Sleeping Dogs is a game that does not attempt to be original but, by picking up the best ideas from a variety of sources, ranging from Grand Theft Auto to Batman: Arkham Asylum, manages to create an engaging experience that might ultimately capture the imagination of some gamers.
The story is simple: on your return to Hong Kong, you basically get recruited by the police in order to infiltrate and then betray the secrets of the Triads, which means working with the criminal organization in order to gain their trust while also undermining them from the inside.
After playing about three hours of Sleeping Dogs
, I only got to play hand-to-hand fighting sequences and they are heavily based on the system used by the Batman developer Rocksteady.
Multiple enemies need to be dealt at the same time and winning requires good use of light and heavy attacks, counter strikes and a grab mechanics that uses the environment, from pay phones to fans, to devastating effect.
The system works fairly well, even if the counters sometimes seem hit and miss, and it’s very satisfying to throw a bad guy into a dumpster or simply pick up a crowbar and devastate everyone around.
The main problem with the combat is the feeling that all characters are floating rather than actually moving on a surface and the lack of punch (pun intended) behind some of the moves.
Less impressive is the driving, which involves hurling down streets at impressive speeds in vehicles that are hard to control efficiently and stop quickly when the situation requires it.
Finally Sleeping Dogs wastes no effort when it comes to character modeling and to world construction and Hong Kong, mostly wet and neon dominated, is an interesting city to place a game in, even if the tight alleys and dead ends can be hard to navigate.
Worth a full Softpedia review? Yes