tuftears: Lynx Wynx (Gaming)
Now and then I review a game that significantly impresses me. Sleeping Dogs is one of those. Unlike my usual "indie" fare, this is definitely a Triple-A game with a huge budget, developed by United Front Games and published by Square Enix, but the way it feels is like you're inside a Hong Kong action film. It begins with the protagonist, Wei Shen, returning from an apparently disappointing venture to the United States to the squalid Hong Kong neighborhood where he grew up. You are there, there are all sorts of little flavor bits that make it clear you're in an exotic locale. It's like they took a slice of movie Hong Kong and put it into your computer!

You'll spend a lot of time with martial arts and 'free running' at the outset, but past a certain point the game opens up and from there you can play it rather like GTA4; that is, you can acquire a number of vehicles and drive about the city recklessly, picking up side quests or following the main story as you choose. Later on you'll be able to pick up firearms, but they aren't a standard part of your armament -- no DOOM/Quake-style carrying about of multiple firearms and ammo here! One downside is that the game can be pretty brutal and gory in places, and the storyline is definitely not something you want to explain to your children while playing it. Think 'grimdark Hong Kong action', not 'fun Hong Kong kung-fu comedy'.

There's a checkpoint system of a sort: when you embark on one of the missions, if you screw something up (i.e. you accidentally kill an innocent or you get too far away from the target you're chasing) then you can 'revert to last checkpoint' which is handy. You also get a total of four save slots, plus an autosave slot. The story itself is linear, though, there are no branches to the plot. (also, no wrong decisions to make)

I finished the game finally last night and I thought I'd give people a shout-out that this is worth a looksee, next time it comes up on sale on Steam. While it was clearly developed for controllers, it handled well enough with a mouse and keyboard that I didn't have any real problems completing the races I tried.

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tuftears: Lynx Wynx (Default)
Conrad "Lynx" Wong

July 2017

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