Hong Kong, i went there once, the thing that i remember most about the place was how greasy the food was and how i got an upset stomach for the rest of the long tormented nights longing for a simple hamburger, but no, Hong Kong is much more than just some town serving greasy fried ducks, it’s far more dangerous, chaotic, and crazy, if Sleeping Dogs is telling the truth that is..
Sleeping Dogs story is a simple one at best, a chinese born, american raised, cop by the name of Wei Shen goes deep undercover to take down a local Triad gang, The Sun On Yee, where he must prove his loyalties by doing dangerous criminal activities, activities which may piss off some of his commanding officers. The story doesn’t really stick to me, though it has many stand out moments, it’s just not that strong (unlike the greasy ducks at least) but the magic comes from Wei Shen’s conflicting loyalties, between his duties as a cop and his oath to the Triads, you’ll often see him struggle between his two rensponsibilities, and it’s highlighted in the voices than echo in his dreams and his constant anger and frustration.
Sleeping Dogs aims to make the player feel like their in a chinese action movie, beating people up with kick ass kung fu, parkouring on top of buildings, and muttering words in cantonese, and Sleeping Dogs nails this one beautifully. You’ll always feel like this awesome chinese action hero, the Kung Fu is brilliant, though taking influence from a certain Batman Arkham City, it works seamlessly, and just like arkham city, you only need two buttons, to attack and counter, but there is something thrown into the picture, enviromental kills, these can range from slamming their heads against walls, to more violent ones like burning their faces with a griller, which i often avoid because it is very very gruesome. Then there is the gunplay, Guns are a rarity in Hong Kong, unlike greasy chinese restaurants, there are only certain missions that give you the privilege of holding a loaded firearm, but these are very few, and the gunplay is just a knock off of Max Payne 3. But despite all that, Sleeping Dogs succeeds as an open world game, you’ll often find yourself distracted from the actual story missions by buttloads of other side missions, these are very fun and offer a great distraction, and will definately keep you occupied for days to come.
The Graphics are not the best i’ve seen in an open world game, some textures are muddy, the people look like they’ve been run over by a steam roller, and the lighting is just weird on some sections, but it does have it’s stand out moments, my favorite is the rainy nights, when you drive through Hong Kong in the rain, it’s just supreme eyecandy, the roads look realisticaly wet, and reflects the neon glows of the signs above and it is just a sight to behold.
The Soundtrack in Sleeping Dogs is also a thing of beauty, the radio is filled with some decent tunes, and a wide array of stations to choose from, like metal, chinese love songs, dance, hip hop, and many more. The voice acting is also good, Wei Shen being the star of the show, and some cantonese thrown in for good measure, but if Sleeping Dogs was about to do that they should’ve taken some influence from Assassin’s Creed Italian subtitles, that way we can learn some cantonese phrases, so far the only thing i learned is ‘pok gai’ which i think means asshole, and i’m certainly not gonna say that next time i go to Hong Kong.
Sleeping Dogs takes influence from many of the industry’s greatest hits, though not coming close to any of them, offers a very fun and frantic experience and it feels far from derivative, though it suffers from many clunky controls especially in this PC version, it does it’s job well as an open world game, as you see yourself getting many fun distractions in the game’s fun side missions, and truly makes you feel like a chinese action hero.
8.5 out of 10