Sleeping Dogs came out of nowhere and surprised all of us with its stunning graphics and gameplay. I was never bored playing this game due to the huge variety of activities present in the game’s version of Hong Kong. Whether you're racing or just beating up a rival gang, it is difficult not to find something entertaining to do in Sleeping Dogs. The real surprise, however, is the game’s enthralling story. The plot immediately hooks the player, creating real emotional attachments to the game’s cast of characters. The story really compels you to finish the lengthy series of story missions.
On its surface, the game feels like the typical open-world gameplay popularized by titles like Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row The Third, or Red Dead Redemption. However, it is so much more due to the realism and riveting story. The protagonist, Wei Shen, is a undercover cop who is tasked with infiltrating the Sun On Yee, a omnipresent Hong Kong arm of the Triads. The game plays with Wei’s struggles to balance his relations between the police and the Triads.
Character customization is a huge component of Sleeping Dogs. The game has three separate experience meters, which fill at different rates depending on how you choose to approach the missions. Points for the Police and Triads experience trees are gained by helping their respective factions. The third character development system, the Face Meter, is dependent on helping the citizens of Hong Kong, which can be achieved by eliminating gangs & helping out your fellow gang members complete tasks. The customization of your outfit gives you bonuses to help your character level up.
The city of Hong Kong is quite large, containing four distinct districts. Navigating through the city is quite simple with the use of a genre-standard adaptive GPS system. The AI are smart enough not to damage themselves or others around them when disrupted by the player. The pedestrians also have frequent incidental conversations, helping to flesh out the universe. (talk about collectibles/collectible map & how they help and or hurt the game) the collectible map where it shows what collectibles you have collected and what you haven’t.
The hand-to-hand combat system in this game is spectacular. The combat is reminiscent of games like Assassin’s Creed and Batman: Arkham City. The game also combos called environmental kills which allow you to take out an enemy in one hit with elements of the world, such as dumpsters, telephone booths & car doors. These invariably come with savage, gory animations. These environmental kills help to immerse the players into the game’s setting, as the environment shifts from simple background to an essential part of the gameplay experience.
However, the game is not without its flaws. The game suffers from camera issues. The camera always reverts to the middle of the screen, locking the perspective directly behind Wei. At times, this makes it hard to see your character while fighting as the camera will get caught on walls and level geometry. It also creates difficulties driving, as the fixed perspective makes seeing around corners a challenge.The game also lacks a traditional multiplayer mode but you are able to compare in game challenges with your friends or other people around the world with the in-game leaderboard system. Some challenges comprise of driving without crashing or completing a string of combo moves.
Sleeping Dogs is a step forward in open-world gaming. The gameplay and atmosphere of the game is amazing, and it contains tons of stunning visuals and interesting plot points that can interest even those who play videogames infrequently. With a huge variety of activities and a visceral combat system, Sleeping Dogs is a must-buy.