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on April 1, 2013
Sleeping Dogs does a lot of things right, however it does too many things wrong for it to be considered great. The story is decent, combat is fun and varied, the voice acting is phenomenal, and the world is beautiful with an eye for detail and it's citizens are brimming with personality.

It revolves around you as Wei Shen, a cop who goes undercover in a Hong Kong triad as you to try and take them down from the inside. The plot is passable as it is, the story doesn't stray too much from your objectives, you almost always have at least 1 "cop" mission and 1 "gang" mission to accomplish as you wade through the game. The issue with the missions is that there simply wasn't a lot of variety in them. Most of the time it's drive somewhere, beat up or shoot some people, and drive back. It follows a formula made famous by Grand Theft Auto, and while the missions themselves are fun, it fails to capture the charm that GTA often does. And the game also sets up a lot of interesting side plots but never really gives them any conclusion. For example, early in the story, Wei meets 3 different girls and takes them each on a date. Doing this opens up hidden items on your map which is nice, but the developers missed a chance to try and flesh out the characters and show a different side of it's protagonist. After your initial date with each, you don't have more contact than an occasional phone call and a couple of "she cheated on me" side quests. It stumbled on something that could've been a nice diversion from the main story.

The game also add a couple of side quests you can do at any point. One has you go steal a specific car and take it to a chop shop and the other is to be a debt collector for the triad. These are both good ways to make money in the game but are still essentially doing the same thing 20 times each.

The main problem with SD is something that, sadly, a lot of games still suffer from...a poor camera system. You can't adjust it permenantly, moving the right thumb stick with turn in up, down and around but it flashes back to normal as soon as you start to move. This is especially vexing when you're driving. The game does a terrible job of getting the camera turned around so you can see yourself back up a car to the point where if you try to align it before you take off, the camera will occasionally swing wildly and do a 360 around your car. It's annoying when you spend at least half the game driving places that they didn't take some more time to smooth out this issue. It causes you to inadvertently hit people or other cars which can ruin your mission score or send the cops after you. You also can only have one view, no inside the car or on the hood view like a lot a driving-centered games, which is odd because there are about 15 street racing missions, which are a lot of fun, but I wished for the ability to change the view to inside the car, just my personal preference and won't bother a lot of people.

Now, enough criticism of the game, here's what worked for it. The combat is pretty great, imagine either of the Batman Arkham games and you've got the idea. You learn moves by collecting statues for your "sifu" which I guess is Chinese for sensei. Combat is often mixed up by adding different ways to beat your opponents. Like dropping them off a pier, throwing them into a garbage dumpster, and my favorite, beating them up with a giant fish. You can punch, grapple, block, and finding the right way to beat your opponent has a paper rock scissors feel to it as each opponent is a little different.

The version of Hong Kong built here is lively and fun, it's not too big that you can't get around quickly which is nice because unlike a lot of sandbox games, you can't fly anywhere, you're strictly set on boats and cars. Getting from one end of the island to the other takes about 3 minutes or so.

In the end, SD is a bad animal you just can't stay mad at. It's got a lot of charm, it's well acted and is like watching the violence of a Quentin Tarantino film without the wit. Doesn't mean you should pass it up, definitely worth a purchase if you can get it for around $15.
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on September 29, 2015
As far as open world sandboxes go that I've played, this one feels the most alive. Every city block, every building has unique details. The people and the traffic feel less like automatons than other games in this genre. It feels more like a real city, and not miles and miles of nothing like the GTA games tend to sometimes. And while it isn't packed to the brim with open world activities, there is still quite a bit to do with your freedom.

The actual game has some of the best story missions I've played in an open world game. It follows the story beats of Wei Shen, an undercover cop infiltrating the Hong Kong underworld. The way the story unfolds is a bit predictable, but in spite of that the plot is quite good. And the actual missions are fun enough that it wouldn't matter if the story was terrible. Even though there's plenty of game hours in just the story missions, I wished there was more. Just because the missions available are so much fun, and I wanted more of them. There is expansion content with more missions at least.

The bulk of the gameplay is through hand to hand combat. It's got a combat system similar to Arkham Asylum's in that it's timing and grappling based. It's more forgiving than that game, and not as deep, but it's still a lot of fun. Some of the moves you can unlock are pretty brutal too. The gunplay is used far less than the hand to hand combat, and it's also less realized. Aiming is a little finicky, and overall it's just less fun than the melee fighting. I found myself bum rushing through gunplay sections just so I could punch my assailants in the face instead. it's not bad, but it's disappointing when there's already better systems in the game.

