When Sleeping Dogs first came out in 2012, it really caught me by surprise. A Grand Theft Auto-esque open world, with a combat system reminiscent of the Batman Arkham series and Assassin’s Creed, and all of it set in a gorgeous representation of Hong Kong, with a story not unlike all those kung-fu movies you watched growing up? Not without it’s flaws, Sleeping Dogs definitely made a lasting impression on me, so I was pretty happy to see it’d be coming back with a few improvements. So let’s dive right in!
Now, the story in Sleeping Dogs isn’t the most original, but after playing at least a little bit, you’ll realise it’s about how it’s told, and the way you’re made to feel for the characters as you go along. You spend the game playing through the eyes of Wei Shen, an undercover cop trying to take down the Chinese Triads from the inside, specifically the Sun On Yee (based on the real life Sun Yee On… yeah). The main missions in the game have you running errands for and against the triads, like hijacking a mini-bus route, delivering traitors to grieving, cleaver wielding mothers, among other things.
My only real gripe with the story is Wei Shen comes across as a little wooden at times, or maybe a bit too angsty. Granted, any normal human being would crack under the pressure Wei was under, but sometimes it reaches Shia Le Bouf levels of irrational yelling. One thing I really enjoyed with the storytelling is that all the characters are pretty straight forward in terms of first impressions. Is Pendrew a bit of a dickish cop? Yeah, he pretty much is. Is Ricky the coolest dude you’ll ever be BFFs with? Damn straight! No twists or turns, it’s a straightforward story with believable characters and just a fun ride to be on.