Sleeping Dogs: In this game, you play undercover cop Wei Shen, going to kick the ass of Hong Kong Triads. And that’s about all you need to know.
You start out collecting money owed to a guy named Winston. With guiding from a Chinese chap whose name I instantly forgot, you find there are lots of street vendors are on his books, but few are willing to pay, so this usually results in you beating up a few of their own bad guys before they’ll pay up. Amongst the mere handful of different moves you can do, this brings about the amusing “Environment Attack” where you can grapple someone and then throw them into a specific object like a phone booth or a wooden box, and really do them some damage, but, in practice, it feels completely unexhilarating.
This mission of vendor extortion leads to increasing your cop and Triad experience, as do all missions, helping you proceed to the next level. More experience also leads to monetary rewards allowing you to purchase new upgrades such as not suffering as much when baddies beat you up, or delivering more of a punch in said scenarios.
In fact, about that, I must say that the fighting’s fairly pedestrian. As I alighted to earlier, there’s only a few different combos, my favourite being to grab hold of a baddie and slam them against a door or wall, but it’s all just a case of punch them for a while and then it’s over. It’s very reminiscent of The Bourne Conspiracy game, even to the point of flashing up which buttons to press.
After what feels like forever, you finally get to drive something, starting with a bike. This is to get you from A to B. Missions will also include other vehicles, such as Mini Bus Racket, early on, but while between missions you can steal any vehicle you like – sandbox-style, overall, you can’t help but compare this to the Grand Theft Auto series, and it just doesn’t compare, unfortunately.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the game.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.