Sleeping Dogs Review: serious competition for GTA?

Grand Theft Auto is without a doubt the king of open-world action genre. Many have tried to steal the crown series made by Rockstar Games but no one has managed so far. Highly dosed combination of story, humor and action and undeniable charm of GTA titles were never matched competition, whether called Saints Row, Just Cause or Mafia.

Activision probably took this into account when he decided to abandon the True Crime series (another so-called clone of GTA) and therefore what would be the future of this game: True Crime Hong Kong. Fortunately, producer studio United Front Games representatives have not given up so easily and firmly convinced of the quality of their product, they managed to find another publisher for the game: Square Enix.

Thus, even if the name of the game was changed in Sleeping Dogs, the basics remain the same: police undercover busy streets of Hong Kong martial arts, car chases and a story worthy of Asian action movies. Sleeping Dogs but fails to live up to the quality of the Grand Theft Auto series and again we are dealing with a disappointing reply?


Sleeping Dogs is the narrative of the central character Wei Shen, an undercover cop, HKPD infiltrated the ranks of Sun On Yee, a criminal organization that his work in Hong Kong. Thus, it is easy to deduce which way the producers wanted to direct storyline of the game, the events of Sleeping Dogs are somewhat predictable.

Even so, no one would have expected anything else from a game that was entitled True Crime: Hong Kong. The story of Sleeping Dogs is exactly what should be, bringing together under one roof stereotypes almost all Asian action films. But passing over this issue comes inevitable comparison to Grand Theft Auto.

Unlike a game like GTA4, plot of Sleeping Dogs seem rushed and important steps are skipped, especially regarding relations between characters. Thus, although the outcome is satisfactory Shen Wei’s story, stay with the feeling that the producers could have developed the plot much more than they managed to do it.


As befits any open-world action game, and objectives of Sleeping Dogs are divided into two categories: primary missions by advancing the story and the resolution of which side is up out of that player. Much of the charm of Sleeping Dogs is found but these optional missions that can lead to the acquisition of numerous upgrades.

First, even though posing a ruthless killer, Shen did not hesitate to stop offering a helping hand to colleagues in Police, solving some cases for them. And when I say “some”, not exaggerating at all: the entire game offers four secondary endpoints such, very few in comparison to the main missions.

Fortunately, the city is full of so-called “Missions is” different favors that can meet Wei citizens on the streets of Hong Kong. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes downright out of your mind, these additional activities to increase reputation with the gift of the main character, influencing factor, such as elegant clothes that he can wear.

Moreover, each mission successfully accomplished, depending on type, Wei’s brings additional experience: successful completion of missions for Sun On Yee, Police etc. has the effect of immediately unlock a series of upgrades (finishing moves us additional skills and so on). And when it comes to variety these missions, Sleeping Dogs can duel on equal footing with the chief representatives of the genre (including GTA series) we have the fights, shootouts, chases and car racing, wrestling coconut, karaoke, poker, meetings etc love.

Let us pause a bit on each such item. From the outset, the question is raised of firearms: Hong Kong is unlike United States Amercii in this regard. Weapons are very rare, even among local mafia, criminals prefer Asians to settle disputes in a more traditional manner: wrestling with a strong infusion of martial arts.

Thus, most confrontations with rival gang members will be conducted in a manner similar to that encountered in Batman: Arkham City. The entire combat system is based on the idea of counterattack, but the complexity is higher than in the game from Rocksteady. Depending on the attack button is pressed during power strokes Shen can vary from just a handful to a turned leg kick (in the style of Van Damme), able to put down an entire group of enemies.

Also, during the game, Shen Wei is able to train in the dojo his former mentor in the martial arts, and learning a lot of new moves extremely useful as the story progresses and opponents become increasingly more resistant. Worth mentioning and executions with objects in the environment, not anything more satisfying than chopping an opponent in a mouth ventilation or “hot contact” between an opponent and the hot plate of a stove.

However, even if armed struggles are not very frequent in Sleeping Dogs, where firefights are emerging, it works surprisingly well. Wei will not buy weapons (as it was in GTA) but will use those stolen from enemies, and their range is too wide (we are dealing with pistols, shotguns, assault rifles and rarely , one weapon “hard” like a grenade launcher).

Even so, the quality of these action sequences is complemented by an excellent cover system made. From this point of view, Sleeping Dogs is more than GTA4 or even Max Payne 3. And if I brought in about former New York detective in the game at United Front party and have a few moments of slow-motion, which, although not as spectacular as Max Payne titles, completes a harmonious battles picture Sleeping Dogs.

Regarding driving cars, people at United Front Games have chosen a different path from most recent GTA titles. Thus, while Grand Theft Auto IV put emphasis on realism evident when it came to vehicle behavior in Sleeping Dogs this matter is covered in a 100% arcade. Differences between the cars feel just the maximum speed they can achieve control, the rest being overly simple. Arcade side is reinforced by the possibility Wei jump from one car to another on the fly, in a style as unlikely as it is spectacular.

Are superficial as that Wei amorous encounters take part. During the game, Shen can choose to woo a series of women, these missions being mostly went very easy to complete. Moreover, such a ladies conquest has no narrative (they just disappear after Wei “has achieved its purpose”), but in return being displayed on the map points of interest (such as boxes or hidden shrines giving bonsuri health).

Thus, no additional work will be seen by who knows what degree of complexity, but adds a strong note of variety, so needed an open-world game. Unfortunately, once completed all available missions on the map (only the main ones during the game can drive more than ten hours of gameplay), not much you can do in Sleeping Dogs, the title of the United Front Games multiplayer component lacking .


Just like in Grand Theft Auto, cars in Sleeping Dogs are equipped with radios, which can be heard a lot of posts. Thus, the music ranges from classical genres (club, hip-hop, rock, metal, etc..) To the themes of Oriental influence, perfect for Hong Kong’s entire virtual environment. In fact, the voices of the characters are exactly what you’d expect from a game, broken English spoken with an accent fits perfectly within the limits set by dubbing of Asian action films.

The real star of Sleeping Dogs is but the typography. While the console versions of the game looks good, the PC edition is impressive in terms of graphics: the characters are made in detail, using effective (and very aesthetic) with the gift of a shader highlights a lots of details, such as muscles or sweating bodies. As for environmental achievement, comes to see once in Hong Kong at night Sleeping Dogs, crushed by rain to fall in love irrevocably game of the United Front.

Unfortunately, in terms of control, although the latest updates bring improvements, Sleeping Dogs is difficult to play with mouse and keyboard. Based on melee fighting system and reaching the mini-game’s in the game (opening locks, planting listening devices conversations and so on), all controllers were designed for the use of such a device is recommended even for the PC version of the game.


Although in terms of narrative Sleeping Dogs was treated rather superficially, when it comes to proper missions, the variety and the finishing of gameplay and graphics, creation of the United Front Games really shines. We can say that for the first time in many years, Grand Theft Auto finally has a worthy competitor into account.

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