Driving in the game is fine. Not entirely realistic, but it does it's job. Best driving feature is a nice little on demand ramming feature, in which you just slam into other vehicles at any time that you want. It's really quite a lot of fun to run vehicles into obstacles, or disable them entirely. You can also jump from vehicle to vehicle whenever you like. Which means you can have any car that you want, so long as you can jump to it. And one last benefit to the driving is the fact that the gunplay is a little more interesting here, with more options to either kill enemies outright, or disable their vehicles in various ways.

The graphics and sound are amazing. The PC port of the game runs really well. And there's an optional HD texture pack, which I recommend if you can handle it. The basic game itself runs really well on even moderate systems, even when it originally launched. The game also manages an art style that doesn't go for pure realism, which goes to it's benefit, and the graphics have aged pretty well as a result.

The soundtrack isn't bad. It lacks the constant western styled music that most open world games have. Which is quite refreshing. Some people might not like it as much, but I appreciate something different. it fits the setting of the game better anyways. The voice acting is pretty good too, and most of the characters have a lot of personality brought through by their respective voice actors.

So basically, this is my favorite open world game. it doesn't have the largest world, or the most content, but what is there is really well crafted. the only thing this game lacks is multiplayer. I can see why it's not included, but man I wish I could cavort around in multiplayer like in Saint's Row games. Doesn't even have to make story sense.

Overall, I give this a big recommend. It's nearly a perfect package.
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on December 20, 2015
Don't let this Sleeping Dog lie, but if you have a newer PC that can handle the specs ( A Core I Series with at least 2 GB Video Ram) then get the Definitive Edition because it comes with all the extra game (Downloadable Content) that once you play the main game you will probably want to invest in because Sleeping Dogs is so addictive. Was deciding between this and Watch Dogs, and online people have given Sleeping Dogs the better reviews (not that they are the same game but they both share similar elements). Definitely plan on giving Watch Dogs a run too, but so far Sleeping Dogs has been a great investment, its like Grand Theft Auto and Enter the Dragon, along with some Jet Li movies, got together and had a illegitimate lovechild, like another reviewer compared it too.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition- PlayStation 4
Watch Dogs [Online Game Code]
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on October 21, 2012
Please note that I got this on a major major sale, and I'm sure it somewhat affects my review.

[Good]

Different: I like the new setting. There's no point in having another GTA clone. Even the developers of Saints Row know this. If you like variety, you will most likely like this game.

Visual Detail: You need to download the high res pack which is free. imo the difference in visuals is well worth it. The PC version is definitely superior. The city and the people just look awesome. It really is like if you were in Hong Kong.

Sound and Music: The developers really worked hard on both the visuals and sounds and it really pays off. Note: I have surround sound headphones. Turning on the Cantonese option helps in the immersion.

Open World: I like open sand box worlds instead of interactive movies on rails. Freedom to do what you want is nice.

Fighting: For me the general fighting worked well. I liked being able to use the environment to kill people.

Driving: I liked the slow mo shooting sequences. This is really different and nice. The action hijack was fun as well.

Running Chases: I also really liked the running chases on foot. There are a lot of acrobatics reminiscent of kung fu action movies.

Voice Acting: Overall, the voice acting quality is really great. On a side note, if they saved money by not hiring AA actors and kept the voice acting quality the same; it probably would have let them add more to the game itself. I didn't really need Emma Stone to voice a minor character.

No Need for High Hardware Specs: I have a really crappy CPU (some old AMD chip) and a decent video card. I was still able to max everything out with pretty good frame rates.

Big Picture: This works really well with Steam's Big Picture mode for a TV screen. It feels very natural and it just looks awesome on my LCD TV with the high res pack. With this game I just don't care much about Xbox 720 or PS4 anymore.

[Bad]

Story: The storyline is definitely not bad, but it's not good either. The ending could have been so much better. There aren't really any surprises.

Short: Compared to either Saints Row or GTA, Sleeping Dogs is a lot shorter. (Yes, I did almost all the side missions as well finding most of the side secrets.) This could have been good if... (see the next item)

No Choice (no replayability): I feel that if there were more choices that actually changed the world like choosing your loyalty to the law or the triads as well as romances, this game would be so much better. Of course, realistically they needed to get this game out the door so I can understand. For the sequel, it would be nice if they added this.

