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Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs is a 2012 open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games in conjunction with Square Enix London Studios and published by Square Enix, released on August 14, 2012, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Sleeping Dogs takes place in Hong Kong and focuses on an undercover operation to infiltrate the Triads. It is the first installment to the Sleeping Dogs series.

The game started development as an original title, but was announced in 2009 as True Crime: Hong Kong, the third installment and a reboot of the True Crime series. As a result of the game's high development budget and delays, it was canceled by Activision Blizzard in 2011. Six months later, it was announced that Square Enix had picked up the publishing rights to the game, renamed Sleeping Dogs, without a relation to True Crime.

In October 2013, it was confirmed by United Front Games that a game, titled Sleeping Dogs: Triad Wars, set within Sleeping Dogs' universe was in production. They also confirmed that it would be the second installment to the series and published by Square Enix.

Sleeping Dogs Plot

The game starts in Victoria Harbour, where drug smuggler Wei Shen is busted after a deal gone bad. Thrown into jail, Wei meets his old friend Jackie Ma, who offers to introduce Wei to members of the Sun On Yee triad once they have both been released. Wei meets with Superintendent Thomas Pendrew and another police officer, Raymond Mak; Wei, it turns out, is an undercover police officer, and the bust was staged to allow him to make contact with Jackie. Jackie introduces him to Winston Chu, a Sun On Yee "red pole" (local leader) and leader of the Water Street Gang, at Winston's headquarters, the Golden Koi restaurant, owned by his mother. Winston sends Wei on various missions to seize back territory from a rival red pole, Sam "Dogeyes" Lin, leader of the Jade Gang. During one mission to make an example of one of Winston's thugs, Ming, Wei is arrested by Inspector Jane Teng, but Pendrew bails him out and reveals his identity to Teng.

After Dogeyes attacks the Golden Koi, Winston attacks one of Dogeyes's warehouses. Wei convinces Winston to spare Dogeyes's drug maker Siu Wah to avoid the wrath of the Sun On Yee leader, Uncle Po. Wei destroys the warehouse and captures Siu Wah, fully earning the trust of the Water Street Gang. When Winston is summoned by Uncle Po, Wei reports on the meeting to Raymond, his police handler, who is concerned that Wei is becoming "one of them".

At Winston's wedding, the Sun On Yee is attacked by a rival Triad gang, the 18K. Winston and his bride are shot dead by 18K member Johnny Ratface and Uncle Po is critically wounded, but Wei manages to get him to the hospital. For saving his life, Uncle Po promotes Wei to the rank of red pole, succeeding Winston as leader of the Water Street Gang. At the request of Winston's mother, Mrs. Chu, Wei captures Johnny, who confesses that Dogeyes was behind the wedding massacre. Wei captures Dogeyes and delivers him to Mrs. Chu, who kills him.

When fellow Sun On Yee red pole Henry "Big Smile" Lee attempts to take over the Water Street Gang's territory, Wei resists, instead agreeing to an alliance with red pole "Broken Nose" Jiang. During a meeting with other red poles and a hospitalized Uncle Po, Jiang nominates Po's nephew "Two Chin" Tsao as temporary Sun On Yee leader, to prevent Lee nominating himself. At Jiang's request, Wei sabotages Tsao's residence to make him appear incompetent to lead, limiting the number of candidates to succeed Po as chairman to two: Jiang and Lee. When Uncle Po suddenly dies, Wei is told by Pendrew his undercover duties are over, but he protests: if Lee assumes leadership of the Sun On Yee, matters will be worse than they were under Uncle Po.

Furious at Wei's insubordination, Pendrew is complicit in an attack on the Sun On Yee at Uncle Po's funeral. He then reveals Wei's identity to Lee, who attempts to draw Wei out by having Jackie kidnapped, buried alive, tortured and brutally murdered. Distraught, Wei is attacked and captured by the Sun On Yee torture master Mr. Tong. Wei manages to escape, killing Tong and his enforcers before hunting down Lee. After a long, arduous chase, Wei corners Lee and kills him by shoving him headfirst into an ice chipper. Raymond congratulates Wei on a case well done, but informs him that Pendrew is being promoted to Interpol and cannot be touched for providing information to Lee.

The following day Wei receives a package from Jiang addressed to "Officer Shen". Inside Wei finds a video of Pendrew murdering Uncle Po at the hospital to permanently conceal their prior relationship: Po gave Pendrew high ranking Triad members, gaining Pendrew a promotion and Po a dramatic rise in power. With the evidence, Wei gets Pendrew sentenced to life in prison, knowing he will not survive long in a place filled with Triad members he has put away throughout his career. Later, while Wei meets with Teng, he is unwittingly observed by Jiang. She tells her fellow triads to leave Wei alone as he has proved his loyalty to her, "one way or another".

Sleeping Dogs Gameplay

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization - named for the real life Sun Yee On. The player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players can drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

The combat system revolves around hand-to-hand fighting, similar to Batman: Arkham Asylum "Freeflow" combat system. The cover system allows the player to move between cover, fire blindly, aim freely, and target a specific enemy. Individual body parts can also be targeted. Regarding the driving segments, several developers had worked on previous Need for Speed titles. While driving, Wei can get out and jump onto other moving vehicles.

Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game and unlock certain content and parts of the city, players can complete them at their leisure. When not attempting a storyline mission, players can free-roam, giving them the ability to participate in activities such as car-jacking, joining a fight club, singing karaoke, visiting gambling dens betting on cockfights and participating in street races. There are several potential girlfriends for Wei Shen to date. Successful completion of side missions offers the player rewards.

Sleeping Dogs features role-playing elements with three different experience point values: Triad XP, Face XP, and Police XP. Triad XP and Police XP measure Wei's devotion to the triad and police, respectively, while Face XP is a measure of his general reputation. Clothing, accessories and vehicles are available for purchase by Wei, and have an effect on non-player characters' reactions. Sleeping Dogs tracks acquired skills in areas such as hand-to-hand combat, which improve through use in the game.

Although there is no multiplayer component, the game features online stats and leaderboards so players can compare scores.

Reception
Previewers who had access to the game in February 2012 compared the game's elements to several other critically acclaimed games, praising the parkour-style movement aspect of the game (similar to the Assassin's Creed series), the melee combat system (similar to Batman: Arkham City), the slow-motion while shooting (similar to the Max Payne series), the vehicular combat (similar to Just Cause 2), the mission structure (similar to the Grand Theft Auto series), the atmosphere (similar to the Yakuza series), and the depth of storyline. The game is also seen as a homage to the crime films of Hong Kong action cinema, such as Infernal Affairs, Flash Point, SPL: Sha Po Lang, and Exiled.


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