Product Type: Square Enix PS3 games
Newest Review: ... points and money, and levelling up your Triad and Cop meters will grant you upgrades to Wei's skills. Completing Favors nets you ... more
Sleeping Dogs Does Not Disappoint
Sleeping Dogs (PS3)
Member Name: TheProffesional
Sleeping Dogs (PS3)
Date: 20/10/12, updated on 20/10/12 (71 review reads)
Advantages: Great Story, truly feels like Hong Kong, great gameplay, teriffic voice acting, varied missions
Disadvantages: Camera in tight corners is annoying, pretty poor drawing distance,
Let's get this out of the way. Sleeping Dogs is a very fun game. It has some great gameplay elements which are superb. Sleeping Dogs is not the most original game; it borrows of ton of aspects from other games but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sleeping Dogs strives to have that Hong Kong action movie feel and it achieves it wonderfully. Sleeping Dogs is a single player game only and it proves that you don't need to have multiplayer to be a great game.
The story in Sleeping Dogs is the best thing about it. In Sleeping Dogs, you play as a cop named Wei Shen. Wei is originally from Hong Kong but went to the States when he was young to escape the bad influences he faced. Now all grown up, Wei goes back to Hong Kong as an undercover cop. His mission is to take down one of the most devastating and ruthless crime organizations in Hong Kong by taking it apart from the inside. The game is filled with wonderful and wholly alive characters. For example, you have your childhood best friend Jackie and a despicable, personal rival named Dogeyes. As said, the story is first class and really the driving force behind the game and it only gets better as the game progresses. You start off as minor triad goon and work your way up. Wei is a great protagonist, who unlike other open world game heroes is not an entirely violent and cold person; he is genuinely likable and has a great back story. Sleeping Dogs story should take around 15-25 hours to beat depending on whether you play side missions too.
Graphics and Presentation:
Hong Kong looks great. The graphics are very good especially when you're viewing something from a distance. It is amazing when you're driving and you see the Hong Kong skyline and the skyscrapers that make it up. One thing that you will undoubtedly notice when playing is how awesome the game looks when it is raining in it. Honestly, this game probably has the best rain effect that I have ever seen in a game. Still though, there are some parts that Sleeping Dogs could improve upon in the graphical department. The game has a pretty poor drawing distance and that is a bit irritating when you are driving at high speeds and then a car pops up and you crash. Another thing I didn't like was the textures on objects when you view them close up. The characters also look very plastic when viewed up close. Despite those critiques, the game is still very good looking.
Hong Kong is filled with wholly alive characters and NPCs and it makes the presentation great. While it isn't the most accurate representation of Hong Kong, the game no doubt still feels authentic. Civilians on the streets will talk about what's happening in the world of Hong Kong. They will recognize you and start talking about you too. You can also do other things in Hong Kong such as bet on cock fights, play illegal games of poker, go on a date with a girl friend and even sing karaoke. Karaoke is a mixed experience. I mean I loved when Wei was singing 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun', it was very funny but the gameplay element to it can be tedious and get repetitive. There are other things you can do in Hong Kong as well such as going to stores and buying clothes or going to street vendors and buying goods from them. All in all, Hong Kong feels very alive.
The gameplay for Sleeping Dogs is great. It is tons of fun to play it, even though it borrows things from other games. I'll start off first by discussing the driving. Driving in Sleeping Dogs is a blast. It has that arcadey feel, which a lot of people will enjoy. While driving, you can ram cars and try to run them off the road. You can defy physics and do insane drifts. You can also "action hijack" vehicles, which involves you jumping off of your vehicle and jumping onto another. That is one aspect in which Sleeping Dogs borrows from another game as Just Cause also had a similar gameplay element. While driving you can also shoot, which is great and it adds to the gameplay. While shooting in a vehicle you can cause a lot of havoc such as shooting other cars' tires, causing them to go out of control and blowing them up. You start off with a standard motorcycle, which isn't very fast but if you aren't satisfied, you can always get something else. If you aren't satisfied with the car you have, you can always steal another car or buy one from a black market dealer. Once you progress through the story a bit, you unlock races. Racing is enjoyable and races range from racing with average street cars to the high end sport cars. One thing that you might not like is that when you are in tight areas the camera will re-adjust itself making it hard to see and drive.
