This game is exactly like the Hong Kong depicted in movies…except with much less traffic

I love Hong Kong. I love the noise, the bustle, the street food, the efficiency of the MTR, the grimy but busy streets. Even the dodgy electronics vendors and the overpriced, underwhelming shopping is wonderful, as long as you are prepared to keep your wallet shut.

Sleeping Dogs deals with that other interesting aspect of Hong Kong, organised crime. As the undercover cop Wei Shen, you’re tasked with trying to infiltrate and dismantle the Sun On Yee triad. No easy task, considering you’re a complete unknown to the crime lords.

Throughout the game, you have to be a criminal, but also build up enough evidence to catch them. You do that by, well punching people, running them over, slicing them or shooting them. So, pretty much like any Grand Theft Auto game, except you’re actually really one of the good guys.

What I will say is that the depiction of Hong Kong, while limited in size, is made up for by sheer quality. The streets are crammed with people swearing at you in all the correct Cantonese. At night, you’re either walking down a dark alleyway (and getting mugged), or you’re cruising down one of the neon lit boulevards. It looks lovely, even today.

The game focuses heavily on hand to hand combat, and it’s not surprising given we’re talking about the home of the marial arts movie. There’s even a whole DLC dedicated to it. The fights are fun and frenetic, usually with you going it alone with a whole bunch of enemies. The fighting and parkour are definitely awesome parts of the game, definitely challenging the player’s reflexes and crowd control.

The DLCs are numerous, and if you’re keen on the game, my recommendation is to wait until the six monthly Steam Sales are on, when you could grab the complete edition for next to nothing. You get extra costumes (like Sun Wukong and Kungfu Grandmaster), which grant you powers, as well as new variations on cars and some storyline content.

Sleeping Dogs is a great alternative to Grand Theft Auto, and is at least available to PC players, unlikt GTAV (still!!). If you need your open world, underworld crime fix, look no further than the bustling streets of Hong Kong in this title.

Rating

Much cheaper than flying Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong. Also less screaming babies.

Play this if you…

Love the serious, black humour of Grand Theft Auto games, but want to see a location that’s not in the USA.

Don’t play this if you…

Have homework to do.

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