So Grand Theft Auto 5 sold millions of copies, topped numerous “Top 10 Games” YouTube videos and received numerous Game Of The Year awards. Why didn’t I connect with it then? Its going to sound stupid but there was just way too much to do in GTA 5, too many side missions and although the story was good it was just too long for a game where most of the missions are the same. Don’t get me started on the pointless online mode, bare bones on release and other than the late addition of heists it was just a few hours of fun and that’s it. Sleeping Dogs however I enjoyed so much more and here is why I think its better than its Rockstar counterpart.
The Live Action Trailer
Now nothing gets you hyped for a game more than a good trailer. Sleeping Dogs went the extra mile and gave us one of the most violent and action-packed live action trailers of all time.
The now infamous trailer set up the game perfectly and gave us just a little peak into the story. It also set up protagonist Wei Shen as a complete and utter martial arts machine and all round bad ass.
The story of Wei Shen is one of deceit, revenge and karaoke. Wei is an undercover cop tasked with infiltrating Hong Kong’s secretive Triad organisation while trying to avenge the death of his murdered sister. To bring down the corrupt gang Wei must deceive child hood friends and take on old foes to rise through the ranks of the Triads and gain the trust of the organisations leaders.
With its genuinely likeable characters and intelligently written script you will care about Wei Shen’s story, the lies, the violence and the friends he betrays. With huge story set pieces including the heart pounding wedding scene Sleeping Dogs takes you on a journey into Hong Kong’s underworld and you will find yourself torn between right and wrong before you know it. This game blends the best of China’s crime and gangster movies, adds a wok full of kung-fu and the result is an epic narrative you will never forget.
Sleeping dogs borrows from the Arkham Knight games and adds more bone-shattering violence, blood and environmental attacks. You can counter, throw and land combo’s on gangs of triads effortlessly as the fighting mechanics feel like second nature.
When it comes to environmental attacks you can throw poor unsuspecting triads through aquariums, into furnaces and even hang impale them on the head of a swordfish. Come on, now that’s bad ass.
The game opens with a police pursuit scene which sees you controlling our nimble hero through Hong Kong’s docks and markets. Vaulting over obstacles and jumping from building to building feels immense and results in some heart-pounding action.
Vehicle pursuits are amazing, it doesn’t have the most realistic driving mechanics but aims for a more arcade like experience letting you ram cars off the road and even jump from car to car at high speeds.
No matter whether you are chasing/escaping on foot or by vehicle you will be experiencing a white-knuckle ride through the fairly well realised city destroying everything in your path.
Fight Clubs & Dojo’s
Firstly the fight clubs, seedy illegal gatherings where you can test you skills against ever growing waves of fighters. Honing your kung-fu prowess and taking in groups of proficient fighters can be great fun and a nice break from the games intense story.
The many dojo’s around the city hold new abilities and move-sets that can be unlocked by completing the combat challenges its masters set. Who doesn’t get a semi from reenacting the scene from Kiss Of The Dragon.
And last of all….
Lets be honest, who doesn’t love a music rhythm mini-game? If you need a break between bashing skulls in with a car door then pop into a nightclub and try your hand at some karaoke. With a reasonable selection of songs and a relatively decent difficulty, karaoke is a fun mini-game which adds a quirky change of pace to the rest of the game.
Sleeping Dogs has had me complete it and its DLC tons of times and its easily one of the most underrated games of the last two generations. With its spectacular set pieces and all consuming story, Sleeping Dogs offers a more streamlined experience with a smaller selection of side quests making a more manageable and less convoluted game than its counterpart. It may not have a huge open world or an online iteration but Sleeping Dogs makes up for that in pure charm and character.
Do you agree? let us know in the comments and as always for all things gaming stay tuned to ABG.
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