Urban city free roaming gaming has been dominated by the Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row series. Sleeping Dogs is the successor to the PlayStation series True Crime and it’s a welcome addition to the genre. With it brings a different flavor. Western environments are gone. Now it’s about the triads in China. You play the role of an under-cover police officer infiltrating the gangs. Sleeping Dogs strength is in its combat. Fighting is simple and so much fun. New moves are unlocked as your earn respect and finding artifacts There are plenty of side quests and stashed briefcases scattered around the map. Inside briefcases is money or clothing. Money is generally earned through missions however driving through parking meters provides you with small change. Players can also hijack vehicles and sell them to a car dealer.
Currency credits in the game can be spent on clothing, vehicles, food and drink as well as other things such as massages. Hidden throughout the map are health shrines. Find enough and your health limit increases. Fights can enter slow motion and the environment can be used as a weapon. Players can throw enemies into electricity meters, garbage bins, ice crushers, walls and the water to name just a few.
The only vehicles available in Sleeping Dogs are cars, motorcycles and boats. Unfortunately there are no planes or helicopters but this isn’t too disappointing as there’s so much fun to be enjoyed on the ground. Car chases are fun. Popping out the car window and shooting the pursuing car/motorcycles tyres and seeing the resulting carnage is great. Add this with the special ability of pressing the (x) button on an Xbox360 controller which slams your car into enemy’s/police either slowing them, knocking them into other objects or totaling them into destruction. Races are also available throughout the map and combined with the ramming ability adds to the fun (and carnage).
The main story campaign is enjoyable. The story is really good and brings the game to life. Cut scenes look great but the campaign only lasts around 18 hours depending on how you decide to play the game. There are various people to meet and talk to, most of which results in extra side missions. The police are the weakest point of the game. In Saints Row the police are crazy and Grand Theft Auto’s police are also competitive. With Sleeping Dogs its far too easy to escape. Simply driving through the back alleys and the odd nudge to the ensuing police vehicles is usually enough to get away. It’s so easy in fact that I’ve never once been arrested in the game. Unlike Saints Row you’re unable to carry multiple weapons. In fact for the most part you won’t be using a weapon at all. Hand combat is the most common form of fighting within Sleeping Dogs and it never gets boring. There are fight clubs throughout the map which involves taken on waves of opponents and earning credits for winning.
Sleeping Dogs really is a must own game. It looks amazing, especially at night with the rain. The fighting is competitive but not complicated. Missions are fun and the city is a joy to immerse yourself into. There’s plenty of hidden items to locate and missions to replay. Once you start playing Sleeping Dogs you might just find it difficult to stop.