Sleeping Dogs is a third person open world action video game set in Hong Kong. The story follows the protagonist Wei Shen, an undercover police officer who is on a mission to take down the Sun On Yee Triad gang. While undercover, Wei must prove himself to become a Triad member and learn about their operations. Slowly but surely Wei works his way up the ranks and is able to track down key members and stop them.
Sleeping Dogs has many quirky and hardcore elements that made the game feel fun and serious at the same time. The dialogue and cut scenes were very serious, primarily focusing on Wei's progress and what he could do to get more involved to help put an end to the Triad operations. Unfortunately, some of the major game play mechanics suffered from some balancing issues and polish which held back the game's presentation.
When you first look at Sleeping Dogs it's easy to compare it with other open world third person games such as Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto. Even though it may seem like a clone, where Sleeping Dogs set itself apart with its unique combat system.
Wei Shen is a brawler so most of the fighting happens with his fists. When in combat, Wei is able to face multiple enemies at once, making him a martial arts master. He is able to grapple enemies, counter their attacks, and land killer finishing moves.
Wei is also able to utilize his environment to his advantage by brutally slamming his enemies into things like store front windows, cars, tables, phone booths, and walls. Almost anything around him can be used as a way to take down an enemy. The combat system provides the player with an intense and satisfying spectacle every time someone gets beat down. The combat in Sleeping Dogs is probably most comparable to the Batman Arkham series.
Additionally, what makes Sleeping Dogs so entertaining is the gritty story line, and great voice acting. These elements combined with the open world game play and engaging combat formed a unique game that provided hours of violent and chaotic fun as you hunt down and beat up the criminals of Hong Kong.
A Potential Sequel
Even though Sleeping Dogs was criticized for having weaker graphics and a few game play issues, it still did very well, and built a strong fan base. Sleeping Dogs was so well received by fans that it sold approximately 1.5 million copies within its first year of being released, which led to the discussion of a potential sequel.
Shortly after the game was released, a pitch to create a sequel was brought up, which intended to have a much more ambitious set of elements. The idea behind it was to have the game include multiple interconnected narratives, procedurally generated missions, cooperative modes, and the option to play on mobile devices. Unfortunately this interesting pitch was met with a thumbs down by publisher Square Enix in order to focus on other projects and the plans for the game were ultimately doomed.
The Next Step
After the failed attempt to pitch the official Sleeping Dogs sequel, developer United Front began to work on a multiplayer mobile spin off game within the same universe titled Triad Wars, which was set to be released in 2015. The game made it to a closed beta phase but unfortunately plans to complete the game were canceled, and the developer called off the project after ending the closed beta in January 2016. United Front issued this statement on the project:
"We've loved seeing how you've played Triad Wars but we know it wasn't right for many of you".
It seemed like the game they were developing was not what fans had been expecting and lead to the cancellation of the project.
After the Triad Wars project had been cancelled, developer United Front had been shut down. At this point Square Enix still retains the rights to the franchise and fortunately it will soon make a return. March 2017 it was announced that there will be a film adaptation starring Donnie Yen as protagonist Wei Shen. The film will be based on the original game and follow a similar premise in which an undercover cop will be once again hunting down the Chinese Triad.
The original Sleeping Dogs was released back in 2012, and re-released in 2014 with a remastered version titled Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition.
What do you think of 'Sleeping Dogs'?