Excerpt: There is a poetry to the violence of Hong Kong cinema. The dance of bullets made famous by John Woo and Chow-Yun Fat – two fists gripping pistols, ricocheting bullets flying off walls, a blur of doves launching into flight from hidden nests – are not an unfamiliar sight to savvy moviegoers. And in turn, the brutality of Hong Kong cinema has heavily influenced video games, whether by itself or through such diluted fare as The Matrix trilogy.
Pros: Detailed, believable Hong Kong; amazing atmosphere and mood that is held throughout the game; pretty entertaining (and predictable) storytelling; mostly excellent voice acting; lengthy story (for an action game); excellent combat mechanics, coupled with some great ideas that aren't used enough; driving mechanics are perhaps the most solid aspect of the general gameplay
Cons: Some of the big-name voice actors seem largely superfluous; way too many crashes, glitches and bugs throughout
Excerpt: I have always wondered at the effect that undercover police work has on a person. The person is essentially a good person who is trying to achieve the end result of putting the bad guys behind bars. And, of course, the bad guys that he or she is after are the senior members of the organisation. Due to this hunt for the senior members, the agent is expected to live, work and socialise with some downright nasty people.
Excerpt: There once was a time when the modern Grand Theft Auto archetype reigned supreme, where sandboxed-styled, crime-spree fueled romps in seedy underbellies of some city or another seemed to pop up every couple of months. The comparison to the legendary GTA was neigh impossible to avoid - as it is with the shining example of any other genre - and Sleeping Dogs can't escape the same reality.
Excerpt: Most games that are canceled don't come back to life, and those that do aren't usually worth playing once they're released. But Sleeping Dogs is an exception: not only was it brought back to life successfully, but the final result is actually pretty damn good. This open-world action game, which was once called True Crime: Hong Kong , was dropped by publisher Activision last year and put into limbo.
Excerpt: If you didn't know it was originally a True Crime game, you'd figure it out pretty quickly when you start out and play as an undercover cop. Wei Shen is out to try to clean up the streets with some slightly crooked-seeming characters both on the force and mostly outside of it. SD brings its M rating with ease beginning with a hack and slash cinematic involving a meat cleaver, and then quickly moving into one of many exciting chase and combat sequences.
Summary: Sleeping Dogs pits players as an undercover cop attempting to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad in Hong Kong. Using any means necessary, players must bash, shoot, and drive their way to earn the trust of the Triad so that they can bring it down from the inside out. It comes together exceptionally well and makes for one of the most fun open world experiences in a long time.
Pros: Beautifully acted story, Tight driving mechanics, Emphasis on up-close-and-personal combat, it's not all about the guns, Amongst the dark Triad war, there's still some genuinely funny moments
Cons: The story is a tad short for the genre, Simple attacks don't do much to later enemies, so I often found myself waiting for a chance to counter
Excerpt: Originally planned to be True Crime: Hong Kong, Sleeping Dogs (SD) went through a change in publishers from Eidos to Square-Enix and with that came a change from the title being True Crime: Hong Kong to what it is now. Ultimately, the change in name is largely a good thing since it isn't like the True Crime one was among the most heralded in gaming, and the game as a whole feels like a spiritual successor to that series only with actual bug testing that ensures a fun...
Conclusion: It's hard to believe that this almost got canned. United Front Games has crafted a stunning open-world action romp that draws on a variety of cinematic influences to startling effect. Sleeping Dogs is by no means perfect, but at times, it comes painfully close.
Excerpt: I have just come from finishing the PC version of Sleeping Dogs , and one of the first questions that entered my head was “Why, Activision?” Now, I have no idea what state Sleeping Dogs was in before Activision gave United Front Games the kick out of the door and Square Enix picked up the publishing rights, but the final product is a fantastic open world game that improves many aspects of the Grand Theft Auto formula.