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4.5 out of 5 stars129
4.5 out of 5 stars
Platform: PlayStation 3|Edition: Standard Edition|Change
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on 23 October 2012
I pre-ordered this game and recieved it the day it came out (which I rarely do) and I'm still only about half way through the story! Set in Hong Kong it has a completely different take on city life than the likes of GTA IV (which is certainly showing its age nowadays). The gameplay is also much improved to Square Enix's previous foray into the open-world genre - Just Cause 2. It is smoother, faster and looks very impressive. I would probably go as far as saying its a strong merge of the Uncharted series with GTA IV. Improving on both as well as giving it an entirely new setting. The fighting is simple, fast paced and extremely satisfying. So much so that I didnt even fire a weapon until I had racked up 3 hours of gameplay! One particular thing I was impressed with was how money is used in the game. Everything is proportionate and although I've managed to rack up a million HK dollars so far, I could quite easily blow the lot on a couple of supercars. Hong Kong is massive probably about the same map size as GTA IV, maybe a little bigger but there is plenty more to do. I'm constantly getting distracted by the side missions when driving to a story mission. I could go a week and only progress through one mission its that varied and interesting! The game is challenging but not so much that it makes you turn off. All in all very good. On a side note - just downloaded Just Cause 2 (Square Enix again) and I'm having a whale of a time. Square Enix are the publishers to watch, particularly with Hitman Absolution. If you've got this far thanks for reading!
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on 26 August 2012
I cannot praise this game enough. Sleeping Dogs is the first open world game in a long while for me that has provided everything it said it would, the story is very entertaining, gripping and makes you want to keep playing as you dive deeper and deeper into Hong Kong's dirty underbelly as undercover cop Wei Shen. One big highlight for me is the combat system which makes SD stand out above over open world games, (GTA, Saints Row etc.) as a martial artist you are able to pull off many beautiful visually, appealing moves which makes it that much more satisfying when you win against a handful of enemies. As you continue through the game you are able to upgrade new moves which help you gain a big edge over your enemies.

But hang on there, aside from the main storyline there is still much to do in the form of cases (you are a cop after all), favours for citizens and allies around the city and races; which you unlock when you buy better and faster vehicles (which there are an over-abundance of). Also including fight clubs which range in difficulty and will test your skills as a fighter.

The voice acting is brilliant and the characters involved in the storyline are actually interesting giving the player another incentive to continue playing. I hope I've sold SD to whoever is reading and if you've played it I hope you agree with me. But I guess in the end personal experiences when playing video games always vary between players so please tell me what you thought of the game as it's my personal pick for best game of 2012. WELL DONE SQUARE ENIX!!!
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on 28 February 2014
Sleeping Dogs comes at a time when every new open world franchise has been exhausted, however what makes this game great is that 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 Saint's Row (which I haven't played yet but heard it was similar)- to make for an extremely satisfying and awesome experience. It has some amazingly fun fighting, driving and shooting gameplay mechanics that are surprisingly addictive, you also have tremendous amount of content through side-missions and a compelling and interesting narrative with the main storyline. At first, it certainly does appear to be inspired by Rockstar’s popular GTA 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.

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. Now the combat system in the game is probably the best I've seen in any other game, you have different martial arts moves which can later be unlocked by finding these jade statues which can be found around the map of the Hong Kong area, these are later used in a special dojo where you can train these special moves. It's basicly an homage to all those HK flicks from the past 30 years, add a bit of John Woo style gunplay in a GTA style game and you'll have an idea of what to expect.

Sleeping Dogs gunplay is robust, even if it is in favor of fists (or knives, or tire-irons, or fish). The combat features a cover system and slow-motion that triggers whenever you leap over an object in the environment, allowing you to clear rooms without an issue. It’s always fast, it’s always rewarding, and it’s always fun, pulling from the best in the genre. Better yet, using melee on an enemy while holding a weapon triggers unique attacks, like Shen running up his foe’s chest and then kicking off in slow motion for an awesome action-movie attack. Hand-to-hand combat is typically terrible in open world games however Sleeping Dogs does it right. The game rises to the top, surpassing nearly every other sandbox-style game. Every single action is so entertaining that you would go looking for trouble just as an excuse to use your fun melee takedowns, awesome gunplay, and fantastic driving skills. Thankfully, the game provides plenty opportunities to use these skills, both in the game’s lengthy campaign – which takes some 15 hours to complete – and the plentiful side missions – which can easily tack on another 10. Doing favors for pedestrians or busting drug-dealers will also keep you constantly engaged, making it difficult to ever put down the controller. It was definitely worth checking out, highly recommended.
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on 24 March 2014
Sleeping Dogs is one of the best games I bought. Even thought the story mission was quite limited, there is plenty of activities in this open world game. The copy of Sleeping Dogs I bought is pre-owned I couldn't tell the difference to a new copy: all the content inside was still there. If you want to safe money, make you buy it off 'zoverstocks'.
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on 31 December 2012
S T O R Y

You play as Wei Shen, an undercover cop for the HKPD tasked with infiltrating a powerful Triad clan. Wei's role as a cop is to dismantle the Sun On Yee's organisation from within and fight against Hong Kong's Triad dominance. Things are not as easy as it seems, as Wei's loyalty will be tested by obeying the codes of his Triad's brethren, but also not forgetting that his true path remains with serving justice to Hong Kong's crime underbelly.

