A Sleeping Dogs review
Before reading this article
If you don't want to be spoiled on this game, don't read this article, it might contain some spoilers.
My experiences are only based on the PC version.
The main character is Wei Shen, a 28 years old Chinese from Hong-Kong. When he was 10, he left his home with his mother and his sister to go to San Francisco. He became a police officer. When he got 28 years old, he was transferred to Hong-Kong for helping the local police.
Shen was transferred to infiltrate a part of Triad, The Sun On Yee, but when he arrived in China, he got arrested for drugs dealing. The police officer who hired him, is a lieutenant and he's the leader of the infiltration operation, he released Shen and explained him the mission. Shen must stop the leaders of the Triad.
When Shen was in jail, he met an old friend, Jackie Ma, thanks to him, he could join the Sun On Yee. At first, he must complete criminals missions to prove he is not a cop. A infiltrate officer already tried to stop them but the Triad understood he was not a real member of the Sun On Yee and they killed him. So now Shen must be careful and must do what is asked to do.
Sleeping dog is a third-person game, you control Wei Shen in an open world based on Hong-Kong. Shen can run, swim, jump over obstacles. He can use cars, motorcycles and boats. And sometimes he uses weapons too but he can only wear one weapon at time, the game is principally based on parkour and kung-fu fight.
You can visit the whole city to discover the hidden secrets like altars, statues, suitcases and more. You have a mini map on the screen where you can see your position, missions and hidden secrets when you approach them. Then you can open the world map but you won't see hidden secrets until you do some favors missions.
You will be able to do police or Triad missions for police and Triad experience. When you do a mission, the police experience you will receive is at its maximum, if you damage civilian stuff like crashing cars, the experience will decrease and it can't be increased during the mission.
The Triad experience will increase when you fight during the missions, if you do an environmental attack it increase a lot.
Both experiences aren't attached, if you do criminals actions like fighting or killing enemies, your police experience won't decrease. Then you have the face experience, you can increase it doing favors missions.
Wei Shen has a phone, you cane use it for calling, for messaging, you can read the police files, they contain informations about you and other characters you will meet and you have the social part which is for the online leaderboard. Sometimes you will receive a call or a message for missions but you can call a person too, you can call girls for dating, you can call a police officer for car sequester, later in the game you will be able to call the cars guy who will bring a random car to you. During missions you will must call certain persons. The messages you will send are automatically written, you won't be able to write what you want.
Wei Shen will have a few houses doing missions, when you start playing, you will automatically spawn in the nearer house where you have left the game. At home you have a bed, you can sleep every time you want, you have a monitor for video surveillance and you have a wardrobe where you can change your clothes.
Some missions will give you new clothes, secrets can give you clothes too but you can buy them, some clothes are only used for aspect and others are used to increase the character stats. Clothes require a certain face level, if you are not popular enough you won't be able to wear or buy some clothes.
There are many parkings in the city, which contain your cars and motorcycles. You can change the color of the vehicle when you take it, and even if you destroy it, it will always stay in the parking. You can unlock vehicles doing missions and buying them but if you want to buy a car it's the same as buying clothes, you need a certain popularity otherwise you can't buy it.
You have 4 categories skills, for each of them you must level up the category, police skills need police experience, Triad skills need Triad experience, popular skills need popular experience but the kung-fu skills don't need experience to level up, every time you find a Jade statue you gain a kung-fu point to unlock a skill.
The fighting system is the most important part of the game, when you fight you can scare your enemies doing violent hits, when an enemy is scared, he backs and your bar of fear increase, when the bar is full, you start regenerating. An important part of the fight is the dodge, if you don't dodge you will quickly lose your health and when you dodge a hit, you do damage to your enemy. Some enemies are bigger, they hit harder and can grab you, it is difficult to dodge them, the better way is running away when they try to grab you.
Some of them could use weapons, it is important to fight them first, when you dodge their hits, you don't do damage them but you can steal the weapon. So, to fight it is really important to have a lot of health and some kung-fu skills.
There are many secrets items scattered in the whole city, they are necessary to unlock and increase the main character stats.
When you reach up 5, your health is totally regenerated and your maximum health increase. It is a really important part of the game, the fights are not really difficult but when you take a hit, your health get down a lot.
Another important item, every time you find one of these statues, you can bring it to the kung-fu school, the master will teach you a new move, you can chose the moves in the option skills. Once chosen, a fight against the students begin, it is a tutorial for learning the new move. At first you must use the move against the students, when you mastered your new skill you must defeat them.
These items won't increase your stats but they can contain money, weapons or clothes, certain of them are locked and you will unlock them like a strongbox, others are protected by a group of enemies and then, there are the ones which are not protected and you can open it easily.
These ones won't increase your stats, when you hack a camera, you can look for criminal activities at home with the monitor. Generally, near the security cameras you will find a group of enemies, these are part of a police job, you defeat the group, you hack the camera and then you go home to look at them through the monitor. Then you can find the drug dealer and request to arrest him.
Sleeping dogs has many missions, Triad missions, police missions or side missions.
These missions are part of the main plot, at first you will do some easy jobs, like requesting money to the merchants, you first must prove you are really a Triad member and you will be asked to do criminals jobs. Doing these missions you will unlock new houses, Triad cars and clothes. You will gain Triad skills too.
The police missions are part of the main plot too, they will ask you to do some specials thing while you work for the Triad, like the criminals jobs, you will unlock cars and clothes.
There are many side missions to do with the police, you can arrest some drug dealers using the security cameras, you can sequester vehicles, when you call a police officer, he give you this task, you must bring the car to the headquarters and then you are paid. Then there are some tasks where you must fight criminals or stop illegal races.
These ones give you popularity that let you buy some clothes or cars. The favors you give are not always legal, a member of the Sun On Yee can request your help for killing someone or stealing money from the shops but there are mission where you do nothing illegal like dating a girl. You will take a girl for visiting the city or you will sing at karaoke or simply help a person in the street, these missions give you all some popularity.
You can do illegal races, they will give you money but for participating at a race you must have a vehicle which has the class for the race, the vehicle must be taken on the parking, you can't participate at a race with a stolen car.
Shangai Lullaby from Softly radio
The original soundtrack
The musics in sleeping dogs are like in the GTA series, you have radio stations in vehicles and you can listen what you want. If you like classical music you will be happy to listen to Boosey & Hawkes, there are about fifteen songs, there are popular composers like Back, Mozart or Bethoveen.
Then if you like funk music you can listen to Daptones Radio, it contains about fifteen songs too, for the lovers you will find Sugarman, The Budos band, Charles Bradley and more. If you want to listent some alternative music, you have Kerrang! Radio with most of fifteen musics but if you prefer electronic, well you have to listen to Ninja Tune Radio.
There are many radio stations, in total there are about most two hundred songs !
There are Chinese music too and I think these radio stations are the best, if you want to listen some local songs which are pop and hip-hop, there is H-Klub Radio but if you are like me and you prefer orchestral and instrumental musics, you must listen to Softly radio !
Then if you just want listen to Wei Shen sing, you can go to a bar and play karaoke. I hope you will enjoy the OST, it is really beautiful.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope you enjoyed it ! See you soon !