Games like Mortal Kombat, Virtua Fighter, and Street Fighter have some of the best fighting game-plays in video game history. The brutality in these games are top notch, but there’s one specific game that doesn’t get talked about that also features as much brutality as those games that I just mentioned. Today’s game review will be on Sleeping Dogs!
Released on August 14, 2012, this game brought a whole new level of violence to the action-adventure franchise. This game pretty much had it all when it comes to these type of games which are violence, open world game-play, nice cars, very good selection of wardrobe, and most importantly a good story. Critics have said that this game is very much a GTA clone and I can’t say that I disagree with them. You put this game side by side with any GTA game and you can definitely see the similarities between them. Besides the GTA similarities, this game was pretty good and stands out to me as an underrated action-adventure game.
The story of this game is based on the main protagonist Wei Shen. Wei Shen was a former San Francisco police officer who was then transferred to the Hong Kong Police Department to investigate a Triad organization know as the Sun On Yee. From there on out, Wei had to balance his police investigation and proving himself to be a loyal member of the Triad. Wei is assigned these missions by his superintendent Thomas Pendrew and whenever is progress is done, it’s handled by his reporter, Raymond Mak. In the mix of all the controversy, Wei and his childhood friend Jackie gets things stirred up with the Sun On Yee. Jackie wants to prove that he belongs in the Triad and as Wei stands by his side the whole time, Wei must prove his loyalty to the Red Pole boss, Winston Chu. Wei then runs into problems with rival gang 18k and things get extremely heated from there. Wei has some much on his plate at this point and the only thing he can do at this point is fight. After finally earning the respect of Winston Chu, Winston lets Wei know that if anything were to happen to him, Wei would take over as the boss of Red Pole, an honor that Wei couldn’t refuse. Winston would later on get engaged and on his wedding day, along with his fiancee, he was murdered by gang members from his biggest rival, Sam “Dogeyes” Lin. During the wedding fiasco, Uncle Po, the leader of the Sun On Yee Triad, was critically wounded and sent to the hospital, where he later died. Shen’s new mission was to find the culprit behind the attack and once he found out Dogeyes was behind everything, he captured Dogeyes and sent him to Winston’s mother, who then kills him. Wei then enters a power struggle over the leadership of the Sun On Yee against another upcoming leader Big Smile Lee. Lee was a man who would do ANYTHING to receive that leader spot of the Sun On Yee. Pendrew, Wei’s superintendent, later demands that Wei gets out of this situation before he gets into more hot water than he already is and Wei refuses. Because of this, Pendrew goes behind Wei’s back and informs Big Smile Lee of Wei’s involvement with the Hong Kong PD, causing Lee to use this against Wei in an upcoming election. After Jackie was killed by Lee’s gang, Wei gets kidnapped and tortured by Lee’s personal torturer Mr.Tong. Wei then escapes then kills Mr.Tong then later on killing Big Smile Lee. After the whole situation dies down, Wei receives a video showing Pendrew killing Uncle Po in the hospital by injecting him with some lethal drugs. Wei then finally returns to the police force and the first thing he did was imprisoned Pendrew for the murder of Uncle Po.
The game-play is very top notch! Everything from the fighting to racing are very well developed and has a bit of realism to it. The melee combat is very brutal including the likes of environmental attacks. You can dump your enemies into dumpsters, slam them into telephone booths, slam them onto cars, stuff their heads repeatedly in car doors, etc. You can also learn some martial arts attacks by going to an local martial arts class or fighting in local street fight tournaments. Participating in street races is another big part of the game that includes unlocking new cars whenever you enter and win a race. Racing is so intense that it feels very realistic whenever you crash your vehicle. The game is set in their own version of Hong Kong that’s split into four districts named after regions of the city.
Sleeping Dogs gets an 8.5/10 overall from me. The game-play is very good and the story in my opinion is excellent. The characters are presented very well and each of them I must say are badasses. My only criticism is that I wish the game would’ve included a mission where Wei gets to kill Pendrew for what he did to Uncle Po, but that’s just me. For you fans of action-adventure games, Sleeping Dogs is a game you guys should definitely pick up and play.