Wei's journey is powerful and the conflict within the Sun On Yee is a strong aspect. Wei has presence whenever he is in the spotlight, and there are plenty of connections that link him to some of Hong Kong's nasty individuals.

G R A P H I C S & S O U N D

Hong Kong is an incredibly immersive world, divided into a number of districts, jazzed up by its bright lights. The vibrant neon-lit style of the city is the strongest component throughout the experience. The artists have done an amazing job creating Wei Shen's playground. At first glance, the map size may seem underwhelming, but it serves the needs of the campaign extremely well. Each district within Hong Kong carries its own identity. The slums and working districts linger around the harbour areas, home to dangerous hobos and rotting shacks.

The Sun On Yee Triad are a mean looking bunch and this is further exemplified by the stylistic character models. Wei displays great tattoo design, smothering his torso and arms. Add some cool outfits and players can create some outrageous fashion motifs. Animations are fluid and Wei reacts with surrounding environment in a competent fashion. The combat animations are extremely slick in motion, and the environmental are not only brutal, but the violent pay off is pretty awesome.

NPCs go about their daily business, shopping in fancy stores, trading at busy markets and enjoying the busy nightlife. The voice acting is backed up by some serious celebrity talent, including Kelly Hu, Lucy Liu, Tom Wilkinson and Emma Stone. Sound design is strong throughout the game, especially during the hard-hitting combat sequences. The soundtrack is a mix of funky Chinese pop, backed up by a sweet selection of radio stations.

Unfortunately, the presentation is tarnished by NPCs which look like plastic dolls, but this is upon closer inspection. Certain textures and surfaces can seem a little rough around the edges and jagged when panning the camera in different directions.

G A M E P L A Y

The story missions are varied and Wei will engage enemies in a number of brutal ways. Wei will be tasked with chasing down criminals, engaging in fist fights and raging across the streets in frantic car chases. Play style is important and will determine how your actions are affecting the city. Killing innocents and causing damage will increase your Triad points, and acting more like a 'cop' will help increase your Cop status. Players will have several 'apartments' where they can change outfits and complete certain mission objectives.

The combat system serves up a great selections of martial arts moves and bone-crunching takedown. The combat system revolves around counter-attacking and timing each strike. Stringing together combos is great fun and some of the finishing moves are pure eye candy. The environments can be used as weapons, allowing to perform such carnage as smacking an enemy's head against a solid surface, or even dicing one up by forcing their head into a high-speed fan. As players progress, new combat moves can be unlocked and deadly finishing attacks will radicalise the gameplay. Martial arts clubs are available as a way of players to test their fighting resolve and go up against waves of enemies.

A decent selection of bikes and cars are available for Wei to get stuck into. Vehicles can also be purchased and stored for easy access. You'll feel like a Hollywood action star when taking jumping behind the steering wheel, which allows to jump from car-to-car, going Rambo-crazy with firearms and gunning down pursuing Triad gangs. Vehicles feels sturdy and stable, which applies to both bikes and cars. Sleeping Dogs takes a more subtle approach when it comes to guns and shoot 'em up style gameplay. Firefights are usually controlled affairs, which involve large scale shootouts between Triad gangs and providing support during these encounters. Slo-mo shooting options allow Wei to target multiple enemies and dish out plenty of bloody mayhem. A cover system is also in place, but enemies can approach from any direction and make your life hell.

Away from the story missions there's plenty to do, including: busting drug dealers by ridding territories of gangs, helping citizens and Triad buddies around the city, taking part in street races, and helping the HKPD track down naughty criminals. Wei will also put his detective skills by hacking surveillance systems, opening secure locks and collecting evidence to help convict criminals.

The vehicle handling can feel a little underwhelming when it comes to drifting and cornering at breakneck speed. The combat system lacks the free flow quality of the recent Batman games, it's brutal, but it left me wanting more at times.

