Review: Sleeping Dogs (Xbox 360)

By Wayne Webb

Sleeping Dogs is a follow up or remake (depending on who you ask I guess) to the True Crime series of games. It’s an open world sandbox with scripted missions where you have the freedom to do what you want or follow a linear story of tasks, missions and achievements. It’s fun to play and an incredibly well made game.

By Wayne Webb

Sleeping Dogs is a follow up or remake (depending on who you ask I guess) to the True Crime series of games. It’s an open world sandbox with scripted missions where you have the freedom to do what you want or follow a linear story of tasks, missions and achievements. It’s fun to play and an incredibly well made game.

Sleeping Dogs is set in modern day Hong Kong and is cast by a diverse and talented group of Asian actors speaking both English and Cantonese. “Full Monty” actor Tom Wilkinson provides some gravitas as a police inspector, but other than that the cast is a who’s who of Asian-American and Chinese acting talent. The writing, the attention to detail, and the authenticity of the acting, provide an immersive experience where you get to infiltrate the Triad underbelly of Hong Kong as an undercover cop with HKPD.

You get support from your team and via your mobile phone and the story and game progress similar to the Asian Cinema classic Internal Affairs, even to the point of reusing some of those actors. You fight, find and drive through Hong Kong working your way up in the Sun On Yee gang. Gain trust in the triad and your Triad points go up. Minimise your collateral damage and your Cop score goes up. Help Hong Kong citizens with their random problems by triad or cop means and your Face score goes up (your reputation meter).

The main mission itself is engrossing and well delivered, but you can divert yourself into side quests or exploring Hong King streets looking for trouble to involve yourself in. There’s plenty of hand-to-hand combat and it feels both fluid and brutal in practice. It’s very similar to the hand-to-hand style of the Batman Arkham series, with combos and block moves delivered in comparable style. It feels solid and effective to lay into a gang (or a cop) with your Kung Fu style moves and it adds even more enjoyment to a game that has plenty going for it already.

If you loved True Crime, Batman Arkham or the Grand Theft Auto game series then there is plenty to attract you to this as well. I can't think of anything I didn’t like about this game and I will happily drop in and enjoy it any time driving /fighting in Sleeping Dogs’ Hong Kong just for fun.

Pros: Excellent combat, well scripted, acted and presented, engaging deep and free game model.
Cons: None

5 Shacks Out Of 5

 

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