hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Sleeping Dogs

E3: Experiencing the open world of Sleeping Dogs

11:30 AM on 06.05.2012 // Hamza CTZ Aziz

Up until now, Square Enix and developer United Front Games have shown off very enclosed, focused areas of Sleeping Dogs. So it was about high time they finally let the press loose on the city of Hong Kong in its full open-world sandbox goodness.

In this case, we were thrown into the game right near the start, about five missions in. Main protagonist Wei Shen is an undercover cop trying to take out the Triads from within. As this was the beginning of the game, he's still a pretty a low-level thug working his way to the top, trying to make a name for himself and get in deeper.

Sleeping Dogs (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, PC)
Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Release: August 14, 2012 (US) / August 16, 2012 (AUS) / August 17, 2012 (EU)

We didn't have all the time in the world, so as much as I wanted to go around trying to break the early build of the game, I instead followed the nav point on my mini-map to the nearest martial arts dojo. Sleeping Dogs has a few different upgrade systems in place; in this case, I was on my way to learn some new fighting moves. You can only learn new moves by finding and giving Jade Statues to the martial arts instructor. With every statue you find, you'll be able to access the fighting moves tech tree. Performing these moves requires different button combinations, much like a fighting game would.

Once I learned a new move, I went off to start a mission that saw me meeting up with a friend of Wei. The pair got to talking about moving up in the world, so they concocted a plan to steal a rival gang's shipment that had just arrived at the docks downtown.

The pair drove down and Wei had to fight off the rival gang while the friend loaded the getaway vehicle with the goods. United Front's Dan Sochan, producer of Sleeping Dogs, feels this is "the most advance fighting system of any open-world game," and I have to agree. The fighting is pretty seamless as you bounce from one baddie to another, Batman: Arkham Asylum style. X (on the Xbox 360 controller) is your main attack, B is your grapple move, and Y lets you counter-attack just about anything thrown at you.

Enemies will surround you, and incoming attackers are highlighted in red. Press the counter-attack button just in time and you'll reverse their attack. Hit too soon or too late, and you'll take some damage. Grappling lets you attack those that are blocking too much, and it also allows you to take advantage of the environment. Wei can channel his inner Jason Bourne from simple things like using a car door to slam a guy's face, to extremes such as impaling a guy onto a broken pole. Funny, considering how Wei is an undercover cop.

Once the car was loaded, the pair took off but a cop soon gave chase. Driving has a very arcade feel, so it's very easy to drive well right from the start. You also have this cool feature where pressing the right or left shoulder button will let you perform a quick slam attack. I slowed down for the cop car to get close enough, and performed the slam move to knock the cop out of commission.

Once the mission was over, I was awarded some experience points that I could use to upgrade my police and Triad abilities, my health, or my reputation in a similar skill tree system as the fighting upgrades mentioned before.

After upgrading Wei, I put the controller down and found it hard to walk away from the game. There's so much to do, and I only scratched the surface. There's a whole living, breathing world and you'll be able to partake in all sorts of activities, including gambling, cock fights, fight clubs, karaoke, and even dating.

I really enjoy open-world sandbox games and especially adore Sleeping Dogs. What really sets it apart from other experiences is the Hong Kong setting. I'm so used to the familiar American environments, and while those are fun they also offer a level of familiarity that doesn't stress you out, I've never stepped foot in China so it's like exploring a whole new world to me. From the culture, the way people interact, drive -- everything just has a freshness to it that makes every single thing feel completely new and alien. I can't wait to get lost and immersed into it all.

Photo Gallery: (12 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Steam rejected the DP refund. Meh, It's been a long time between when I bought and played it, don't care anymore, heh. Decided to play more MGS4 on PS3 and start replaying Rayman Origins on PC. Fun games that actually work.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Being an asshole, watching this Star Citizen debacle unfold and seeing Cloud Imperium's meltdown about the whole ordeal is incredibly entertaining. Even if the allegations ARE false, CI's official statement comes off as wonderfully bitter and petty.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Alright. Playing off of the Avatar question, why did you choose your username?
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I tried playing Deadly Premonition on Steam from my backlog today and it's a GODAWFUL pc port. I bought it forever ago but I requested a refund. If anything I don't want it in my library....
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
If you ever dipped a cookie in your coffee, I promise you're doing it right.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Why did you pick your avatar? What about you does it represent?
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Wanna eat some meat ? [youtube][/youtube]
KyWii avatarKyWii
Why is it that Sundays always feel so lazy? I always tell myself I'm going to get things done and then...well....
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
So, I plan on using my GameStop Power-Up Rewards points (yes) to buy all the eventual P4DAN DLC. Even though the practices are very suspect. I am so not made of stone. Moreso blubber and Dr. Pepper.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Having a puppy and trying to play legend of grimrock 2 somewhere the puppy normally doesn't get to hang out is a futile effort.
gajknight avatargajknight
Shafts of light emanated from Robo Panda Z's eyes, illuminating the intricately engraved obelisks looming impossibly above him. A whispered voice spoke from the obelisk. Do you pay too much for your Internet? Comcast. Like you have a choice.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I miss Kill la Kill - I think mostly because it was so damn entertaining to have a bunch of people drawling, "Nuuuuuuuuudiiiiiiiist Beeeeeeeeeeeaaaach" at each other.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I took a homeopathic shower this morning. I used extra water.
Shinta avatarShinta
Shinta avatarShinta
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
It's 2am and I'm watching this emulator whiz play Xenia (360 emilator) on PC albeit glitchy This video is hilarious
Shinta avatarShinta
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
n0signal avatarn0signal
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Sleeping Dogs

  Feb 01

Five Sleeping Dogs DLC packs on the way in Q1 2013

Year of the Snake is the big new expansion

  Nov 13

Here is what's next on the DLC front for Sleeping Dogs

A fighting tournament on a hidden island, you say?

  Oct 29

Sleeping Dogs developer has six months of DLC planned

United Front to 'explore other aspects of Hong Kong cinema'

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -