Sleeping dogs de 1

I absolutely adored Sleeping Dogs on the old generation consoles. It was a unique take on the sandbox genre and offered hours of fun in a setting that hasn’t been overdone by every video game before it. Square Enix has released it again for the new generation of consoles, with visual upgrades and all the DLC. So, is it worth revisiting?

Well, unfortunately, no it is not. That is, unless you’ve never played the game before, or you don’t want to play it on PC.

The core game is still excellent. Take on the dual role of Wei Shen, an undercover police officer in Hong Kong with the Triads. Explore your good and bad sides as you do missions for both the Triads and the police, as well as plenty of other side missions including cock fighting, Kung Fu battles and Karaoke. The game has some fantastic story telling, deep characters and loads to keep you busy. It definitely deserved the 8.5 it got in our original review. But that was two years, and things have changed.

Sleeping dogs DE

Sleeping Dogs got an excellent visual upgrade going to the new generation. The city is even more vibrant than before and the textures are vastly improved. However, it soon starts to feel like that’s all they did – give the game some spit polish and re-release it on the new consoles.

Nagging bugs are still present in the game. In fact, I found more glitches in my playtime with the PS4 version that I did on the older consoles. Quests can’t be completed because NPCs don’t appear, or certain actions aren’t possible because the game bugs out. Add to that some strange frame rate issues when you go into certain environments or upon quest completion and the game starts to feel decidedly last-gen.

Beyond this, the engine clearly wasn’t updated. This means that multi-part quests start to feel weighed down by the constraints of previous console’s processing power. For example, one of the things you can do as a cop is go around the city to various thug hideouts, beat up all the goons and hack the security cameras – you then go back to your apartment and watch the CC TV footage and have criminals arrested. However, you need to follow those steps exactly. I wanted to shop in bulk, so I went around the city beating everyone up and hacking all the cameras, but when I got home, I could only view the one camera. That meant returning to all the previous locations, hacking the cameras again and returning home once more. These sorts of issues make the game feel outdated and frustrating.

Sleeping dogs de fight

Similarly, the combat system isn’t as fluid as more recent games with similar mechanisms. The Kung Fu system works off of the usual attacks and combos, as well as environmental awesomeness, with counter using triangle. Unfortunately, the timing is rather unforgiving, making it feel like Wei becomes useless if you counter a second too early or late. After playing such smooth new games like Shadow of Mordor or even Watch Dogs, Sleeping Dogs feels sluggish.

It certainly is excellent to have the DLC built into the game with the Definitive Edition. It makes the experience feel more full – like it was intended. However, less full is the recreated Hong Kong. Sure, there are people on the streets and the city feels vibrant with all the street food and random massage parlors, but it just doesn’t replicate that truly bustling city feeling. While this could be forgiven on the older consoles, we know that new generation consoles can handle larger crowds and more varied AI. It would have been nice if as part of making this game definitive, that included an upgrade to the living environments.

Running, swimming and driving still offer the same basic experience. The driving has an arcade feel and players can sometimes ricochet down the highway at breakneck speeds during pursuits. While the game also includes taxis for fast travel (for a nominal fee), finding a cab can still be extremely difficult. It would have been nice if the developers had added an option to players to call a cab from their in-game phone.

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Finally, with the same game retailing on Steam for $30, it will really only be those who can only get the game on new generation consoles and never played it before who should be willing to shell out almost R700 for the game on PS4 or Xbox One.


Last Updated: October 31, 2014

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition
While Sleeping Dogs is still an excellent game, the Definitive Edition simply doesn't bring enough to the table to make it fit in with other games on the new consoles. Without adding more than some aesthetic polish, it simply doesn't feel worthwhile unless you missed out on the game in the last generation.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition was reviewed on PlayStation 4
77 / 100


  1. Captain JJ the pout

    October 31, 2014 at 15:39

    If you missed out on Sleeping Dogs. GET IT.
    Man I loved that game so much. This is what you call a fresh take on the GTA stable. Sure Saints Row has the madness and silliness, but Sleeping Dogs gave us something completely different.
    Good story, excellent map, fun side quests, great fighting engine and some interesting characters. All the next one needs is some aircraft and we’re right in GTA territory.
    Nice write-up. I wouldn’t buy something so similar again though, feels like I’m buying it twice.


    • ReaperOfSquirrels

      October 31, 2014 at 15:41

      What he said!


      • Brady miaau

        October 31, 2014 at 15:58

        what they said. Tired. Home. Cheers and good night


        • Captain JJ the pout

          October 31, 2014 at 16:00

          Cheers dude. Enjoy.


          • Brady miaau

            October 31, 2014 at 16:01

            You too, rest well

    • vicky john

      November 1, 2014 at 13:05

      completed this game already.. loved it..even though i ‘ll buy this to try out in consoles..


    • Guest

      November 3, 2014 at 12:50

      Agreed great game if ppl missed out they must get it but if u have would not really go for it:)


    • Alejandro Moreno

      June 16, 2015 at 21:37

      I just bought it from steam, hope I like it., . .


  2. Ceyber, Hans

    October 31, 2014 at 20:46

    Review score seems a bit generous? Maybe I just played that game too dead.

    Good news! Lords of the Fallen experimental DRM-thingy still going strong; three days now (before you-know-who has a heart attack, please note that this is not the always-online type of DRM).

    Have a great weekend you awesome crazy-people.


  3. Darren Peach

    November 1, 2014 at 03:59

    I love open world sandbox games. Is this game worth it ? Cover is a must._.Never ever played it and my PS3 was sold for budget for my PS4. I love Watchdogs and the most recent Gta.


    • Captain JJ the pout

      November 3, 2014 at 07:36

      Sleeping Dogs is personally my favourite of the bunch. Especially story-wise.
      There’s also the voice talents of people like Emma Stone and Lucy Lui


  4. Darren Peach

    November 1, 2014 at 04:05

    Anyone else think these so called next gen consoles are ushering in the age of the open world sandbox era ?


    • WitWolfy

      November 3, 2014 at 10:59

      More like “re releasing” it… Face it, even Watch Dogs is kinda a remastered version from its last gen counterparts.


  5. WitWolfy

    November 3, 2014 at 10:56

    Bought it on sale last year for my PS3 with all the DLC for like R450.. So um I’ll give this a miss.


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