Similar to what was done with Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition and The Last of Us: Remastered, Square Enix decided to bring the gritty hard-boiled cop drama open world of Sleeping Dogs to the latest hardware generation.
The graphical leap from Xbox 360 and PS3 to Xbox One and PS4 resulted in a more crisp game running at at a full 1080p. Hong Kong as a whole city is alive and looks amazing when you traveling at 100 MPH on a motorcycle doing a wheelie in your underwear.
Sleeping Dogs was an already great looking game when it released back in 2012, the high-res updates puts this version on par with how gorgeous the PC version was. My only problem is that a lot of game interior environments and vehicle designs look a bit dated.
While the driving isn’t the best for an open world game, it does try new things like having a freaking RAM button and being able to hijack other vehicles while you still in transit. It’s wild and ridiculous but fits perfectly in a world that makes you feel like a action movie star.
The 360 combat made famous in the Batman Arkham and Assassin’s Creed games still looks and feels fun. The countering takes some getting used since sometimes the “counter” button (that activates when an enemy highlights red) feels like it only responds around 3/4ths of the time you hit it.
The environmental finishers are still comically brutal, like throwing a dude into a speaker and watching him get electrocuted to death or seeing a guy’s face vanish after you shoved it into an exhaust fan. The over the top nature of the combat and your move progression still feels fresh and, most importantly, looks awesome.
This title simply looks incredible, and replaying the main story actually reminded me of how well-crafted the narrative is for an open world game. All the side missions work in tandem with the whole Good Cop/Triad dynamic really well. The performance of Will Yun Lee as Wei Shen is spot-on as a cop going undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee criminal organization.
However, the other characters, with the exception of Wei and his long-time buddy Jacky, come off as stereotypical and predictable as anyone you would see in a John Woo movie. It helps that the voice acting in Sleeping Dogs is top notch and the character models look amazing.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is pack to the gills with content. All 24 pieces of DLC are available via in-game vendor. FYI my favorite DLC outfit so far is a tie between the Agent 47 costume and the hilariously naked yakuza outfit. Also included is the Year of the Snake DLC, which expands on the main campaign, and the horror-themed DLC Nightmare in North Point.
This re-release is a good value for anyone who may have missed it back on consoles when it came out more than two summers ago. The great story and fun action is worth checking out if you’re one of those people who put this game on your backlog. If you’re looking to return to Sleeping Dogs after playing it when it first came out, you might be a little disappointed.
Our resident Triad Expert, News Editor Giuseppe Nelva, reviewed Sleeping Dogs last year and shared a lot of my sentiments even then.
For fun, I also stitched together some clips of Naked Wei kicking fools, street racing and partying, which can be found above the screenshot gallery.