O V E R A L L

Sleeping Dogs is brimming with content and this fictional Hong Kong has been realised to great effect. The story depicting the inner quarrels of the Sun On Yee is gripping, but support characters offer very little to the events at times. The graphics boast colour and promote Hong Kong's glamorous setting, but the texture quality needs a little more gloss. The gameplay is diverse and there is plenty to keep players occupied, especially with the adrenaline fueled car chases.
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on 17 June 2016
I pre-ordered this game and recieved it the day it came out (which I rarely do) and I'm still only about half way through the story! Set in Hong Kong it has a completely different take on city life than the likes of GTA IV (which is certainly showing its age nowadays). The gameplay is also much improved to Square Enix's previous foray into the open-world genre - Just Cause 2. It is smoother, faster and looks very impressive. I would probably go as far as saying its a strong merge of the Uncharted series with GTA IV. Improving on both as well as giving it an entirely new setting. The fighting is simple, fast paced and extremely satisfying. So much so that I didnt even fire a weapon until I had racked up 3 hours of gameplay! One particular thing I was impressed with was how money is used in the game. Everything is proportionate and although I've managed to rack up a million HK dollars so far, I could quite easily blow the lot on a couple of supercars. Hong Kong is massive probably about the same map size as GTA IV, maybe a little bigger but there is plenty more to do. I'm constantly getting distracted by the side missions when driving to a story mission. I could go a week and only progress through one mission its that varied and interesting! The game is challenging but not so much that it makes you turn off. All in all very good. On a side note - just downloaded Just Cause 2 (Square Enix again) and I'm having a whale of a time. Square Enix are the publishers to watch, particularly with Hitman Absolution. If you've got this far thanks for reading!
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on 4 April 2013
I don't often make reviews, but this is an exception.

First of all, the price. I bought this for £12, a complete steal. I'm probably going to get another 10 or 15 hours out of it, and the content is so engaging that there is great potential for multiple playthroughs.

The game itself is an amalgamation of GTA, and the 'True Crime' games from the Older Gen consoles. The software, movement, shooting, and driving functions all seem to mirror that of GTA, though the graphics quality isn't a patch on GTA:4, which is probably three years older.

The similarity to GTA doesn't really bother me, as I love the franchise, but the added spice of it being set around an undercover cop deep in the Triads, in Hong Kong, and blood, fast cars, crazy martial arts, and a bit more blood, make for a thrilling gaming experience.

To keep up with the Oriental feel of the game, the firearms often take a back seat, focussing more on martial arts aspect. The only real pitfalls in the game can be found here:
1) You often find yourself defeating five enemies in one room, then you have to defeat another five in the next, and then even more in the next. You do attain various new techniques over the course of the game, but the whole 'fight twenty people to reach the objective' can get irritating after the first few times.
2) The second real issue here are the camera angles. You can find yourself backed into a corner with four people slashing at you with knives, but all you can see is the inside of a wall.

So far they are the only real faults I can come up with. Sleeping Dogs is thoroughly engaging and fast paced game. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the GTA mould of video games.
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on 2 April 2013
What first appears as a cheap Grand Theft Auto knockoff turns out to be a really solid, well made, great fun game. It doesn't have the huge budgets of the GTA series (GTA: IV rumoured to have cost $100 million to make) but it looks good, rarely glitches and is very fun. There are limited types of weapons and they handle great but what you'll get most fun from is the melee martial arts combat. This handles great and evolves nicely as you learn new moves though it isn't overly complex. You can grab people and interact with the enviroment such as wall slams, throwing them in furnaces, pits and vents ect. Objects such as umbrellas, crowbars and even fish can be used as weapons. There is a minimal RPG element that allows you to gain experience and unlock new moves which is basic but addictive. Slow motion is used nicely, only activating when vaulting over walls and jumping from car to car. In terms of gameplay it is a solid 5 out of 5 and offers a wider variety of play styles than GTA: IV though the driving is not as smooth and satisfying as GTA:IV it is still enjoyable and not as bad as was initally reported. Lots of mini-games and side missions such as fight clubs, street races, collectibles, mahjong, cock-fights, dating girlfriends, Karaoke and random side missions.
Visually on a technical level it is not as strong as GTA but it makes up for it with great designs. These include the rich colours of Hong Kong and by creating a wide variety of gangsters with different tattoos, hairstyles, clothing, glasses and looks ect. You can change your clothes and you have a very wide selection from punk, gangster, smart suits ect and also some special unlockable outfits based on Kill Bill, Ong Bak ect. Sadly you can't change tattoos, hair or beards which is a shame when it offers so much customization in the clothing. There are weather changes, it goes from day to night and people in the busy streets react to you.
The storyline is a little generic John Woo action movie cop thriller so it has the typical character archetypes and the plot develops the way you expect. However, it has lots of great set pieces such as a funeral that turns into a shootout, speedboat chases, hunting down serial killers and sex traffickers, gangsters crashing a wedding and many others.
The best aspect of the game is the voice acting and dialogue writing. Having Tom Wilkinson and Emma Stone aswell as some clearly highly talented voice actors means that you really invest in the story and care about the characters a lot more. Same goes for the high quality of writing that is consistently funny, witty, clever, dramatic and thrilling.
Overall it's great fun, with lots of variety and never boring. The quality of writing and voice talent make you feel like your interacting with a Hollywood John Woo movie and you care about the characters. When the credits rolled I realised I had really enjoyed it and it was one of my favourite games of 2012.
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on 11 March 2013
I was sceptical at first about this game and put off buying it, as I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it as much as the two and a half kilos of Jelly Beans I could get for the equivalent price. Luckily for me though, my girlfriend put this under the tree a few months ago and I can honestly say, I have never been so excited about kicking triads in the face. For those that also might be as coy as I once was, here is my advice for you - stop reading this review and buy the game.

