Sleeping Dogs Review
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Varied missions, hard-hitting melee combat, and a captivating setting make Sleeping Dogs an enjoyable escapade.
Driving in Sleeping Dogs is great. The arcade-style handling makes it easy to hop into any vehicle and start drifting your way around turns in no time, and the physics-defying sideways shunt you can do to damage enemy vehicles or ram them off the road brings with it a satisfying sense of impact. Just as exciting as the many races and car chases that take place throughout Sleeping Dogs are the vehicular shoot-outs that start cropping up a bit later in the game. Taking aim at the tires of pursuing cars and disabling them isn't particularly challenging, but it's still thrilling to send your pursuers flying end over end as you speed along unscathed. Wei also has the ability to perform action hijacks, leaping from one vehicle to another and forcibly taking the driver's place. It's an outrageous move that lends Sleeping Dogs a bit more of that Hong Kong action movie feel.
Whether you're escaping from a big drug deal or just driving your gangster pal's fiancee on an errand, the music emanating from your car radio always makes for fitting accompaniment to your activities. The eclectic soundtrack includes hip-hop, sappy Chinese love songs, throbbing techno numbers, tunes by some of the greats of British rock-and-roll, and more. And of course, if you don't like the tune the game has lined up for your current situation, you can always change the station.
Guns aren't a constant in Sleeping Dogs as they are in many other open-world crime games--the story explains at one point that guns are something of a rarity in Hong Kong--but there's no shortage of gunplay on hand. Gun combat makes use of a standard cover system, and though it doesn't quite measure up to the bone-crunching impact of the melee combat, a few dramatic touches lend it some flair. While vaulting over tables or other objects, you can slip into a slow-motion aiming mode, taking enemies out as you speed forward. And melee combat and gunplay sometimes blend together, as when you use a learned technique to quickly disarm a thug and use his gun to take out others. One shoot-out takes place in a hospital and memorably evokes the climactic sequence from the film Hard Boiled. Another gives you a gun equipped with a grenade launcher, which makes taking out the cars your enemies are crouching behind an enjoyably pyrotechnic process.
But it's not all fast rides and big guns in the life of Wei Shen. Sometimes you need to do a bit of police work by calibrating bugs, hacking cameras, cracking safes, or tracking cell phone signals. These minigames are pleasant little diversions from the core action--particularly the hacking game, which involves code-breaking a la the board game Mastermind. Missions also occasionally find you hitting the clubs to sing some karaoke. This takes the form of an uninvolving minigame that has you moving an arrow up and down as green bars scroll along a track. Still, these rare sequences are good for a laugh; the way your character stands looking straight at the karaoke machine and ignoring his audience is amusing, and it's particularly funny if Wei Shen is singing while all bruised and bloody from some brawling or shooting he's just been involved in.
You can seek out karaoke at any time if you want to hear Wei Shen try to belt out a stirring rendition of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" or one of the numerous other recognizable hits on offer. Singing karaoke is one way to increase your face level, which brings with it passive upgrades like increased bonuses from the food and drinks you can purchase from vendors and machines, or from the massages you can purchase in back-alley parlors. Raising your face level is also necessary before you can purchase some of the nicer clothes and more powerful vehicles available in the game.
Thankfully, singing karaoke isn't the only way to go about raising your face level. You can also do favors for people around town. These optional activities usually aren't very interesting, though. Many of them have Wei closely inspecting something just so a thief can run up behind him and make off with some of his money, starting a foot chase that ends with you fighting the thief. Other, more enjoyable favors find Wei playing the part of a getaway driver, or leading a criminal pursuer into a police trap.
Wei also earns cop experience and triad experience throughout the game by completing missions and by keeping property damage and innocent casualties to a minimum, with each type of experience opening up selections on limited skill trees. The triad skills primarily improve Wei's melee abilities, while the cop skills improve his prowess with guns and cars. Additionally, statues you find throughout your adventure can be returned to a martial arts school to learn new moves. All of this brings a pleasant sense of growth to Wei as you advance through the game.
