Reviews for the Lazy Gamer: Sleeping Dogs
Game: Sleeping Dogs
Platform: PS3, X360, PC
Publisher/Developer: Square Enix/United Front
Genre: Open World Crime Action
Describe This Game in Three Words: Grand Theft Asian
Plot Synopsis: Wei Shen is a San Francisco police officer who returns to his native Hong Kong in order to settle a score with the Sun On Yee crime organization and bring it down in order to avenge his family. He must walk the thin line between being a cop and being an effective gangster if he's to survive.
Up Up: I honestly haven't played a crime drama game since the original Grand Theft Auto for a simple and naive reason...I like to be the good guy. Specifically, I like to be Batman, but I'll take any hero. For some reason, yanking people out of cars and running over pedestrians never really appealed to me. You're talking about someone who restarted an entire game of BioShock simply because I accidentally harvested a Little Sister rather than save her. When it comes to games, I don't do moral ambiguity very well.
Initially, that's why I was excited about Sleeping Dogs. No matter how brutal Wei Shen can be, it's very clear in the game he's a good man trying his best to liberate his home from an ever more powerful corrupting influence. He's basically Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed, and that's a pretty badass thing to be.
You explore an enormous rendition of Hong Kong that you are more or less free to move around in at your leisure. It really does feel like you're in complete control of a gangster flick, with amazing graphics and dialogue that show gaming has obliterated the line between film and gameplay.
The plot is fairly linear for an open world game, but if you worship Inconsequencia of the Sidequests like I do, you'll find plenty to keep you busy. Everything from breaking up drug deals to helping nice ladies commit insurance fraud by ramping a sports car off of a pier. You also get to explore the underworld black market, buying knockoff designer clothes, stolen cars and visiting massage parlors.
"Do you have a favorite country? France? Greece?" That's a masseuse quote, and you'd better believe this isn't a kid's game. It opens with a murder by meat cleaver and transitions quickly into a rival gangster lovingly retelling how Wei's sister gave him his first blowjob.
Aside from the dialogue and a few cut scenes, though, it's not overly adult, though I haven't gotten far enough through the date mechanics yet to tell you how far the game pushes the sexual envelope. I suppose I could come back later and update this to tell you whether I got to nail the various women you can meet, but that seems really, really juvenile.