Sleeping Dogs Preview: Fresh And Nostalgic At The Same Time
One of the new offerings from Square Enix this year is the open world game Sleeping Dogs, where you play as an undercover cop bent on taking down Hong Kong's criminal organizations.
When I first got my hands on the game, I was immediately struck with how reminiscent it was of Grand Theft Auto (driving plays a major role, as do side missions), but I soon saw and felt the differences. The combat style is much more akin to Arkham Asylum and the way with which the character slides across tables and hops up walls kept making me think Assassin's Creed by way of Parkour. The demo felt like the game was taking the best parts of other action titles and incorporating them into a Grand Theft Auto-like sandbox experience.
Following a large theme of E3 this year in environmental interaction, one of the best ways to take someone down in a fight is to grab him and force his head into a fan or body into a fusebox, resulting in some appropriately over-the-top violence. It's a rewarding way to take down an enemy and it fits the cinematic feel
The world and characters look fantastic and the setting of Hong Kong creates an experience tonally unlike anything else on the floor. It feels like stepping into martial arts cinema. This new world is perhaps what makes the game most exciting. When I think back on the many games I took a crack at over the past couple days, Sleeping Dogs easily stands out.
Also, the gameplay is an incredibly good time and easy to pick up. The level I played involved chasing someone through the streets of Hong Kong and then taking him and his cronies drown. The game engine feels so familiar, like a mash up of so many of my most favorite titles, it managed to be both nostalgic and fresh at the same time. I knew nothing of Sleeping Dogs going into E3, but now I can safely say I'm highly anticipating its August 14th release and hope it can live up to the promise of its impressive demo.
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