Fighting feels repetitive: at its core, this is more of an sandbox fighting game. Guns are rarely used. It's probably because I played most of the side missions, but the fighting got really repetitive after a while. The fighting environments need just a little more variety.

[Misc]

Mouse and keyboard simply does not work for this game. You really really need a controller.

This is on Steam. Personally I really love it.

[Verdict]

Get this game if you want something different and if you are a fan of open world sandbox games. It's a good start, and I hope that Square invests in a sequel.
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on June 14, 2014
I got this game because I was looking for a good open world game. I've played about 3 hours and I'm not overly impressed. The combat is very similar to Arkham City. I don't know when guns enter the game, but it's certainly not early in the game. The vehicles are a bit clunky, you drive on the left hand side of the road, and the "free look" while driving stinks. It's not a bad game, but it's nothing I would really recommend either. The combat is decent, but if you've played Arkham City you'll note that it's been done before (and slightly better by Arkham City). I read in another review that you are better off getting a 360 controller. The mouse and keyboard works decent, but maybe the controller would help. You can tell this game is a port. Also, motion sickness warning. Depending on what I'm doing in the game, I start to get motion sickness. I had the same happen with the new Tomb Raider. I didn't have problems with Skyrim though.

Here are games I would recommend over this one if you haven't played them: Skyrim(and Oblivion)/Just Cause 2/Crysis 1&2/STALKER series/Fallout 3 and New Vegas/Mount&Blade:Warband/Saints Row: The Third.
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on November 1, 2012
Sleeping Dogs is an action, third person, sandbox game. It controls like Batman: Arkham Asylum (combat), with missions like the Grand Theft Auto series. You play as a character named Wei, who's torn between serving on the police force and his loyalties to the Sun On Yee (a Chinese triad gang). The setting takes place in Hong Kong.

Why you will want to play this game:
-Combat controls just like the newer Batman games, except it is lethal in Sleeping Dogs.
-It has a fast-paced story that's easy to follow and is not over-the-top.
-The visuals (PC version) look great with the given setting in Hong Kong.
-The voice acting is exceptional, though I can't rate the times when Chinese is spoken. You'll learn a few words in Chinese, which is kind of humorous.
-Tons of different moves to learn and master. Combat is easy, but keeps it fresh with a variety of ways to dispatch foes.
-Some side missions affect the way the main mission plays out, instead of being simple time wasters.
-There's a little something for everyone - car/motorcycle races, car hijacks, gang surveillance, dating, karaoke (lol), hidden collection items. All are fun distractions and earn you triad or police respect points for upgrades, as well as money depending on how well you complete the missions.

Some negatives:
-The game is relatively short. It can easily be beaten in 15-20 hours having completed most if not all of the side missions. Not really that big a negative, in my opinion.
-Some side missions are out of place - like the ones requiring you to play a lame karaoke mini-game. It consists of moving a cursor up and down to match the tone of the singing. Still funny to hear Wei sing "Take On Me" by A-Ha and hit the high notes.

Other than that, it's a solid game. New DLC is being released to increase the amount of missions, and add some different weapons/outfits, so that should add to the game time significantly. If you like martial arts, an easy to follow, plausible storyline, and enjoy sandbox games, this is a definite top contender for 2012.
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on June 6, 2015
Bullet list of this game
-Graphics good
-Game mechanics decent to good
-Story good (If you like the whole cop\underworld crime gangs thing)
-Open world like environment good
-Used a 360 controller-controls good, but for K/B mouse I don't know.
I did not find or see any blatant glitches while playing the game.
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on March 1, 2013
I've just completed this game after playing it quite religiously over the past few weeks.
It reminds me of a Hong Kong GTA in style, with focus on city life, lots of driving, fighting and gang related missions.
The combat is not too disimilar to that of Batman Arkham Asylum/City with the variety of combat moves to be unlocked and use to defeat varied types of enemies.
Hand to hand combat in fact makes up more of the combat overall than gunplay which makes a nice change and can make it a little harder.
Driving is fun and there are a lot of differing powered cars (and bikes) to choose from and they can also be a weapon when used to ram enemies or to shoot out of with a firearm. This too can be said for boats as well.
The characters are interesting and you notice a progression as you work your way up through the Triad organization and interact with more complex and intelligent characters, however some do make appearances throughout the game allowing you to get more attached to them.
There is a considerable amount of satisfaction in the unlock system which lets you unlock a variety of new skills from your performance in missions relating to your police, and triad ratings. This simultaneously adds a degree of replayability in order to improve your score to unlock, whilst giving you the added bonus of competing against your friends on Steam for the numerous stat based achievements - alongside the missions and races.
The combat moves are unlocked through finding certain items across the map which are unlocked as you play through in some part. The unlocking also works hand in hand with progressing in the game, which allows you to finish missions with more ease due to the wider range of skills and stat boosts they provide.
Money can be used to purchase clothes, cars and temporary stat boosts in the form of food and drink. The cars expand your garage selection and the clothes grant you both a different look and also the benefit of stat bonuses upon wearing 'sets' of clothes.

