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.
@XxELLI-O-TRONxX But Playstation Plus isn't free :P
@The_Gaming_Baby @XxELLI-O-TRONxX its not free but its a pretty damn good value! I bought my subs when they offered 3 months free with 1 year, so 15 months for $50, I'm covered thru august 2014.
Now considering the amount of games I'm getting thru Plus, I'd say at least $100 worth per month, this is amazing. I may not have bought these games normally, but thats not to say I didnt want to try them. That's where the big deal in PS+ comes for me, I get to play all these games I would have loved to try, for less than the price of 1 game.
@The_Gaming_Baby You get 3 months for $17 ATM and I've downloaded $500 worth of games for that fee (closest thing to free i've seen)
@nanno111 I've got it on Xbox 360 and I think you should get that version. I would imagine the PC version to be rather clunky.
@nanno111 Looks much better on PC assuming your rig can handle it, but I'm playing through on PS3 at the moment and really enjoying it. I don't think there is much or any different between the PS3 or 360 version
I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be funny... but I can't tell if Carolyn is a man or woman??? Can anyone else tell?
On a sidenote... I thought this game was pretty awesome... although like most open world games these days, I didn't feel compelled to play through to the end.
@haze_blaze "Carolyn Petit has been reading GameSpot since 2000 and writing for it since 2008. She has a particular fondness for games of the 1980s, and intends to leave the field of games journalism as soon as she hears that her local Ghostbusters franchise is hiring.". And the fact that you feel the need to say that you're not trying to be funny indicates that you were being ignorant.
@shefo2012 i got stuck with the control in PC version.. i fight against deadly opponents and... the camera system
I think hes a great reviewer, but its situations like this when you see hype has a big affect on the critics. Look at ME3 (and im not even talking about the ending) and this which not only hovers around the 80 mark on Metacritic but few critics offer any real criticism of it.
@SilentAssassin Am I the only one who gets what you were trying to say? You weren't actually saying it's japanese made or anything; you were saying that it is very similar to the story and character development in GTA and Saint's Row, e.g. sandbox gameplay and NPCs asking you to do things, except set in Asia.
@AXTHEHAMMER It's not the Japanese version of anything. If you want a Japanese version, go play the Yakuza series.
@SilentAssassin please learn about the world before you speak... :)
@SilentAssassin Ignorance. That pretty much sums your comment up.
@SilentAssassin Hong Kong is in China.
@ratchet_ruler88 @SilentAssassin I said this is the Japanese VERSION I didn't say the game took place in Japan. This was made by Square Enix.. A Japanese COMPANY.. SLEEPING DOGS IS THE JAPENESE VERSION OF GTA or SAINTS ROW. and YES sleeping dogs takes place in HONG KONG which is CHINA it's still a JAPANESE GAME.. get it?
Got this game for "free" with a HD7950 Sapphire. Can't wait to build my latest gaming PC and try this game out. Looks like great fun, though I haven't watched the probably pessimistic and pedantic Gamespot review of it.
This game is very fun to play. Even the side missions are enjoyable to go along with a good main story. Worth your time and money.
I thoroughly enjoyed this game and while certain mini-games did get repetitive (mainly camera hacking) I overall really enjoyed it. I just wish there would have been more gunplay in it and the ability to carry more than one gun permanently (I realize there would be few guns in hong kong and that this was designed as a primarily martial arts game but I would have enjoyed a little more gunplay.)
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I was not expecting this game to be as good as it is. Played a demo version at Comic-Con, but they really tightened the controls. Not to mention that the story is pretty damn good with some excellent voice acting. Right up there with Vice City as my favorite sandbox game.
WORST Button configuration and Schematics on Controls for the Xbox 360, on PC this game ROCKS but the Xbox 360 version NEEDS a patch or update to better the Flimsy controls it has. This game is as bad as the Resident Evil 6 Demo, and has No where NEAR the control depth that GTA or Saints Row the Third has, as far as open world playing in a open world its not bad, but the Story line i have to agree is about almost as good as Max Payne 3, JUST FIX THE BUTTON SCHEMATICS!!!
@IpreferQuality I use my PS 3 controller on my PC :D Worked swell.
@IpreferQuality I found them intuitive and pretty easy actually... To each his own I guess.
I HATE GTA, but this game was great. STILL loving it.
"Unattractive character models" - Guess we know how Carolyn feels about Chinese people... Models were fine. This was an AMAZINGLY fun game. If you're a fan of GTA or sandbox games, it's a MUST play.
ya, that is a weird reasoning for this game to be bad...
i thought the models looked good...
i have no clue what she means by that
the only model that i thought was terrible, was the bird that you get for your apartment...
the detail on it was lacking but, that is only if i was super knit picking on something small
- Player Reviews: 30
- 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)