Game Spotlight: Sleeping Dogs
Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox-360
Release Date: August 14th, 2012
From Square Enix comes Sleeping Dogs, an open world action game set in Hong Kong in which you play as Wein Shen, a detective sent under-cover to to take down a Triad gang. Originally set to be the third game in the True Crime series, Activision decided to cancel the game, deeming it not good enough to compete in the genre. Square Enix saw something they didn’t, scooped it up and seem to be releasing what has the makings of a very good game.
What I like about Sleeping Dogs is the way in which it blends different forms of gameplay. There’s hand-to-hand combat, which has drawn comparisons to Arkham City and allows your character to interact with the environment in deadly ways. There’s gunplay utilizing a creative cover system allowing you to move between cover and target specific enemies. The game has racing scenes that allow you to hop in and out of vehicles and shoot while driving. Members of the development team have worked on previous Need for Speed games so the car mechanics should be on point. Storyline missions are a big part of the game, but there are also side activities such as stealing cars, karaoke and gambling. Sleeping Dogs has some RPG elements with the development of stats affecting both the character and how non-playable characters in the game react to him. United Front’s goal is to mix all these elements together seamlessly like a great action movie would. Action flicks are my favorite type of genre, so this game has been on my radar for awhile. Currently in the Arcadium section of the Coli forums there is a thread discussing the game started by PremierDaTruth:
I really like the fact the developers have been leaking out teasers each month leading up to its release. The first, a live action trailer, set the tone for what the game wanted to accomplish. In it you see the main character prove his loyalty to the Triad by taking out a series of goons in a well-crafted action scene. I particularly like the shot of him delivering the bicycle kick around 1:40:
Next came the gameplay videos. The video below takes you through a typical mission in the game highlighting the different mechanics of Sleeping Dogs while producer Dan Sochan narrates. The fact they brought in UFC champ George St.Pierre to assist with the combat is cool. The counters and combos displayed have the Heroic Bloodshed feel you would want in this type of game. Everything from the cover hopping to the extended slow-mo to the car jacking contribute to the cinematic flavor of Sleeping Dogs:
Recently, I have started to see the commercial for the game on TV often. Early previews and reviews for it have been very positive and Square Enix could have a sleeper hit on their hands. If that proves to be the case, Activision will be wondering what they were thinking letting the game go.
Find out in August when the game hits store shelves.