I finished my playthrough of Sleeping Dogs. Re-living some fond memories, seeing how times have changed my expectations of open world gaming, and most importantly…….kicking ass as Wei Shen at every given opportunity.
I finished the main campaign, collected all the Jade Statues, did some cop work, opened some lock boxes, won some fight tournaments and had a goddamn blast.
Beyond that, though, I played the two DLC stories.
Nightmare in North Point
I don’t really know what to say about Nightmare in North Point really. It’s silly, it’s mostly fun and honestly, it’s all over pretty quickly (name of my sex tape….).
The premise is that an ex Sun on Yee member who’s soul couldn’t rest, has come back from hell to cause havoc. Bringing with him other dead members who you encountered in the main game, and of course, zombie-type baddies and hell-beasts of some kind.
All of the game is put under this blue/grey filter and a low cloud is above you almost all of the time. It kind of takes away from the vibrancy of the main game, but it helps set a tone. (note it might not be Blue/Grey, I’m colourblind…..).
The whole romp took me maybe an hour and half, and was just fighting shooting, banishing zombies and driving to the next bit to do some more. This is no bad thing, because I love the combat, but it was a little tedious, despite the hammed-up narrative and dialogue.
Fun but forgettable I guess.
Year of the Snake
Year of the Snake was a better add-on, longer by maybe 40 minutes or so, and a little more varied.
Starting off with Wei having to become a normal street-cop again, after the incidents of the main game. It was funny to watch the clip that set everything up.
Then, boom! You’re in the middle of a cult wanting to blow up the city. Defusing bombs, tracking down bomb makers and members of the cult. Acting as riot police and using tear gas to clear crowds. Loads of fun to be had here.
Again, it wasn’t particularly long, but it was really nice to play an open-world game like this and focus on being the police instead of either being a criminal or pretending to balance your police work with your undercover work for a gang.
So, I wanted to see if Sleeping Dogs still holds up to my fond memories. Is it as good as I remember?
Yeah, mostly. Sure, it’s a little more “blockbuster movie” than it is a serious, gritty drama. The combat is still super-fun, and the interactions with objects during fights is still ridiculously satisfying. How many other games have you played where you literally bash their head in with a car door or hang them off of meat hooks?
Sleeping Dogs is brutal, funny and fast-paced fun. It doesn’t take itself seriously, but it nails the vibe of a Fast and Furious movie. Having said that, the driving is very very arcade-like, but that works in it’s favour, because, between jumping out of your car onto another, whenever you want and literally side-ways bashing other vehicles at the push of a button. Realism wouldn’t suit it.
A few story moments really stuck with me from my original playthrough, and to re-live those was actually just as harsh as I’d remembered. There’s a little bit of emotional weight here, which really helps tie everything together.
All in all, I have no doubt that Sleeping Dogs is still a fine game, deserving of my fondness from the past. It’s not perfect, and it could look better, but it really is fun, and that’s enough for me!
I’ll miss Wei Shen, but I know he’s still worth remembering.
Sleeping Dogs is easily recommended by Ninja Refinery.