110 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2012
I can not stress enough how generally uninterested I am in games like Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, and other sandbox style games in a big city. I find, too often, that I get bored quickly with what there is to do and sadly the stories lack anything to keep me interested. That said,, I should note I loved Red Dead Redemption, LA Noire, and all of the sand boxing in the Assassin's Creed games. The stories and game mechanics are what get me more interested than anything else.
I expected this game to be as its peers in terms of having a relatively dull story, decent music, and fun guns/cars to play around with until I felt like I'd misspent my money. Sleeping Dogs, however, is absolutely phenomenal. I knew little about the game before I Redbox-ed it on a whim, but I was so incredibly impressed that I went out and bought it the following day. Few things these days are a release week purchase for me, especially games I had not anticipated buying or heard very little about. This game stands above and beyond its car jacking peers with a great story, tons of missions, and so many extra activities I'm not sure I'll be able to do them all.
Mechanically the game is an amalgam of an assortment of great titles. The gunplay is on par, if not smoother, with Uncharted; the brawling is as seamless as Arkham City or any of the Assassin's Creed games; and the driving is some of the best I have ever enjoyed, though I'm not much of a driving game player. The graphics are absolutely stunning and cutscenes are great! The texture quality is fantastic, and it's a game like this that stuns me completely that, visually especially, game designers are still able to do something better than the last new big thing on this generation's hardware!
I can not more highly recommend this game!
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2012
Sleeping Dogs is a game that almost never saw the light of day, which is shocking considering how good this game turned out. Starting life as Black Lotus, a new original IP from United Front Games, it starred a female protagonist and had a lot of potential. Then Activision came in and basically said, "Hey, United Front Games, we have this IP called True Crime, so why not take the core parts of Black Lotus and turn it into a True Crime game?", and thus, True Crime: Hong Kong was born. Showing a ton of potential, True Crime: Hong Kong came out swinging with positive press and gamer reactions, then Activision suddenly canceled it out of nowhere, because they said it couldn't compete with other games in the genre, couldn't sell as many units as they wanted, couldn't crack a specific Metacritic rating, and didn't meet the standard for Activision games, even though they put out Prototype 2 this year, which isn't nearly as good as Sleeping Dogs in any category. Activision has also put out games like Blood Drive and has a new mediocre Nascar game in the pipeline. Needless to say, Activision was making up a bunch of excuses, as if their whole catalog is some masterful thing, but they only have two games out of many which are selling well, and those are Call of Duty and Skylanders. Like Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero, Activision will drive those into the ground, if they haven't already. Anyways, after a bunch of upset gamers voiced their concerns on the internet, Square Enix came to save the day, which was the greatest thing to ever happen, as described by one Sleeping Dogs developer. Square Enix allowed the game to get more polish, better publicity via game trailers and commercials, and have shown the game respect, whereas Activision probably would've just let it out into the wild and let it fend for itself. Square Enix has really shown their desire to succeed in the western game market with fantastic titles like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Sleeping Dogs, and the upcoming Hitman: Absolution and Tomb Raider reboot.
Now onto the actual game.
Story, Voice Acting, Characters - Sleeping Dogs has a lot of talent, all lending to the story, voice acting, and the cast of characters. In many pre-release trailers and previews, they pointed out Hollywood talent like Emma Stone, but just about everyone here contributes their voice talents to make the story and characters interesting and fully realized. While the story isn't original, it's done so well that originality isn't necessary. This is a game that knows what it wants to be and completely succeeds at it. This is a top notch production from beginning to end.
Graphics, Atmosphere - Without a doubt, Sleeping Dogs is my favorite looking game of this kind. To compare, you have Grand Theft Auto IV and the Saints Row games, and I believe Sleeping Dogs is the most impressive looking of the bunch. While the map is smaller and surely allows for more details, it's those details that make the world feel like it's living and breathing, which adds to the overall atmosphere of this beautiful world that is yours to explore and discover all of the little secrets it has packed within it.
Driving, Shooting, Melee, Parkour - The core gameplay in Sleeping Dogs offers a lot of variety. The driving is fun and arcade-like, so the handling is simple and intuitive, but it offers depth, like ramming your enemies off of the road or jumping from your car to another car and jacking it. The shooting is basic, so it doesn't offer much depth, but there is a bullet-time feature, a la Max Payne, which makes gun combat really fun, though it must be noted that gun combat is not the focus of the game. Now onto melee, which is the focus of the game, is similar to the combat in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, meaning it's a ton of fun and pretty stylish. In addition, you can use context-sensitive environmental attacks, allowing you to shove an enemy's head in a fan, throw him in a dumpster, impale him on swordfish, etc. It's all handled pretty gracefully and flows together nicely. Now onto the parkour, which is a real blast. Your character can climb, jump, leap, etc., so your character has real agility and makes you feel like you can get away from any bad situation or chase after those who are trying to escape you.
