Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Open-world games are marvels of modern technology and, as such, they usually have issues that are often condoned in favor of the bigger picture. Simplistic melee, sloppy gunplay, or loose driving can be ignored if everything else is strong. Sleeping Dogs makes no such concessions. It attempts to top the rest by borrowing from the best in the genre, taking cues from many recent open-world games - from Arkham City to Just Cause 2 - to make for an extremely sexy Frankenstein’s Monster of a game.
Calling it a “GTA clone” ignores how far advanced the gameplay is compared to even Grand Theft Auto IV. At first, it certainly does appear to be inspired by Rockstar’s popular series, with protagonist Wei Shen thrown into a life of crime and asked to do horrendous things to progress the plot. But quickly it reveals itself to be much more than that. Early on it's explained that Shen is actually an undercover cop, sent into Hong Kong to climb the ranks of the Triads and take them down from the inside, creating a conflicted protagonist that's easy to sympathize with.
Check out the video review
This small detail makes a big difference, both in terms of story and gameplay. Shen has understandable motives that extend far beyond simply trying to make a bunch of money. He’s not an amoral killer – he’s a cop thrown into the middle of something big, and that stress gets to him quickly, creating a well-developed, likable character.
You’ll constantly be passed between different members of the Triad as you work your way towards the top of the food chain, all the while needing to balance out your work with the police, making for entertaining (albeit slightly repetitive) missions. The characters you work for lack the colorful flare of those found in games like Grand Theft Auto and you'll never feel all that connected to any of them, even if you fall for the undercover cop angle, which definitely adds to the tried and true open-world story formula.
As a player, it also means trying to balance the Cop and Triad side of things, with different missions rewarding you with bonus points depending on how the levels are played. Kill everyone and destroy everything and your brutal actions will earn you Triad points, which can be used to access powerful, brutal abilities, whereas playing things more professionally will unlock equally-powerful Cop abilities. New melee attacks, awesome weapon skills, and driving bonuses are just some of the upgrades Wei gains access to in his quest to earn the trust of his fellow gang members (and police officers).
Each element has some rough edges, from an occasionally finicky camera to sometimes inconsistent collision detection, but the problems were never enough to keep us down for more than a few seconds. Melee is as brutal as it is well-developed – Wei can take on limitless foes, waiting until they’re about to strike before executing a brutal counter-attack. He can go on the offensive, too, using dozens of abilities and combos to break the arms and legs of his opponents. The more varied his attacks are the higher his Face meter rises, eventually causing his enemies to flinch once they’ve seen exactly how powerful the Triad member is.
What’s more, grappling enemies opens up additional options, allowing Wei to drag his enemies over to objects for environmental kills, or to just throw them off ledges or into enemies. This flexibility makes for highly entertaining melee battles, and no matter how many times you're thrown into a room with a dozen enemies to defeat you'll always enjoy your time doing it.
Aug 14 2012 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
|Available Platforms:||Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Published by:||Square Enix|
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Drugs, Sexual Content
Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.