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. Buy It. While it doesn’t perfectly capture the vibe, as a fan of Honk Kong cinema I think it does a great job of trying. When I think open world game I don’t usually think “awesome hand to hand combat”. Usualy open world Third Person games of this genre consist of two or three basic punch/kick combos (if that) but the vairiety of moves that expands considerably as the game progresses is very impressive and the varying enemy types force you to learn all of the moves so the entire time I was playing I nevery got bored. Throw in the various “execution” moves and you’ll start to question your own mental balance as you giggle while smashing some poor souls face into a circular saw workbench or while you drop an engine on their head in a garage.

    Outside of that the story of an undercover cop in danger of being pulled in by the very criminals he’s trying to bring down is well told if not totally original, though when a game is a tribute to a style I’m forgiving of such things. I think they could have done more to raise the tension of walking the tightrope between cop and criminal but I still found myself wanting to know how it was all going to end up. Even after I finished the game I was having enough fun to keep going for the relatively easy platinum. I paid full price for it on day of release and I don’t regret it even though it’s now on PS+. As I said above, Buy It (or PS+ it)

    • Oops. I also like Hong Kong cinema as well as “Honk Kong” :P

  2. As open world games go-or any games in general, Hong Kong is not a popular setting. The only other game was the pumping Stranglehold but was seriously flawed.

    The first 30 minutes is not representative of the game at all. Neither is the notion that the game is full of sweary cutscenes. There is language-which gritty open world game does not have that?

    I for one really enjoyed the game so far (not completed yet) but I feel that is in part to the fact I am a big fan of oriental culture. So depending on your taste, it may come as a disappointment if your expecting super high production values etc. For fun, some martial arts style takedowns and an authentically realised Hong Kong then get on it. I don’t see the negativity. The game is arguably better than Saints Row 3 for single player and for involvement.

    Still buy it!

  3. Sleeping Dogs is a phenomenal game. You can really see the attention to detail they put into every aspect of the game. There are so many things you can do in SD that you can’t do in GTA games, and so many things that were improved on, it’s shocking. Easily beats GTA 4 AND 5.

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