Sleep­ing Dogs back with bite

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - MIKE WIL­COX mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

IT’S been a rocky four years for the video game Sleep­ing Dogs.

It’s been re­named, de­layed, can­celled, sold, re­vived, and then re­named again for good mea­sure.

But de­spite its tu­mul­tuous de­vel­op­ment, this open world game set in mod­ern day Honkers, star­ring an un­der­cover cop who takes on the Triad sin­gle- hand­edly, has fin­ished up in bet­ter shape than I expected.

First and fore­most, the core game me­chan­ics are in great shape. The com­bi­na­tion of shoot­ing, driv­ing and melee com­bat is hard to fault.

Ev­ery­thing you can do feels noth­ing short of an ab­so­lute blast to play.

The mar­tial arts- style com­bat is light­ning fast, the gun­play fea­tures clas­sic slow- mo­tion shootouts and the driv­ing is some of the finest in any open world game.

Though Hong Kong’s sprawl­ing me­trop­o­lis is free to roam around in, ei­ther on foot or be­hind the wheel of a ve­hi­cle, there are manda­tory mis­sions to com­plete. How­ever, most of these mini chal­lenges aren’t ter­ri­bly in­ter­est­ing.

The adult nar­ra­tive and qual­ity voice act­ing are eas­ily the game’s strong­est fea­tures and will have you push­ing through even the dullest of mis­sions just to watch the next slickly pro­duced cut scene.

Sleep­ing Dogs also of­fers hours of bonus side mis­sions. Take part in street rac­ing, join a fight club, try your hand at il­le­gal gam­bling, even hit a karaoke bar, the choice is yours.

Sprin­kling a touch of role- play­ing el­e­ments into the game­play, ex­pe­ri­ence points can be earnt throughout the game as you slowly build your rep­u­ta­tion af­ter each suc­cess­ful mis­sion, and these can be put to­wards ac­quir­ing new skills, and buy­ing items, such as cloth­ing and ve­hi­cles too.

Sleep­ing Dogs doesn’t over­throw the king­pin of seedy gang­land open world games, Grand Theft Auto, though it com­bines all the in­gre­di­ents from this well- es­tab­lished genre into some­thing that carves out its own unique look and feel.

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