The game supports Nvidia 3D Vision relatively well in game, some cut scenes suffer slightly upon objects in the foreground throwing off the 3D and sometimes the subtitles which are needed due to the rare Chinese speech sections of the game.
However the main play of the game is done well in 3D and high speed chases on motorcycles gives you that thrill of speed and danger as objects whizz past. Turning this on does put extra strain on the PC and meant that I needed to turn down the graphics settings from Hard to Normal.

All in all a very enjoyable game, could be a little bit longer in terms of the storyline but with great graphics, decent physics and sound with the benefit of a nice selection of music for the radio stations.
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on January 1, 2013
Four-and-three-quarter stars from someone who loves FPS games, preferably with some combination of experience-based skills progression, an open world, engaging or humorous story, and varied gameplay (e.g., stealth). Think series like Deus Ex (first and third are my all-time favorite games), GTA, No One Lives Forever, Star Wars Outcast, Crysis, Far Cry, Thief. I've also enjoyed a recent exception to my norm, Just Cause 2 (which is guns blazing, no real progression, and ultimately too repetitive -- but wonderfully chaotic fun in the meantime).

Sleeping Dogs takes some of the best bits of these games, does those best bits really well, and then adds on fabulous kung-fu style melee. I don't normally play fist fighting/kung-fu games, but found myself totally enjoying this one. SD is not as polished or deep or long as, say, the later GTA games, but is nonetheless surprisingly fun to play. It's also much more bloody than I usually like, but the environmental attacks were, well, let's call them "creative."

What made it great?
- It's kung fu. It's frustrating in the beginning (I died many times) until you gain enough points through missions and side quests to acquire more moves and higher max health. Then it rocks. Action is smooth and the moves vary enough to be interesting. It's surprisingly satisfying to use the (limited) objects in your environment to smash your opponent during missions. (This alone has led me to actually replay missions.)
- The unexpectedness of it. If it were set in NYC and had more guns, this would not be a 4.75-star game compared to the depth, breadth, length, and polish of GTA (which, let's face it, is the primary competition). But it's in Hong Kong, you drive on the left, you hear Cant-lish, you use fists more than guns. You are a cop and a gangster, and have genuine relationships on both sides of that fence. And all that is surprisingly engaging.
- The story and its production. Solid story and voice acting, nice ambiguity between good and bad (lots of grey here). I found myself actually caring about some of the characters, even the gangsters.
- See first point. The kung fu is FUN.

Nice differences with GTA:
- More fists, fewer guns. And the fighting gets better and better as the game progresses. By the end you are The One and can defeat a parking lot full of foes with only your natural weapons.
- Though gun play is the exception, it's easier to use than on GTA, incorporating cover.
- Easier to get around when you set a destination on the map, thanks to the arrows that appear in the world when you're approaching a turn or exit. Helps for those spots where the route is a bit confusing.
- Car driving is itself nearly as fun as GTA (though it has much less variety in vehicles) and then improved upon with action-hijacking and the ability to slow-mo shoot at other cars' tires (resulting in an unrealistic but fun explosion that launches the target car into the air).
- You get apartments at various spots in the city fairly early in the game. That plus the smaller map means you spend less time driving just to get somewhere.
- Similar side missions as GTA (steal cars, collect extortion money, find various objects) but easier to complete them. Auto theft and money collecting are relatively short, but that helps keep them from getting too repetitive. And at some point in filling your face meter, you can see the lockboxes, cameras, health shrines, and jade statues on your mini map, then later you can see them on the full map. If you like a really challenging game, though, this will not make you happy.
- The clothes can actually give you bonus points, depending on what you wear. Plus some items aren't unlocked until your Face level is higher. Makes the integration of clothing in the game more interesting.
- Random mini-missions that reward you for exploring a bit, starting later in the game. See a random person on the street who wants to speak to you? Stop, because he might be selling a fish tank or carpet for your apartment. See an orange icon pop up on your mini map? Step on the brake because there's probably someone stuck in a car trunk, and you'll get a little cash for stopping to let them out. My only complaint is about how few of these there are; I would have loved to see much more of this feature.