If you can't already tell, I love Sleeping Dogs. There's some minor draw-in or pop-in when driving at fast speeds, and there may be some tiny little issues like any other game of this scale, but every single thing that's important to the game is spot-on. This is a finely crafted world with a story to keep you interested and the gameplay to keep you having fun. Don't let this dog sleep, get Sleeping Dogs ASAP.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2012
I am admittedly a GTA fanboy. I play a lot of sandbox games, and I often enjoy them... but usually with the caveat "It's nowhere near as good as GTA, but it's still pretty good."
Well, Sleeping Dogs *is* nearly as good as GTA and that's saying a lot coming from me. Personally I think it's more similar to GTA IV than any other game. To many, that's an insult. From me, it's very high praise. The only real flaw I see here is that the driving is a tad wonky, with twitchy steering control. It takes a lot of getting used to. So did GTA IV's driving, but once I was used to it I thought it was arguably the best driving control and physics outside of a few dedicated racing games. I really don't see that happening here. The fact that there's no option to switch to a first person or on-the-hood camera is an unforgivable sin. I can understand why they don't do that in Saints Row, but there's nothing stopping them from implementing it here. All of the driving mechanics would still work perfectly well, including the "Action Hijack" feature where you jump from your car to another. That's what the green arrow icon is for, after all. In the final analysis, this is the closest thing to a "major flaw" I can think of. It doesn't really make a dent in the overall awesomeness of the game. The relatively small city and lack of flying vehicles are non-issues.
The combat is more focused on hand to hand than gunplay. As I'm sure many others have said, it's pretty similar to the Arkham games. Another good comparison would be Assassin's Creed, which also emphasizes/rewards countering incoming attacks rather than simply attacking on your own.
The icing on the cake is the dialogue. The voice acting in general is surprisingly good. A lot of random dialogue is surprisingly hilarious. The kung fu instructor is a particular favorite, e.g. while you're hard at work traiing against a bunch of his students, he suggests that you previously studied martial arts at "the School of Never Winning" and that you worship "the God of Weakness".
All of that said, while I still wouldn't call these "major" flaws there are a couple of things that do annoy me a little:
* Disappearing weapons- In this game, weapons are basically treated as temporary power ups. Melee weapons break after you use them too much, I'm fine with that. But guns just mysteriously disappear from your inventory for no apparent reason. I get what the developer was trying to do, i.e. keep the focus on martial arts hand-to-hand combat. But artificially limiting what the player can do is anathema to the whole sandbox game play philosophy. It's about letting the player do what they want to do at all times. I can honestly say that I probably would have kept my weapon holstered and used martial arts for most of the combat, because the game has a robust combat system that's fun and satisfying. They should have trusted in that. It's just annoying that my weapons kept magically evaporating into thin air between missions. Breaks the immersion.
* Another immersion breaking problem I had was too much "warping" around the world. i.e. A cutscene plays out with dialogue which indicates where to go to begin a mission, the screen fades to black, and then suddenly I find myself halfway across the city, at the location. No, no, no. Just tell me where to go and then let me get there on my own. This is basic sandbox game design, guys.
Bottom line is that you get a nice decent sized city to mess around in, the missions are engaging with good variety (aside from standard combat "go to location X and kill person Y" there's hacking cameras, tracing cell phone calls, unscrewing air vent covers, planting bugs, etc.) the side activities are plentiful and fun, everything looks great, they did a good job on the music... it's just an excellent high quality package in general.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2012
WOW! This is game is incredible. I just finished the story and I must say it is most impressive. I cannot recommend this game high enough. I have been playing games since the old Intellvision days and I must say this will be one of my favorites to keep in my collection. I enjoyed it a lot more than the GTA games mainly due to the fighting and in my opinion a better story. The fighting mimics the Batman games and I found myself often going out of my way to fight at the fight clubs to try new moves. Driving was fun, sometimes frustrating, but I must admit thrilled when I won a race. I liked the arcade feel of driving. The side quests were entertaining and a nice diversion.
I must admit I would have liked to see tougher enemies with different fighting styles and character models. Instead of using the same enemy types over and over again. Some other little cons are the in game GPS which can be frustrating as it does not always guide you on the shortest and direct path. Also the mini surveillance camera game should have mixed it up with different character models instead of using the same character model that you picked over and over again. It could have been more engaging as you should have watched the deal going down and then select the person to arrest with different character models.
