6 March 2013 | CuriosityKilledShawn
True Crime: Hong Kong
In many ways GTA has been dethroned by this game. Sleeping Dogs is a lot of fun, and seriously addictive. It may lack the complete freedom of GTA IV (no flying vehicles available), which I guess is still considered the benchmark for open world video games even 5 years on, but Sleeping Dogs is far, far more refined with superior graphics and details, as well as featuring a much more likable protagonist.
As I began to play I felt that the game was very similar to the True Crime games. I later learned that it was actually planned as True Crime: Hong Kong, before Activision cancelled it and passed it over to Square Enix who continued to develop it as a new title. So this really is the 'spiritual second sequel' to True Crime that we never got, and I have been accidentally referring to it as such. As far as I am concerned it is.
The game stars Wei Shen as an undercover cop raised in California who returns to Hong Kong to infiltrate the mob. It's full of clichés but is highly entertaining and never once boring. There are a variety of missions including gunfights, fist fights, foot chases, car chases, boat chases, espionage, as well as multiple side missions and upgrades. Highly addictive stuff indeed. And bloody too, very, very bloody. Believe me, the game justifies the age restriction without ever seeming forced.
I do have some complaints, like not being able to hail taxis and missing them every time you dash for them. Also there never any cars to hijack when you need them, meaning you'll have to run up the street hoping to block the way of a passing vehicle. The radio stations are not as humorous as GTA, but there are some nice tunes on there.
The game is liberal with trophies, and features loads of DLC on the PlayStation Network, including two new missions sets. I'm not done with this game yet!
Graphics A Sound A Gameplay A+ Lasting Appeal A+