it was a little funny I would rather have been doing something else.
Obviously there are collectibles in the city of Hong Kong and just like any other game they can be tedious.It is up to you what you collect if anything but there is an incentive to as you may get a health upgrade or cash for collecting a certain amount.
You earn money for jobs completed including side mission like collecting vehicles but apart from cars and bikes there isn’t much to do with it.Throughout the whole play through I maybe purchased 2 cars and 1 bike because the only other things to buy are clothes and health.This is a shame because I would have liked the money to have more use but I didn’t let this ruin my experience.
It is also worth mentioning that when roaming the city you will actually get dirty and some of you may even feel obliged to get changed which I did and never felt in a game before.
I’ve never been to Hong Kong but Sleeping Dogs is what I imagined it to be (looks wise) bright lights, night markets, clubs, lots of fish, wooden boat docks and bad weather.
The lighting of the streets both by natural light and street lights is pretty damn amazing.You will have moments where you will say “Wow” and not just at the mission where you take a pic of the sunset!
When the weather gets tough and the rain is falling among the streets Hong Kong looks even better.The shimmering reflection of light in the puddle streets is something that really impressed me and I honestly couldn’t wait for it to start raining again.
Sleeping Dogs is brilliant.It may have a few minor problems but they’re just that… “Minor” and are not around enough to ruin the brilliant experience that United Front Games and Square Enix have given us. Not enough people are playing Sleeping Dogs but they should be.You will get at least 20 hours of gameplay without side quests and every bit of it will be just what you need.
I honestly haven’t played a game of this genre this good since GTA San Andreas