WeView: Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs has received a lot of praise from the TSA community (and the rest of the internet, but that doesn’t matter as much) since it released last August, yet it still sits in my ever growing PLAY THESE folder on my PS3, having only been touched once near the end of last year. So, this is your chance to get your opinion out there and convince (or not) me and the rest of the community to play this game.

Originally set to be the third instalment in the True Crime series, the game was cancelled by Activision before Square Enix brought it back to life, with everything but the name intact. Despite those issues, it seems to have sold quite well too, charting at number one in its first week.

Critics warmed to the game as well – it sits at a score of 83 on Metacritic, while Peter scored it a fantastic 8/10 in TheSixthAxis’ own review. Although he started off by calling it “a reasonably unimaginative Grand Theft Auto tribute“, he immediately went on to say that it’s actually “a really enjoyable game.”

He praised the “living backdrop” of Hong Kong, which you can see in the video above, as well as the “extra attention given to unarmed combat” which allows players to “pull off some really fantastic looking fight moves.” From what I’ve played, the combat system does seem quite impressive – there’s a lot of variety in the hand-to-hand combat, reminiscent of great Asian martial arts movies.

Peter succinctly rounded-up his thoughts on the game by saying:

Sleeping Dogs isn’t original in most of its mechanics and narrative but the little things that differ from genre staples are enough to warrant your attention. The combat system is a joy and the focus on unarmed combat, rather than firepower, is quite refreshing. Hong Kong is brought to life and while it’s not necessarily the real world of Hong Kong, it is perfect representation of the action movie setting of the island and that is much more entertaining and interesting.

So, not entirely original but completely fun – does that work for you? Whether it does or doesn’t, we’d still like to know.

All you have to do is leave a comment below with a compact review of the game. We’ll round up all of these in next week’s Verdict article and as long as you comment before Sunday afternoon you’ve got a good chance of being included in the round-up. Don’t forget to put a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It rating on the end.

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45 Comments

  1. A great game. Played more of this than skyrim over Easter hols, says something! It’s not original but it is very good. Certainly enjoyed it far more than gta4. That game was a bit of a slog – you slog! ;) Sleeping dogs was great fun, missions were nice and easy. Lots of fun, I would recommend it to anyone. Story is great, if perhaps predictable. Buy it, it’s cheap and fun. I got it on plus .

  2. I’m about half way through, got it on plus but was considering buying. It does a lot of things better than gta 4 in my opinion, it feels like its making the effort to be exciting.

    The free running through the streets is quite unique I thought, and its definitely better than both True Crimes, although I enjoyed them. The story does seem quite run of the mill, too much swearing but it is fun to play!
    I would say bargin bin it, and 100% PS+ it. If its in your ‘to play at some point ps+’ folder give it a go! I did and enjoying it. And u can dip in and out quite well, I’ve had a few gaps inbetween!

  3. It’s great.

    It’s as if GTA grew up and was placed in a living, breathing city, with interesting characters instead of cutout stereotypes.

    You can simultaneously admire the beauty of Hong Kong while marching resolutely into it’s stinking underbelly.

    The combat system is fantastic, a meaty melée better than game I’ve played which ties in perfectly with Hong Kong’s restrictive gun laws compared to the US (Guns ARE present later on, and handle very well too, but they’re not the star of this show). There is lots to do and see from racing to karaoke, and some great voice acting (look out for the likes of Emma Stone and Tom Wilkinson!) to go with some truly stunning graphics (the night market in the rain is one of the most gorgeous sets I’ve seen in gaming) to underpin it all.

    As someone who doesn’t ordinarily like open-world games, and tends to be bored of GTA after half an hour, I wasn’t sure I wanted to play this ‘GTA clone’. But it’s much more than a GTA clone. It’s probably the best surprise I’ve received from PS+ yet, and the reason why I really think that not only do we not need GTA V, but that Grand Theft Auto won’t be the best game in the genre Rockstar invented anymore.

    Don’t let this Sleeping Dog lie forgotten.

    10/10. BUY IT.

    • Great personal review, and totally agree with most of your points that make the game so enjoyable. Had to disagree with the final paragraph though I think that not only we, but also Rockstar, need GTA V, and for the game to be a return to what it used to do best before IV, and so far all indications look like it is heading in that direction. ;)

      • ^This^

        Without GTA, you more than likely would never have played a title like this.

        I personally am looking forward to GTA V, as i would like to see what (if anything) they have taken on board from other similar games such as Saints Row & Sleeping Dogs. Needs to be a little more freeform & fun than GTA IV imo.

      • WIthout GTA, this might never have happened, true.

        But has GTA’s time passed?

        San Andreas was fun, but not as good as Vice City.

        IV was just completely boring.

        And most people seem to agree that of the three stories GTAV is built around, only appears be interesting at first glance. At best.

        Grand Theft Auto might be like a great footballer well past his prime- he should retire gracefully before he sours his legacy anymore. But he won’t, because he makes too much money.

  4. Fantastic story and atmosphere. Much more enjoyable than GTA. Great combat and progressive unlocking of skills keep things fresh. Buy it!

  5. Ehh, its alright. Repetition exists but games are repetitive by their very nature. Some nice ideas and a solid story, while slightly unimaginative. Decent driving mechanics with a nice weighty feel. Superb character models graphically though the surroundings and vehicles do suffer. I personally got zero enjoyment out of the combat, far too drawn out and involving in my opinion, not snappy enough. The shooting wasn’t great either. The setting also, meant nothing to me. Bargain bin at best.

  6. Buy it.

  7. If it was trying to be a GTA clone it worked and more.
    I loved the early GTAs but GTA IV was a drag and still haven’t completed it – Sleeping Dogs shows just what you can do with an open world game.
    Buy it

  8. Sleeping Dogs is decent but it’s no GTA. If you’ve played a True Crime game, then you will like SD as it is one under another name for legal reasons. You are Wei Sheng, an undercover cop infiltrating the triads. The plot is excellent although a bit cliched in some parts. Hong Kong is an excellent place to mess around in but a lack of things to do does ruin the experience a bit.Sure, you have the racing, the fight clubs and stealing cars but compared to GTA, it lacks in stuff to do. The main gameplay focus of SD is it’s melee system and it is good. It feels like a weaker version of Batman:Arkham’s one at first but when you get used to it, it feels natural and some of the enviromental moves can be brutal. The soundtrack is varied but i generally found myself sticking to one or two stations instead of listening to all of them during the game. But it suffers the same fate as the first two TC(True Crime, not Tuffcub before any of you make that joke) games did. It’s a GTA clone. A decent one but doesn’t really stand out apart from it’s Batman inspired combat system.

    It’s £20 and is worth picking up. Just don’t expect it to be excellent. It’s decent not excellent. Buy it or Bargain Bin it. Depending where you live.

  9. Had this for ages before it became free on Plus. I’d have to say rent or bargain bin it as I just never really got on with the game. I can’t really put my finger on what exactly was putting me off it but every session I had with the game always ended around half an hour later. I tried to like the game, I really did, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Bring on GTA V.:p

  10. If you like GTA games but don’t like beat-em-ups – Bargain bin it.

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