Sleeping Dogs has also has a face level, triad experience and cop experience. Your face level helps you get better bonuses from foods and drinks and a high face level is required if you want to buy some higher end clothes and cars. You can increase your face level by doing favours for others in Hong Kong. Some favours you can do our getting your friend out of trouble with police and taking care of thieves. In Sleeping Dogs you have a triad experience meter which increases when you do crime related things and help out with triad affairs. Once you're triad meter increases, you can unlock some pretty nice melee upgrades. The cop experience meter is for upgrades involving guns and driving.
Sleeping Dogs is an open world game but guns aren't always involved but when they are, it is pretty fun to use them. Shooting in Sleeping Dogs is good but not great. It has typical controls for a third person open world game. You aim and shoot with the L2 and R2 triggers. You can do all the general things while shooting such as shooting and taking cover and blind fire while in cover. You can also aim freely and at any part of the body. When you are shooting sometimes time will slow down and you will be able to kill enemies in slow motion which is pretty awesome, this part is similar to the Max Payne series.
One gameplay element that really sticks out in Sleeping Dogs is the melee combat. The melee mechanics are similar to Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, which is essentially a great thing. The combat in Arkham City was amazing and it does not disappoint in Sleeping Dogs. The difference is that in Sleeping Dogs, the combat is much more violent and brutal but at a slower pace. Punching is more deadly and efficient but unfortunately it does not have the same pace and rhythm that Arkham City had. Another thing to note is reversing some of your enemies' moves can be difficult at times. For example, it would be hard to counter an enemy's punch, when his allies are all trying to beat you up too. Something that makes Sleeping Dogs stand out from the competition in regards to melee combat is environmental finishers. Some environmental finishers are simple and plain, while others are brutal and bloody. Environmental finishers involve interacting with the environment and they can range from throwing someone into a dumpster to putting an enemy through a fish hook.
The mission structure in the game is thankfully varied. Missions are different from one another and it helps keep the experience refreshing. For example, in one mission you'll be cruising through the streets trying to hijack a bus and in another mission you'll be handling a boat and shooting and shredding through other enemy boats.
Another fun gameplay aspect in Sleeping Dogs is the free running and parkour part similar to Assassin's Creed. Free running is fun and adds a nice touch to the game. You can use free running when you want to climb something or you want to chase someone. When free running, you will be able to climb over fences and jump off objects.
Whether it is voice acting or music, the sound in the game is top notch. All the voice actors give superb and convincing performances. There are many famous Hong Kong and East Asian actors in Sleeping Dogs such as Edison Chen who plays Jackie and Parry Shen who plays your triad boss, Winston. There is a Hollywood presence as well and you might notice some famous Hollywood actors. The hero, Wei Shen is played by Will Yun Lee, his police superintendent is played by Tom Wilkinson, one of the girlfriends you can have in the game is voiced by Emma Stone and Lucy Lui also voices a character in the game. The music also flows along well with the game. It has a mix of music genres in the game such as Hip Hop and Rap, Rock, some techno music and others. When driving, you can switch through radio stations and change to the music that you want to listen to. The game incorporates the music well when you are in an intense scene such as a car chase. Overall, the sound is terrific.
All in all, Sleeping Dogs is a terrific game that anyone who likes action-adventure and open world games should definitely check out. I personally think this is one of the best games of 2012 so far. It is a great experience and is good in every major department such as story, gameplay, graphics and presentation and sound. Sleeping Dogs stumbles upon a few things and borrows quite a bit from other well known games but it still has its own identity and is just a tremendous game. I definitely recommend it.
Summary: Sleeping Dogs is a superb game, that every gamer that likes action-adventure games should check out