Sleeping Dogs Review in Retrospect
Overall 9

Sleeping dogs is good, hell, Sleeping Dogs is great. This sleeper hit has been through two sets of hands for publishers and most games in that position hardly ever come out as a finished product. This open world hand to hand combat game is by far my game of the year so far and should be on everyone’s radar

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Sleeping Dogs Review in Retrospect

Sleeping dogs is good, hell, Sleeping Dogs is great. This sleeper hit has been through two sets of hands for publishers and most games in that position hardly ever come out as a finished product. This open world hand to hand combat game is by far my game of the year so far and should be on everyone’s radar. Come with me on a small journey to let me explain why you should run out and grab this Square-Enix gem.

Story:
When was the last time you heard of an open world game that had a good story? Maybe Skyrim? Well hold onto your pants if you pick up Sleeping Dogs. The dichotomy between Wei as a Police Officer and a Triad member creates an interesting story focus that will have you asking hard questions later in the game. The characters are funny and endearing, immediately hooking players into each character’s role in the story. There are twists and turns all along the way and in the end you feel the story has ended in a satisfying way with a little bit of wiggle room for end game content.

Content:
Speaking of content, there is a TON of it in sleeping dogs. Story missions alone will take you around 20 hours on normal mode. After playing a story mission you can go back to try to beat your own record and compare your score against your friends. If that isn’t enough of content for an open world game there is also a ton of side quests. The Sleeping Dogs depiction of Hong Kong is full of favors to complete, races to compete in, and collectables that unlock more martial arts skills as well as other helpful upgrades. Then if you get through all of that there are other challenges to compete against your friends in online. Things like who can jump a car the farthest or who can mow more people over one go. Everything taken into account there is easily 50-60 hours of content, and that is only if you don’t go for the harder modes. Sleeping Dogs will keep players busy for a long time.

Hand to Hand Combat:
The hand to hand combat in Sleeping Dogs is really where the game shines. Significant cues were taken from the Batman games to make the martial arts components of sleeping dogs feel fluid and fun. There is a counter system that flashes red when enemies are about to attack and insane combos that flow together in a fluid way. Hand to Hand combat was so good that through most of the game I didn’t even want to use a gun. What other game allows you to impale a guy on a rack of swordfish heads? None that I know, and Sleeping Dogs does it in a way that makes you feel like a badass. Not once through my escapades in Hong Kong did I feel bored, overpowered, or ill equipped for any of the tasks I had in front of me. The combat is just good, plain, fun.

Gameplay:
The best part of sleeping dogs is how all of the components come together. Everything seems to fit like a puzzle to build a complete package. A lot of issues that are present in the gameplay of other open world games like Grand Theft Auto and Skyrim are not a problem. The open world qualities that do show up are funny and do not get in the way of completing a mission or objective. Somehow Sleeping Dogs put all of it’s ducks in a row while allowing players to mess up that row if they want.

Final Thoughts:
I would wholeheartedly recommend this game to anyone who likes having fun. The gameplay and combat are fantastic and the story will connect like no open world game has before. Go to the store and buy it, you won’t regret a single penny.

This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Sleeping Dogs provided by the developers.