Xbox 360 Review: Sleeping Dogs

Would K-9 be proud of this sleeping dog?

So it may have a different name, but essentially…Sleeping Dogs IS True Crime 3, there’s no denying it after spending even 2 minutes with it. Now I’ve had the game for over a week and have already gained every possible achievement, so it’s not the longest open world game out there, but was it a memorable one?

You play as Wei Shen, an undercover cop in Hong Kong who has infiltrated the Sun On Yee triad group, but the line between cop and triad becomes very blurry towards the end, Wei has a tough ride to say the least and it builds up to a great climax, but I do hope that if they make a sequel that he returns in some form. Hong Kong itself is your typical open world playground, but Wei handles different from the likes of Niko Bellic and Tommy Vercetti, he has plenty of kung fu moves at his disposal…

The combat borrows the counter-attack formula of the recent Batman games, although it isn’t quite as fluid and once you get the hang of it, it’s a walk in the park. You can use their weapons against them and even the environment, many a time I’ve thrown enemies into a buzz saw, open oven and even drowned in the toilets, there are some pretty gruesome finishing moves that left me stunned, some made me laugh too, it’s ridiculous and that’s the point, it’s classic kung fu movie-style fun.

Shooting plays an almost minimal role in blowing out the tyres of cars, while in close quarters there is a cover system that isn’t quite on par with the likes of Gears, but it does a good enough job. Wei loves to free run across the rooftops and streets of the city, which is handy as many a collectable is hidden around there, but if you do the right missions they all appear on your map anyway! No need for a YouTube guide on this one.
Besides the main game, there are favours, jobs and mini-games to play. Mini-games consist of a watered down karaoke outing, cock-fighting and mah-jong. But after you’ve done everything, there isn’t much else to do but cause mayhem on the streets, multiplayer is oddly absent but there will be new content coming out via DLC, it’s just a shame that the trip to Hong Kong is a short one.

Visually, the game looks nice but the character models look a bit stiff and there are a few glitches with animation and so on. Voice-acting is good and has some great talent from Emma Stone and Lucy Liu, while the soundtrack is impressive and the songs on the radio are a nice mixture.

The Verdict

Sleeping Dogs is a nice stop-gap while the world awaits GTA V, it doesn’t quite have the polish that some might have hoped and the experience is brief, but it’s very memorable for being able to leap from car to car and most importantly, being able to kill a man with a fish.