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Is Sleeping Dogs 2012’s sleeper hit?

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Sleeping Dogs is a game I’ve ridiculously excited about since I got some hands-on time with it. Once a standalone title named Black Lotus, it was later appropriated by Activision to be part of the rather middling True Crime series. When the publisher let go of the title along with other like Brutal Legend, it was picked up by Square Enix. They hadn’t secured the True Crime licence – but saw much great potential in the game – and Sleeping dogs was born.  Aligning with my own expectations, early reviews have praised the game.

The reviews come from those “official” sources that I’m generally disinclined to believe (pushing aside the fact that “early” reviews are hardly a benchmark) – but it’s an indication at least that the game’s shaped up to be everything that was promised. I suppose the easiest way to define it would be “Grand Theft Auto: Hong Kong,” but it’s more than that; I guess it’s GTA, with a dash of Max Payne, a pinch of Shenmue and a dose of Stranglehold all wrapped up in to one neat little package.

One of the highlights of the game, for me anyway, is the wonderful recreation of one of the most vibrant places on earth; Hong Kong – though admittedly it is restricted to Hong Kong Island, missing out much of what makes Hong Kong such a wonderful place; Kowloon and the new territories and Lantau. I’m also really happy all the voice actors for Chinese characters were done by actual Chinese people – and the liberal use of Cantonese, a language I grew up with. It’s also got great gunplay and, importantly, a fantastic melee combat system – something that GTA’s always been lacking.

Sleeping Dogs will be available locally for Ps3, PC and Xbox 360 on August 17; the same day as Darksiders II.

Going to be a busy day.

Thanks, GAF.

Last Updated: July 20, 2012

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