What I wish it had:
- Decent boats outside of missions. It's hard to find anything other than a crappy fishing boat unless you're in-mission. So when you want to go hunting for the few health shrines and lockboxes that are only accessible from the water, prepare to be frustrated. Despite its setting on an island, the game doesn't really use the water well. You can swim (quickly, thank goodness), and there is a mission or two that happens on an island or boat, but it feels like a feature that isn't used to its best potential.
- More clothing options for the bonus-point outfits. I'm no fashion maven, but I hated having to wear an ugly puffy jacket (oh, but you can pick red, blue, or green! whoopee) to get that 10% triad bonus.
- Either no girlfriends, or a more interesting involvement of them in the story line. The girlfriend (and friend) "maintenance" chores in GTA became boring and annoying. Here it's the opposite extreme: basically you meet a girl during a mission, hook up afterward for one side-mission-slash-date, then she mysteriously disappears from your life.
- Better world interaction on foot. The ability to pull yourself up on crates or over walls is great, but has some odd limitations. I'd find myself stuck on top of a 4-foot wall, unable to step over its 6-inch railing, or swimming for minutes at a time because I ran into an unexpected edge of the map, unable to pull myself out of the water anywhere nearby. Another time I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how the he!! to get at one of the jade statues in an apartment, only to later realize that you can't until the climbing path is opened after the mission that uses that apartment.
- Better/more/different music in the car. It got boring very quickly, especially since almost none of it was to my taste. It was paired appropriately in the missions, but made exploring less enjoyable.

The game definitely has some annoyances (the drug busts are fine until you have to go back to your apartment and do the lame dealer-ID part on camera). And it's much shorter and smaller and more limited than some other open world games, where you can literally spend weeks of your life. But it's well worth the time and money, certainly at $35 or less, as the price drops. Game play is smooth and graphics are great on my i5-2500K / 3.3GHz / 8GB / nVidia GTX 560 (the detail pack download on Steam does seem to help with crispness). I'm not sure how long I played, since I tend to leave the game running for hours at a time in the background while I'm doing something else, but it was many fun hours to do the main missions, the auto thefts, all object hunts, the collection missions, a few car races, and a couple of jumps. Replay value is probably so-so. I've played Deus Ex: HR through probably 3 times and probably will again, and bought a couple of DLC missions and played them through a couple of times. In Sleeping Dogs, none of the downloadable content seemed terribly interesting to me, but I'll probably play through most missions a second time, finish a few more car races, and call it quits.

In all, two thumbs up.
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on March 1, 2013
If the technical and dialogue issues can be eliminated, it would of been a great 5/5 game for me. The game is fun and addictive. But sometimes, the scripting from the game is not as smooth which takes you out of the game. 2 examples, when i run, no matter how hard i tried. i always run into people and they always curse me out. sometimes a 1 foot tall structure on the ground cannot be walked over?! so I can't access that area which makes no sense. Then the cheesy add-a-!@#$-in-every-sentence dialogue really takes you out of the real world. One more complain....where's the jump button!!

I really like the fighting system. It shines in the setting of the game. I also like the chase scenes and jumping from a car to another. I wish there are more variations of these. I like the exotic cars, i wish the game would of told me about earning money from gambling and fighting to buy those cars. Or do a better job of telling me... The graphics are really nice and makes the world very immersive experience. I wish i can fly some type of plane in that world to see how it looks like from the top. I like playing dress up, but it really doesn't benefit you in anyway wasting game money on clothings. But buying food and drinks can "buff" you up.

Overall, its a great game and I would recommend people to play it for the fighting system. If i write anymore (this is taking up about 10 mins now...) i would switch my profession to be a game reviewer....later folks...hope this helps your purchase decision. :P
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