Mafia has a game series. Yakuza has a game series. Why not the triads? Well that changed with the release of Sleeping Dogs in the year 2012 were you play as an undercover cop that infiltrates a Triad gang in Hong Kong in order to bring them down. This is my take on the action-adventure game named Sleeping Dogs.
In this game you play as Wei Shen who returns to Honk Kong and joins the Triad gang Sun On Yee while hiding his true loyalties as an undercover cop tasked with bringing down the organization. The game is an open world action adventure game taking place in Hong Kong. The setting becomes very important in this game because it gives it a new “feel” and style that is not shown in other crime based games. Guns are rare. Lights are flashy in certain areas. Food consists of dumplings and tea. All of this small details gives the game a unique feeling that has not been replicated on other games. The story and the characters are well told and characterized well through the game. I don’t want to spoil too much of the game’s story but things get violent very fast in this game with betrayal and death waiting around every corner. You defend yourself using a combat system very similar to the Batman Arkham series. Think combos, environmental grapples and counters but with killing. There are also weapons that includes short range and long range. Guns in this game works like a third person shooter which can lead to a bit of confusion since both styles of gameplay haven’t been mixed in this way since I can remember. You might kick the snot out of the air when you wanted to shoot the guy 10 feet from you or watch Wei spasm out of cover but this moments don’t detract from the general experience. Speaking about experience, the game has an upgrade system where ,depending on your triad and cop score in a mission, you level up Wei in different branches of skills ranging from increased damage to other perks. There is also a face meter and skill branch which is raised by doing favors to civilians and members of your gang. The face meter raises up during combat and helps you recover health and intimidate enemies so its helpful to raise your face level to gain benefits to your face meter. There are also drug busts, dating missions, events and collectibles all through the game so the game keeps you busy in terms of non-story content. Finally let’s talk about the real money maker: achievements.
The game has a good mixture of story-based, miscellaneous and side missions achievements. Beating the story, raising your face level and eating multiples types of food all count for achievements. Honestly, the game itself isn’t too hard and the amount of content is small compared to other games like Just Cause 2 so this game can be 100% completed easily compared to other open world games( Damn it Just Cause 2. Why you so big?). Some collectibles are hard to get but not to rage quitting levels. So the final verdict? Play it because its a well made game with a unique setting, memorable storyline and fun gameplay mechanics. So wake up those sleeping dogs (HA!!) and get to playing.