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Sleeping Dogs

is a 2012 open world action-adventure video game by United Front Games and Square Enix London for PlayStation 3, Windows, and Xbox 360 platforms. Set in contemporary Hong... read more

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Themes Crime
Engines
Status: Released
Release: 14-Aug-2014

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is a 2012 open world action-adventure video game by United Front Games and Square Enix London for PlayStation 3, Windows, and Xbox 360 platforms. Set in contemporary Hong Kong, the single-player story follows Wei Shen, an undercover Hong Kong-American police officer on assignment to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. Gameplay focuses on Shen's fighting, shooting and parkour abilities, and on gadgets that can be used for combat and exploration.

Sleeping Dogs - main character

Players must complete missions to unlock content and continue the story, but they may instead wander the game's open world and engage in both legal and criminal activities. The latter may incite a police response, the intensity of which is controlled by a "heat" system. Actions such as fighting, driving and racing grant Shen statistical rewards and earn the player achievements.

Sleeping Dogs' difficult and prolonged development began in 2008. The game was announced in 2009 as part of the True Crime series but was canceled by Activision Blizzard in 2011, as a result of the project's delays and budget issues. Six months later, Square Enix bought the publishing rights and renamed the game Sleeping Dogs, without the True Crime license, but considered a spiritual successor. During development, United Front staff visited Hong Kong to conduct field research for the visual environments and sound.

Upon its release in 2012, the game received positive reviews for its combat, voice acting, experience system and depiction of the city; but its graphics, camera, and animations were criticized. Within one year, the game had sold over 1.5 million copies. New outfits, missions and add-ons, as well as three expansion packs, were released as downloadable content in the six months following the game's debut. A remastered version, subtitled Definitive Edition, was released in October 2014 for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It features improved gameplay, setting and audiovisual quality based on community feedback. A spin-off, Triad Wars, was canceled mid-development in 2015.

Sleeping Dogs - driving cars

Gameplay

Sleeping Dogs is an action-adventure video game that takes place from a third-person perspective. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer who goes undercover and infiltrates the Sun On Yee Triad organization. The first missions of the game are a linear tutorial for controlling the character. After these missions, the player is allowed to explore the game's world and take part in side missions and other activities. Shen navigates the world by running, jumping, climbing over obstacles, swimming, and driving cars, boats and motorcycles. The heads-up display (HUD) interface features a mini-map that indicates targets, key locations (safe houses and contact points) and Shen's current position. The mini-map incorporates two meters: one shows Shen's health and the other his face. When the face meter fills, upgrades are unlocked such as health regeneration, improved combat abilities and reduced equipment costs. The HUD also displays the weapon carried and its ammunition count.

The game features role-playing mechanics based on three types of experience points (XP): Triad, Face and Police XPs. Triad XP is obtained through melee combat and violent actions such as "environmental kills". Face XP, obtained in civilian side missions, fills Shen's face meter and unlocks cosmetic items such as clothes and vehicles. By reaching a higher Face level, the player can freely buy vehicles or clothing. When it is full, Shen gains health regeneration, increased attack damage and other benefits. Police XP is gained by minimizing civilian casualties and property damage in missions and by completing police side missions. Gaining XP unlocks abilities such as hot-wiring cars and disarming opponents. The clothes, accessories and vehicles purchased by Shen affect non-player characters' reactions toward him. Players may also collect jade statues used to unlock melee combat skills.

Sleeping Dogs' melee combat has been compared to that of Batman: Arkham Asylum: it consists of attack, grapple and counter-moves and can be performed with or without weapons. These three basic commands are chained together with the character's movement to execute attacks. The player's face meter fills up faster when enemies are defeated with different moves in rapid succession or with environmental attacks. Environmental attacks are performed by dragging enemies to certain objects, which Shen uses to eliminate opponents. Melee weapons such as knives and tyre irons are available, but they break with extended use. Players can perform "action hijacks" while driving vehicles. These cause Shen to leap from his vehicle to steal another in motion. In combat, Shen loses health as he takes damage. This can be mitigated by taking cover where available. If the health bar is depleted, the character will respawn at a hospital.