There are other minor attractions throughout the Hong Kong of Sleeping Dogs. You can bet on cockfights, for instance, or sail out to a gambling barge for a bit of poker mahjong. And a social hub ranks you against your friends on mission performance as well as a host of other challenges, like longest bike jump and most cash earned by running down parking meters in rapid succession. Goofing around and pursuing high marks on these leaderboards is fun, but it's the atmospheric city and the varied story missions that make Sleeping Dogs an alluring adventure. It may have more violence than you'd want in a typical vacation, but this is still a fun-filled Hong Kong getaway that will leave you with many happy memories.
Got to play this game with the PS+ monthly offer and it is a very under rated/under appreciated game. I dont know how it never got my attention
@Faster_Bill You need a HD tv dude,or a next gen gaming system...LOL
Looks like last generation game. Not only characters models, but movements, animations. It all looks like this game was made for PS2. It might have good story and all, but I doubt that. Most games where developers did not put enough effort to make it looks good usually are not good at all.
Basically, Carolyn have very different taste than I do... Sometimes one little detail is making whole game wonderful for her. Well... I'm no professional reviewer but for me score should consider game as a whole package and not just few good/bad elements.
This game is definitely not on my list. Too familiar, too ugly...
@Faster_Bill Your'e flat out wrong. The graphics are really good, especially for a open world game. Have you even played it? It seems not. Everything about the game is solid.
@Faster_Bill PS2 graphics...are you serious?? I doubt you've even played the game. You say you should consider the game as a whole package not just a few elements yet contradict yourself by only basing it on the graphics, that you don't like and you don't say much else...Nice review! You're right you're not a professional reviewer, don't quit your day job!
Hey Faster_Bill I understand what you are saying" It's not that bad, It's other games out there look worst then Sleeping Dogs.
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@Leefx You have not forgotten enough to refrain from posting drivel about someone else though.
This reviewer is the reason why I stop visiting gamespot, freaking horrible! Only got this link thru metacritics and just my luck he's the reviewer -_-
I must laugh at the logic of some new generation of gamers. 8-9 = good game, while everything below is bad. Really...? Back in the days when review scores were harsher, hit games would still get around 6 and so and still people would buy them.
"Unattractive character models and environmental textures" , does she mean the graphic is not good??
@tjhengky Unless you have the PC version which has been confirmed to have better graphics.
@tjhengky it means she's not attracted to asian guys.
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Gamespot is great at reviews...but this one....ok...but It deserves a little higher of a score. And as for IGN...how in the HELL...do they rate Darksiders I a 7.8...but they rate DS 2 a 7.5???? WTF??
@thom_maytees The score can go f*** itself up the butthole, this was a fantastic review!
@thom_maytees are you kidding?8 was supposed to be a spectacular score sometime ago before GS abused it and higher score for titles non deserving.This game did just fine and everything from 8 and above is a wonderful game and a worthy buy in my agenda.
@thom_maytees look at other review sites, gamespot gave one of the lowest reviews yet
@Colbat45 I know you said this 9 hours ago as of now, but GameSpot's score is actually right around the average score, again, as of now. And 8 is a great score anyway, especially for a game that almost didn't even become a game in the first place because it wasn't "good enough".
Great review. Loving the Game and everything it has to offer. Between this and max Payne 3 my John woo/ bullet time action fun itch has been scratched.
@chooby87 I swear, this game has so much nostalgia. Its so refreshing to see a game that tries something different
- Player Reviews: 25
- Game Universe:
- True Crime: Streets of LA (GC, XBOX, PS2, MAC, PC),
- True Crime: New York City (XBOX, PS2, GC, PC, X360, PSP),
- Sleeping Dogs (X360, PS3, PC),
- Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point (X360, PS3, PC),
- Sleeping Dogs: Dragon Master Pack (X360, PS3, PC),
- Sleeping Dogs: Drunken Fist Pack (X360, PS3, PC),
- Sleeping Dogs: Square Enix Character Pack (X360, PS3, PC),
- Sleeping Dogs: Gangland Style Pack (X360, PS3, PC),
- Sleeping Dogs: Zodiac Tournament Pack (X360, PS3, PC),
- Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake (X360, PS3, PC)