This game developed by United Front games before they closed down was meant to be True Crime Hong Kong but the series itself even though I had never played it. Wasn't successful they put the game as cancelled until Square Enix got a hold of it and they recreated it as Sleeping Dogs a Hong Kong Martial Arts style video game. And they still kept the cop elements from the True Crime series.
The game is a action adventure open world like gta where you can commit crimes and steal cars and do whatever you like. But with a twist its an undercover cop story who has to infiltrate the triads to take them down.
One of the best things about the game is its depiction of Hong Kong. It looks highly realistic and stylized of Hong Kong its much more brighter and vibrant than Steelport in Saints Row and it's not dreary at all. You see the culture of China everywhere in the game from actual Cantonese to a Buddhist temple and the culture is everywhere in the game just like Japan is everywhere in the Yakuza series.
The open world is like grand theft auto you get to steal cars,attack people,and look around for collectibles that are worth bonuses such as a health boost or you can learn a new move. You can still die and get arrested and it will deduce money from you like gta. I really did had a good time exploring Hong Kong. You can also learn some of the Chinese culture in the game as well.
The combat is mainly martial arts some parts do have gunplay and you can utilize a bullet time effect when your meter bar is full or if you climb over a ledge. It's multi directional strike-based combat similar to Batman Arkham. While I did like the martial arts styled combat it felt slow due to the animations and I think a more freestyled one like Dishonored and Mirrors Edge Catalyst would have been much better. Rather than having combat similar to another game like the Batman Arkham series. You can also use the environment as a weapon where you can brutally kill enemies when you are nearby a highlighted red action. You can use weapons but it is for a limited use only like melee weapons for instance. There is also sections in the game where you can shootout from vehicles as well.
The graphics I played it on the ps4 as this is the complete edition it's remastered. It’s a step from the previous generation console version but the graphics still do look a bit dated.
I found the camera angle to be shaky and out of place at times so I had to rebalance it from time to time. But it still is responsive.
The story is a complicated story of a undercover cop with two loyalties the police and the Triads. I would have like to see would you choose either the "cops" or the "gangsters" You feel the pressure as Wei Shen has to be both a Cop and a Gangster as he has to take them down from the inside. It can be over the top at times as well and predictable from time to time.
You do jobs for the Triads while pursing vengeance as Wei has had several bad encounters with them in the past. He plays both sides effectively and he proves himself to be a skilled cop and gangster at the same time. It would have been more interesting if you could go either good cop or go gangster in a non linear branching style in the storyline.
The voice acting in the game its pretty good using both Cantonese and English unlike in Yakuza which is only in Japanese. The words are translated in subtitles and are easy to understand so you wouldn’t get lost in not knowing what the language is.
You can explore the open world but you must complete missions to unlock content. Open world is fully explorable you can do side missions for the police,triads and occasionally a civilian may come and ask you for your assistance.
The music in the game its inspired by Martial arts and Chinese music. It's sounds good and you can listen to music on the radio like Gta while you drive on the car and the soundtrack is pretty good.
You can play mini games like Karaoke and go out for dates with you love interests.
The Karaoke mini game it's not like Yakuza where you have to press a certain button like a rhythm style game. You have to guide your thumbstick the right note to the next one. I think a rhythm style like Karaoke could have worked better. You can gamble in the game and take part in Cockfighting where you can bet on your chicken to take out the other chicken. You can also do illegal gambling and go on dates with girls you encounter one is actually voiced by Emma Stone as a recently grad college student just traveling around the world.
There are 12 statues all over the world each belonging to the Chinese calendar and by finding one you can learn a new move when you return them to its rightful owner who runs a martial arts studio. And you can also be able to increase your health by finding these lanterns across town by praying to them.
You can also take part in street races as well where you can win money and driving in the game is pretty smooth as well. You can even leap from one car to the next when you are close by. And you do have some options of customizing your vehicle but not a whole lot.
Chase scenes in the game are pretty fun its fast paced and energetic like in a Martial Arts film. You can also jump from car to car unlike in grand theft auto and press the right button on time to successfully hijack it. That feature is pretty unique and I like how it slows time down just so you get It right on time.
Face Value to unlock certain clothes is just restrictive if you want to wear Bruce Lee's jumpsuit you need a certain level of Face to unlock it. You can buy clothes and mix and match them to earn bonuses like more defense or more powerful attacks.
You can be able to get 3 kinds of perks in the game. Cop,Triad and Face each with their own benefits like in the Cop perk you can be able to steal vehicles with a slim Jim in order to steal them without raising an alarm.
The game as it’s the remastered version it has additional content like more clothes,side missions and also previously released side story dlc packs.
I found it to be a ok game and I enjoyed myself.
It earns 3 stars.
Its an ok game like I mentioned if you are into martial arts or beat em up and open world games you might be interested in this game.