If players direct Shen to commit crimes, police response is indicated by a "heat" meter on the HUD. The meter displays the current wanted level; if it reaches 5, the police will aggressively pursue Shen. The meter recedes when Shen is hidden from the cops' line of sight. Police officers continue to search for Shen even if he leaves the wanted vicinity, and they will resume the chase if he is sighted. If Shen is arrested or killed by officers during missions, players can restart from the last checkpoint.

Some areas in the world remain inaccessible until milestones in the story are achieved. Although players must complete missions to unlock content and continue the story, they may also wander the game's open world and participate in activities such as visiting a karaoke bar, carjacking, street racing and joining a fight club. There are several potential girlfriends for Shen: successfully dating them awards collectibles and bonus content. The completion of side missions rewards the player with new missions, vehicles, and outfits, among other things.

The game has no multiplayer component, but online leaderboards are available for players to compare scores. Many activities that are not central to the story grant Stat Awards in three tiers: bronze, silver and gold. These unlock achievements and trophies.

As the game progresses, the players acquire various safe houses to save progress in, but at certain times is required to go there to progress further. Like other houses, the player can survey unlocked areas (i.e. if they unlock the hack boxes given), change outfits, and a parking spot is accessible in which they can use unlocked vehicles.

Sleeping Dogs

Downloadable content

"We want to create something to suit everyone's play style from cool cars and high-speed missions to outlandish outfits and game-extending mission packs. The game launch is just the beginning."

 — Lee Singleton, General Manager, Square Enix London Studios

Square Enix announced six months of downloadable content to follow the game's release. Packs included new content such as outfit items, vehicles, experience point boosts, new tasks including money hidden around the city for players to find, vehicle races,weapons, missions and fight movesets. Square Enix released a total of five content packs along with various pre-order bonuses, such as the Dragon Master Pack which was released in November 2012. The last downloadable content for Sleeping Dogs was the "Wheels of Fury" supercar expansion, released in February 2013.

The first story-driven game expansion, Nightmare in North Point, was released in October 2012. Its theme is based on Chinese horrorand folklore, and features Chinese vampires known as the jiangshi. In the expansion's plot, Shen's girlfriend is abducted by the ghost of Smiley Cat, a former gangster killed by Uncle Po, who has risen up from the underworld as a ghost to take his vengeance on the Sun On Yee. Shen fights Smiley Cat's army of jiangshi,Yaoguai and possessed gangsters, as well as the ghosts of Dogeyes, Johnny Ratface and Ponytail, who reveals that Wei can defeat Smiley Cat by burning the last remnant of his original body. After incinerating his little finger, Cat returns to the underworld and Shen's girlfriend is freed.

The second story-based expansion, Zodiac Tournament, was released in December 2012. The expansion adds a new island to the game, with new fight arenas, enemies, bosses and outfits. In the expansion's story, Shen is invited to an exclusive fighting tournament held away from Hong Kong. Inspector Teng asks Shen to investigate an illegal fighting tournament. After defeating several fighters in lethal matches, Shen wins and chases the Tournament Master, who offers to share his earnings in return for his life. Shen declines his offer and snaps the master's neck, killing him.

The third and final story-based expansion, Year of the Snake, was released in March 2013. It adds six missions set after the game's story. The additional missions feature Shen investigating terror attacks around Hong Kong stemming from a cultist group who believe that they will achieve spiritual salvation through the cleansing of Hong Kong residents. Shen must the sabotage the cult's activities, ultimately ending in the arrest of the cult master. The DLC also adds the ability for Shen to tase and arrest civilians and criminals around Hong Kong, as well as additional collectibles, side missions, ownable police vehicles, and new clothing.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Sleeping Dogs (video game), which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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