I had been keeping an eye on this game since it was first announced by Activision. I was really pleased to hear that Square Enix had decided to buy the rights to the game after it was originally cancelled. One day, I noticed it was due out that week so decided to pre-order it. It amazed me how little publicity the game seem to of had because it really is a little gem.
The game is really like a classic Honk Kong Action movie and the voice acting really gives it that feel. You play an undercover cop trying to take down a triad organisation but the line between cop and gangster begins to fade as you get deeper into the game. I will leave it at that
The game does have some similarities to GTA and Saints Row in the sense that it is a Sandbox game but it is unique as well. There is a lot to do in this game. Aside from the main story missions which are lengthy, there are fight clubs, drug busts, gambling, shops to visit, Favours to complete, items to find and more (see the guy below). There is a cool levelling up system depending on how you decide to play the game. Are you a ruthless triad or do you stay true to the badge? Either way you can unlock some awesome upgrades.
Now for the actual gameplay. In a game that tries to do everything, you often find that it does not particularly do anything special however Sleeping Dogs does not fail here. The hand to hand combat is awesome! I never get tired of slamming a punks head in a car door or kicking a dude in the face after countering his failed attempt to stab me. It plays in a similar way to Batman Arkum games. You generally feel like a bad ass when taking on multiple dudes armed with crowbars and knives. The gunplay may not be as revolutionising as say Max Payne 3 but it is fast past and mixes some cool takedowns and slow-mo moves that really give it that Honk Kong action feel.
Now I usually hate driving in games but in sleeping dogs, it is great. The vehicles handle well and are varied, the city feels fully alive, the radio stations are great and high speed chases are always exciting especially when you are jumping from car to car Just Cause 2 style. If you do not fancy driving around everywhere then get around by foot, the free running mechanics are quite solid throughout.
It is not perfect however. There are some camera issues occasionally and some of the animations can look clunky. The graphics are not revolutionising but they are still strong.
I generally think that if you are a fan of action games then there will be enjoyment to have with this title. Definitely check it out.