|System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360*|
|Dev: United Front Games|
|Pub: Square Enix|
|Release: August 14, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs|
The only downside to the driving is the occasionally annoying camera, which tends to move in the wrong direction or spaz out a bit at the most inopportune times. This issue persists while you're on foot, and, more specifically, while you're engaging in fisticuffs with other characters. In games like God of War, when an enemy can't be seen on-screen, they won't attack you, but in Sleeping Dogs, it's common to get sucker punched by someone who was waiting just out of your field of view.
This issue can lead to some frustration; the camera is partly to blame, but this is mostly due to the bizarre health system. Sprinkled throughout the city are food stands that sell consumables to boost your defense, damage, and health regeneration. The only problem is that they can sometimes be hard to find, and Wei gets in fights often. This could've been remedied by letting the player accumulate a small supply of healing items to keep on hand. As it is, you either need to go into a fight prepared—which means you may need to stop for lunch before a brawl—or your chances of survival will be slim.
It's a good thing the combat is so great, because a skilled player will have no problem Batman: Arkham City-ing (yep, that's a verb now) their way through waves of baddies without breaking a sweat. Sleeping Dogs shamelessly borrows a page out of Batman's book by gifting you with some brutal martial arts abilities. You can unleash devastating combos, which you can chain together to fill a meter that, when full, can temporarily boost your damage, defense, and health regeneration. You can also counter enemy attacks so they don't break your streak of unstoppable whoopassery, or grapple enemies and slam them into walls or various other objects in the environment for extra points and damage.
This is a fantastic game. Where some strive for realism while sacrificing fun, or focus on fun to the detriment of realism, Sleeping Dogs manages the impressive feat of finding a between the two. The characters are universally interesting, the story is engaging, there is never a shortage of things to keep you busy, and it all comes packaged in a gritty and visceral virtual version of Hong Kong. What more could you want?
Date: August 14, 2012