Review – Sleeping Dogs

“You’re not a real man until you have a pork bun in hand”…So I was told on countless occasions over the weekend. So Grab yourself a pork bun and come along with me for a ride as we delve into the latest open world crime thriller “Sleeping Dogs”. In normal fashion, we will stride to avoid any major story details to allow the readers to enjoy the game as it was meant to be played.

Sleeping Dogs has something of a tumultuous past. In 2009 it started out as a game called Black Lotus and was soon after slated to be a reboot to the franchise “True Crime”. After countless delays and cost overrun, “True Crime: Hong Kong” was cancelled by Activision. Luckily for us Square Enix made a great decision and pick up the rights to the game and rebranded it Sleeping Dogs.

Sleeping Dogs draws much of its inspiration from the Grand Theft Auto series with it’s behind the shoulder perspective, open world environments and errand boy style side missions.The player takes control of undercover police officer Wei Shen a Chinese native who moves to America as a young boy and has come back to his old stomping grounds to infiltrate the Triad Organization called the Sun On Yee. During Wei’s story, the player will participate in a variety of missions from the mundane car thefts to balls to the walls action chase scenes lifted right out of the best action movies.

As Wei performs his tasks, he’ll be walking the fine line between his loyalty to his profession and his crime family. This is where the RPG element comes into play. After completing tasks, Wei is awarded Triad, Police and Face XP depending on how well he executes his missions. Triad XP is awarded for how violent he is, Police is for how by the book he is and Face is just his overall general reputation that affects how some people will interact with him. Once he levels up in a certain specialty, the user picks new abilities to give Wei. My personal favorite is being able to jump an obstacle and disarming someone then using their weapons against them

Some missions actually require Wei’s ability to talk his way into locales or out of situations. These were the moments I felt the game really missed out on an important RPG element as the player is not tasked with picking the right response rather they’re tasked with hitting the “Y” button quickly. That’s it! They didn’t even change the button up. It was always the “Y” button. So much for having a silver tongue – They really could have had some fun with this.

One of the big things that I always hated about GTA and other games of that ilk was the driving mechanics. I had always dreaded those missions that involved me racing away from the cops or the other bad guys because I hated the way the cars felt and the shooting mechanics were crappy. “Sleeping Dogs” delivered a fun and exhilarating to the point that I was continually hoping for more. Shooting the tires and watching the cars roll over in spectacular fashion was more than a little satisfying – especially when the other cars behind them crashed into the fiery wreck as well.
The errand boy side missions can be a little too much at times. I tend to get bored with them and admittedly stopped paying much attention to them after a while due to boredom and wanting to continue the story to see where things went.

The fight mechanics felt refined and tight. I could see where the inspiration came from the Arkham Asylum and City games with the free flow fighting but I also quite enjoyed them in Sleeping Dogs. Through the use of environments, Wei can dispatch his enemies quickly and violently. He can also use some sweet hand to hand combat moves. All of these moves can be performed with a liquid like fluidity that just felt more natural than what I experienced in other titles.

The sound in Sleeping Dogs was spectacular. The bustling sounds of Hong Kong and the well placed voice acting cast made Sleeping Dogs sound just like a triple A title should.

Graphically, Sleeping Dogs looks very good. Some animations did look a little screwy during the cinematic sequences but the city looks incredible. My buddy who happened to stop in on the way through town was actually quite impressed with just how close the environments looked to their real life counterparts in Hong Kong.

Overall I would say that Sleeping Dogs was a fantastic title. Awesome story coupled with great voice acting, fast exciting gunplay and drive chases kept me glued to my couch. We’ve all played this game before from other companies but Sleeping Dogs manages to bring something special to the table. This is the way you launch a new franchise. Well done United Front. If you’re on the fence about wether or not to give “Sleeping Dogs” a go, get off it right now. This game is worth your money and time.

Pros

  • Action Driving scenes
  • Great story told by great voice actors
  • Beautiful environments
  • Varied Main quest missions

Cons

  • Speech challenges could have been more interesting as opposed to pressing a button.
  • Side quests are stale – something we’ve all come to expect from this sort of game

Feed Your Console gives Sleeping Dogs a solid 9 out of 10

Assassin’s Creed III AnvilNext Trailer

The team over at Ubisoft releases a new trailer for Assassin’s Creed 3 yesterday showing the power behind AnvilNext – a new gaming engine from ubisoft. AnvilNext’s power boast support for up to 2,000 NPC characters in a single sequence (pretty amazing if you ask me) and dynamic weather conditions staying true to all the seasons experienced in North America’s frontier.

These screens look crisp, clean and smooth in the video, and a show a number of fantastic looking environments to explore. This clip also gives a sneak peak into the Pre-order bonuses for AC3 (via Gamestop) that include:

  • Single player Mission: The Lost Mayan Ruins
  • Unlockable Weapon: Sawtooth Sword

Can wait to see this game in action.

Nike+ Kinect Training

This just in – Xbox and Nike have released a preview video of the new Nike+ Kinect Training. Taking training at home to a new level with a personalized training experience built from the ground up with inspiration from Nike trainers and the Kinect for Xbox 360.

The Nike+ team up with Kinect expands on the already popular Nike+ program used by athletes all over the world, combining the Nike+ fuel program and the kinect experience to give you one up on your friends at your next appearance on the court, the track or just working out at the gym.

The video clip has extended gameplay footage that further demonstrates how “Nike+ Kinect Training” assesses your fitness level and gets you fit through challenges, partner workouts and a customized program.

Coming this holiday season.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn – Shooting the Warthog Chase – Behind the Scenes

The Team behind the Live action Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn videos put together this great behind the scenes footage showing the Warthog in Action while on site in Vancouver British Colombia. Seeing the production process in action gives you a small indication of exactly how much work the production team puts into a scene like this.

Contains comments from Stewart Hendler (Director), Enisha Brewster (April), Daniel Cudmore (Master Chief) and Peter Osbourne (Warthog Technician)

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will release in the fall of 2012.

The Expendables 2 Videogame – Now Available

Today The Expendables 2 Videogame hits the PlayStation®Network for $14.99*. Get behind four of the world’s most legendary mercenaries – Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and Yin Yang (Jet Li) – as they blast their way across the map in a way that only the mercenary fouce of the Expendables can. The Expendables 2 Videogame will be available for download on the Xbox LIVE Arcade on August 17.

This games ties in the time between the first movie and the upcoming release, puts gamers behind the wheel as the Expendables team sets of to rescue an extremely valuable, kidnapped billionaire. As part of the franchise formula all hell breaks loose through out the game leading up to a huge climax that paves the road right into where the new movie begins.

Let the explosions begin!

Watch the Gameplay trailer:

For more information on The Expendables 2 Videogame, visit: http://theexpendables2film.com/.

* PlayStation Plus members can purchase The Expendables 2 Videogame for $11.99