Sleeping Dogs is really shaping up to be one of this years coolest games. It wasn't much when it was True Crime: Hong Kong
(I felt like I was the only one who was disappointed when it was canned by Activision other than the developer, of course), but now that Square Enix picked them up the hype's building up and I wish United Front Games nothing but success and many sequels to come.
One of the big selling points of the game seems to emphasize that Sleeping Dogs features the most complex fighting in an open-world game. I'd have to agree that the fighting of Sleeping Dogs is fantastic! But have you noticed the similar fighting style to Batman Arkham Asylum/City
? Sure you did, but what about the similarities to Bully
? The first thing that tied these two games together for me was from an E3! 2010 preview of TC:HK.
Being a huge fan of Rockstar I was excited that some of their veterans were working on this game. Apparently they worked on Bully which is exciting! Well it's exciting for me because, (believe it or not) I found that the combat system of Bully was perhaps the coolest combat system I've ever played in a videogame. Seriously! I especially enjoyed environmental attacks like shoving kids into lockers and trash bins. That's another but relatively small similarity between the two games. Remember scouring Bullworth searching for radio transistors for that crazy homeless vet that lives on campus so that he teaches Jimmy more complex fighting combos? Well did you read previews about finding jade figurines hidden throughout Hong Kong to return to the dojo and learn new moves? That sounds very similar.
While I haven't yet played a demo of the game (I probably won't get to play it until its release next month anyway) Wei Shen (Sleeping Dogs' protaginist) is able to pummel his opponents pulling off combos involving fast jabs ending with a powerful strike using a single strike button (X), tapping the button for jabs and holding for a heavy strike. Wei can also use grapple attacks to strike his enemies, throw them or use the environment to his advantage and shove some poor guy's face into the fan-blade of a roof AC! Now let's compare Wei Shen to Jimmy Hopkins: Jimmy also uses the same tap button to jab and hold for heavy attack with a single button for striking. He can also grapple enemies and choose to dispose of them by punching and kicking, pinning to the ground and punching and kicking, throwing them, and my favorite using the environment and shoving some preppy rich kid into a locker.
It's important to note that Bully featured upgrades for combos and grapple moves and so will Sleeping Dogs, although the upgrade system of Sleeping Dogs seems far more complex. I hope the game plays out like Bully in every way except that the blocking replaced with the counter mechanic of Arkham Asylum/City.
Either way the game looks promising and something to tide us over until the release of GTA V!