Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - LEVELUP -

Wel­come to Hong Kong’s un­der­belly, a bizzaro world where you, Wei Shen, an un­der­cover po­lice of­fi­cer, have to in­fil­trate the ruth­less Sun On Yee triad and take them down. Be­ing an open world game you have to for­give us for com­par­ing the game with the iconic Grand Theft Auto. Many pre­tenders have come and failed -does Sleep­ing Dogs hold its ground?

To be­gin with, Sleep­ing Dogs dif­fers from Rock­stars’ famed game in its cap­ti­vat­ing John Woo-like cin­e­matog­ra­phy. Also this game doesn’t let you wan­der around the city freely in the ini­tially stages. This is a good thing as you get to fo­cus on your ba­sic com­bat move­ments. It is quite ev­i­dent that the hand-to-hand fight moves are in­flu­enced by Bat­man: Arkham City's “Free-flow” sys­tem which makes it easy to de­fend against a flurry of kicks and punches from Wei. Also there is a counter at­tack op­tion mak­ing fights real rather than just a ran­dom bust­ing of skulls. The gamemaker has worked ex­tremely hard to en­sure the street fights are as re­al­is­tic as pos­si­ble. You can use what­ever ob­ject lies close by as a weapon.

If blaz­ing guns is your style of play, you might feel let down. The ac­tion is slug­gish and you have to ad­just to it grad­u­ally. The stand-out fea­ture of this game has to be when you’re be­hind the wheels. The rac­ing cars han­dle re­spon­sively and drift the way they are sup­posed to. Each feels dif­fer­ent in terms of han­dling and even in weight dif­fer­ence. Plus, the feed­back is mind­blow­ing. With GTA, all cars felt the same.

The sin­gle big­gest party pooper in this game is the re­stric­tive cam­era view. It can be tilted, but it au­to­mat­i­cally re­po­si­tions it­self to the cen­tre so ma­noeu­vring a car in tight spots can be tricky.

This game gets an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence-point sys­tem. This is di­vided into three parts: Triad XP, Face XP and Po­lice XP. Af­ter each mis­sion you earn points that help you up­grade your dis­arm­ing skills and com­bat ma­noeu­vres. If you go on a killing spree and gun down in­no­cent peo­ple then your po­lice points will suf­fer, so play sen­si­bly and use ag­gres­sion when needed. Face XP helps you get snazzy cars, bet­ter clothes and even peo­ple around you look at you with re­spect. There are plenty of side mis­sions like street rac­ing, car­jack­ing, gam­bling, street fight­ing and even dates with hot. All this re­wards you with points.

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