For those remaining few who are still unconvinced by my streams of eloquent rhetoric, here are the reasons you are missing out without this game.

--Gameplay--

-Driving-
The game is somewhat like the lovechild of Saints Row the Third and GTA4 that moved to Hong Kong at a very young age. The driving is not overly arcadey, as in Saints Row, nor is it as stiff as GTA4, but a pleasant balance of the two, leaving little to be desired in that department.

-Combat-
This game has a heavy emphasis on close combat, rather than gunplay, given that guns are somewhat restricted in Hong Kong, which is refreshing, but when the guns do come out of the bag the mechanics are fairly good. The close combat handles in a relatively similar way to the two Batman Arkham games, which is an incredible compliment, and as you progress, you can unlock different combat moves, which can be quite a lot of fun.

-The Graphics and Physics-
Not earth shatteringly wonderful, not much to say, but absolutely nothing to complain about, but the game is very vast. As a sandbox game, it's pretty good and I found very few glitches or bugs throughout. Also, the map doesn't seem to be locked at the beginning, so of the four areas, you can access the entire map if you want to straight away, which is kind of nice.

--The Storyline--
I'm convinced that Wei Shen may be one of my favourite characters of all time , his inner conflict is well explored and his turmoil is a fantastic exploration of the human condition, his personality one of the greatest portrayed, up there with the likes of Luke Skywalker, Dexter Morgan and the Cookie Monster. I enjoyed playing as Wei, a man with a conscience and a concern for the value human life, unlike too many of today's gaming protagonists. This said, there are still scenes of incredible violence in the game, but this is an exploration and infiltration of one of the most notorious gangs ever recorded in the history of the world, so it should be expected. The game is well balanced and explores a great deal of a world I knew little to nothing about. The storyline is fantastic, but I would like to avoid revealing anything, just due to the fact I had so much fun going in blind, any information might spoil it.

Whilst I loved the game, like any game it's not perfect, there are downsides. The side missions can become a little tedious or repetitive, but that can expected with a lot of games these days.
This game gave me a good 25 hours of enjoyment, and there are elements of the game that flop, (see cockfighting), but they're optional, so don't worry too much.
If you like GTA, you'll like this game, perhaps even more, but if you're expecting GTA, you'll be disappointed. It's not as gritty, dark or sadistic as GTA, it's not funny, like Saints Row, but it's got a relatively original storyline, a fantastic protagonist and a great combat and driving system.

If you can pick this game up for £20 it's a steal, it might even be worth a £40 price tag. I wholeheartedly recommend this game, played it through start to finish without touching another game, and a small crisis with what I was to do with my life when I reached 100% completion.

I usually only leave reviews on the games I thoroughly enjoy, and of the 20 odd games of the past year I have played, Sleeping Dogs has earned that 'honour'.
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on 16 January 2013
If you're into your sandbox shooters and GTA-style games, this will be right up your alley. A fairly interesting and rather dark story involving Triads and crooked cops, set in a vibrant and quite impressive rendition of Hong Kong. They seem to have got the feel of the city just right, and it looks very impressive at times. It's difficult to make a city in a videogame feel truly busy and and alive, so credit to United Front Studios for that.

The game itself is a thoroughly enjoyable play, with a relatively lengthy main campaign and plenty of side missions to keep you interested. Combat is largely hand-to-hand and plays quite a lot like Batman: Arkham Asylum/City, but with kung-fu instead of, uh, bat-fu. You get combat upgrades which allow for new moves and combos which increases variety, and it is largely satisfying. Gunplay doesn't really come into the game until roughly halfway in, but is similarly fun and based a lot around using bullet-time to your advantage. Driving feels like any other game of its ilk, with the added bonus of action hijacks, but unfortunately these often don't feel as cool as they should when you pull one off.

It's not a perfect game for sure; it's a little bit glitchy at times, seems to lack a slight bit of polish, and the map does feel a smidgin' too small, but they aren't massive glaring issues. It's still a fun game with plenty to do, plus there's several DLC packs that give you new missions to keep you occupied after endgame.

Hey, it's something to play whilst waiting for GTA V, right?
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