- In game GPS system sometimes frustrating
- Same character models recycled
- Repetitive surveillance camera game
- Same fighting moves with enemies need more diversity with fighting style and character models.
- Camera view will sometimes flake out when driving around corners or backing up in traffic. Drive straight for a moment and the camera will correct itself.
Overall a must buy.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2012
I loved this game. I was not aware of it at all until it was released and picked it up on a whim when it was discounted. I played the hell out of it. It is one of the few open world action games that meets both of the following criteria:
* Is not Grand Theft Auto
* Does not suck
It is thoroughly enjoyable and features some very entertaining hand-to-hand combat. In fact, most of the combat is hand to hand. Guns play a fairly minor role and I think the game actually benefited from it. I usually get bored with games before finishing them, but not here. Highly recommended. A demo is available to download for free, but bizarrely does not feature any driving, which is a major part of the game.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2012
So it seems that many popular sites are aimed at putting this title down. Hey after all we all have our agendas right. I personally think the ratings systems used by popular sites, books, etc are both money based, and biased. Enough of that though, so I will call it right down the middle.
- You can feel the amount of effort and thought that went into this game.
- The world is huge, you will have plenty to do.
- Fighting is rewarding because unlike Arkham you will get hit sometimes like in real life.
- Voice acting, and synchronization are pretty good.
- Music, has a awesome kick to it.
- Side missions are okay, but what puts them above your standard side mission is because it all based in Hong Kong which makes it refreshing.
- Cars feel a bit stiff, not bad, but not all that good either.
- Some things will be unclear to you. The game doesn't have a game manual to explain the unexplained.
- Could have included more things to do in the world, you know things that have never reared it's face in open-world games. Come on developers INNOVATE for a change.
Rating: 8 out of 10
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2012
I actually found this game to be quite entertaining. I love story lines and this one offers a unique twist on the typically thug story. There are a multitude of options as far as clothes/vehicles go. I also really enjoyed the "hacking" very unique. Overall, totally worth it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2014
"Sleeping Dogs" is a great but sadly,very underrated open world/sandbox game,that has a ton of missions to play through,interesting story/characters and awesome gameplay.I would compare "Sleeping Dogs"with both GTA and the "Arkham" games,but with an Asian setting set in Hong Kong.The only con I would give this game,would be the graphics.They are not the best.But you don't need great graphics to make a great game.If you are looking for a fun and addictive open world game,then I would highly recommend "Sleeping Dogs".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2014
First off, I owned this game for free from XBOX live. Microsoft offers this for free as of Jan 1, 2014 until Jan 15.
This game is not for everyone. If you are into deep story lines or more variation game play, you would not enjoy the entire game.
I personally like it very much because of its variation from my other games. I've never played GTA or any of those role-playing games, so I can't compare it with those games.
You play as an undercover copy in the triad in Hong Kong. I find the story line engaging without overkill. Following the story is easy enough and the side quests are not overwhelming. If you decide to just stick with the story line, I would imagine finishing the game relatively quickly. If you want to do some side quest, you can have fun with it.
The controls are easy enough. The fighting is quite repetitive and challenging at first. Without knowing some of the combos, fighting thugs can be quite frustrating. Sometimes the gange of thugs will go at you 2 or 3 at a time. Once I know the combos, beating the thugs is relatively easy. You have most of Hong Kong to play with. While not all buildings can be played, I find that I have freedom to go where I want to go. The game is non-linear. I wished there is more way to engage the public than to just accidently bumped them.
The graphic is actually quite good consider that this is done in a 360. Some of the people are well rendered. This is a plus because instead of talking to robots, you feel more engaged (note: love Tiffany :)
One of the best things to play with in the game is the available vehicles. While the controls are easy and fun enough, there is lack of reality to it. For example, there is no way to know how fast I'm driving. Hitting anything would not have any negative impact. I've killed several innocent bystanders and it has no impact on my standing.
I'm Cantonese and I'm surprised of the authenticity of the voiceovers. The actors doing the voiceovers are really good. I coud tell that actors from Hong Kong are used. This is a plus.
This is a well built game. I'm surprised how fast it drops in value consider that this game is only a year old. It is fun for adults who want to play something different. This game is not recommened for kids due to its foul language and blood and gore. If I knew this game is that much fun, I would be willing to pay for it months ago. Not that it is being offered free by Microsoft, there is no reason not to get it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2012
This game is awesome! Everything from the voice acting, the story line, the combat, the graphics. You can just tell how much effort was put into making this game, and it certainly pays off. It surprises me that it isn't such a huge hit, but hey at least it's a "sleeper" hit. You won't be disappointed, that's for sure.