Sleeping Dogs (2012)

Video Game  -  Action | Crime  -  14 August 2012 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 3,001 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 3 critic

Welcome to Hong Kong, a vibrant neon city teeming with life, whose exotic locations and busy streets hide one of the most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations in the world: the ... See full summary »

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, (additional writing by), 2 more credits »
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Title: Sleeping Dogs (Video Game 2012)

Sleeping Dogs (Video Game 2012) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Wei Shen (voice)
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Jackie Ma (voice)
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Superintendent Thomas Pendrew (voice)
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Inspector Jane Teng (voice)
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Conroy Wu / Roland Ho (voice)
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Ilyana (voice)
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Broken Nose Jiang (voice)
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'Dirty' Ming (voice)
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Ricky (voice)
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Henry 'Big Smile' Lee / Old Salty Crab (voice)
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Raymond Mak / Pockmark Cheuk (voice)
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Mr. Chow / Ponytail / Mr.Tong / Dogeyes (voice)
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Sonny Wo (voice)
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Uncle David Wa-Lin Po (voice)
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Tiffany Kim (voice)
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Storyline

Welcome to Hong Kong, a vibrant neon city teeming with life, whose exotic locations and busy streets hide one of the most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations in the world: the Triads. In this open-world game, you play the role of Wei Shen, an undercover cop trying to take down the Triads from the inside. You'll have to prove yourself worthy as you fight your way up the organization, taking part in brutal criminal activities without blowing your cover. Torn between your loyalty to the badge and the code of the triads, you will risk everything as the lines between truth and honor become permanently blurred. Written by Square Enix

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Genres:

Action | Crime

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Release Date:

14 August 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

True Crime: Hong Kong  »

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(playstation 3 version)| (all versions)

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Trivia

Originally intended to be the third game in the Activision-produced "True Crime" series (after True Crime: Streets of LA (2003) and True Crime: New York City (2005)), but was cancelled after Activision elected not to back the game in a market dominated by other free-roaming games made by other companies, such as Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) and Saints Row: The Third (2011). Eventually picked up by Square Enix, development was left in the hands of both them and United Front and the game was retitled "Sleeping Dogs". See more »

Quotes

Pork Bun Vendor: [shouting to customers] Why don't you have a pork bun in your hand?
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Connections

Spin-off Nightmare in North Point (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Take What's Mine
Performed by The Parlor Mob
Written by David James Rosen, Paul Ritchie, Mark Melicia, Sam Bey, and Anthony Chick
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User Reviews

 
Eggroll-flavored GTA
17 September 2012 | by See all my reviews

Sleeping Dogs is a fresh take on the known and loved GTA-style sandbox action genre.

My first impression of the game was how polished it seemed. Everything from the interface to the general feel of the game and cinematics oozes a well-finished quality. Between the hustle and bustle of the city and the concept art, the game definitely captures a certain aesthetic that requires no effort getting used to. That being said, saying Sleeping Dogs borrows from GTA would be a huge understatement. Few additions aside, the game is basically a GTA clone to the tee.

Sleeping Dogs is set in Hong Kong, a welcome change of pace from the typical LA/NYC generic city template often seen in this kind of game. You play Wei Shen, an undercover cop out to clear the streets and on a personal vendetta. While this premise is not necessarily new, it sets the foundation for character development in a refreshing way: you get 'triad points' for doing badass things and you get 'cop points' for keeping up with your good deeds. You can spend these points in developing skills or passive abilities. The interesting bit is that these two paths aren't mutually exclusive, actually giving you more content and more depth to how the protagonist builds up.

Visually stunning, Sleeping Dogs has a fair dosage of eye-candy even if graphics aren't the main selling point in this title. On the flipside, being the console port that it is, the engine is not really optimized for a PC. If you have a fairly powerful rig, you won't have much trouble, but there's not a whole lot of room for tweaking on the low-end for all you outdated nerds reading this.

While some of the writing might seem a bit cheesy, the game definitely goes for the cinematic approach. Some big names are on voice duty and they deliver the goods. Speaking of sounds, being used to hating most of the radio tracks on the GTA series, I figured this Asian cousin would be similar, but, to my pleasure again, I was wrong. Musicalization is very good and it ties the whole thing together to really make it seem like you're watching a movie.

The gameplay basically revolves around driving and combat. Nothing new here. The combat, however, is almost exclusively melee-oriented. The general idea is that of Jackie Chan or Jet Li flicks: you're usually heavily outnumbered but a few flashy kicks later, you walk off victorious. More importantly: it works really well. It's fun, it's easy to pick up and there's quite a variety of moves, enemies and contextual combat actions to keep it fresh and exciting all throughout. The beauty of it comes from the simplistic control layout and input sequences. The driving? Not a huge fan. It's not terrible but it feels somewhat difficult to control depending on the vehicle or mission. On the other hand, you can ram other cars off the road and hijack them on-the-fly alla Just Cause, so that makes driving somewhat amusing. There are also firearms but they don't play a huge role. In the parts where you do get to shoot a gun, even though aiming and ducking behind cover feels familiar, shooting baddies can still be pretty awkward until you get used to it.

In typical sandbox-action style, you have the ridiculous collectibles that cool kids like me never bother with, you have your side-missions, your main missions, your races, your romantic interests and your extra quickies given by random pedestrians along the way. While the amount of content is hefty, some side-missions become redundant after a while. Keeping it tasty in playtime but fresh at the same time is a balance most developers can't seem to strike nowadays. In this case, the added incentive of earning skill points to invest in your combat abilities as a reward for completing secondary objectives works moderately well.

Here's the bad news.

First off, the game is meant to be played on a gamepad. Most console ports fall prey to this problem, but in this one, K+M is not even close. The controls are already sort of awkward as is. Parkouring around the city is not very fluid, lock-on targeting is iffy and the shooting sequences can feel unnatural at first. If you add the lack of a gamepad on top of that, you're in for a headache. It just doesn't work, especially the hand-to-hand bits. Most people won't consider this a big deal, but PC games shouldn't warrant anything else other than standard PC peripherals to enjoy a smooth experience.

The second gripe I've had with this game is the lack of originality. Don't get me wrong: sandbox action games are a tried and tested formula, so it really comes as no surprise that Sleeping Dogs is a fun game. But.. really? After all these years since GTA3 hit the market, after all the reskins, shameless clones ('sup Saints Row 2?) and all the retakes on it, after all the expansions, sequels and DLCs, this is the best a developer backed by SquareEnix can come up with? It's a bit painful and it makes you wonder where the industry is headed.

In closing, Sleeping Dogs is a high-quality oriental GTA. If you can get past all the similarities and forgive a few quirks in the control scheme, you end up with a pretty robust and lengthy sandbox action game. But is this the next big thing? Probably not.


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