Sleeping Dogs Review – The Rageaholic

Sleeping Dogs Review – The Rageaholic


In the modern 24/7, 365 news cycle in which
we find ourselves it seems every company is rapid-firing their increasingly disinteresting
wares at our occipital cortex with enough profligate abandon to give the ShamWow guy
the creeps. Perhaps out of necessity, sometimes a game or two just plain ninjas the fuck up
behind us and finds its way to store shelves before we’ve formulated the faintest inkling
of what in the ever-loving fuck it actually is. Speaking only for myself, that was very
much the case when I was treated to my first viewing of Sleeping Dogs at this year’s E3,
and sure enough, just a couple months later, there it sat… wedged uncomfortably between
a brittle copy of the Silent Hill HD collection that appeared to be tie-dyed in an aromatic
cocktail of urine and menses… and a virtually brand new – and mercifully unopened – copy
of Street Fighter X Tekken. Allow me to state once more for the record,
having already blown my wad on the subject during numerous installments of the Hate-Bit
Podcast, that this is one game you should not permit to Sam Fisher the fuck past past.
Maybe it’s the radioactive drinking water in Tokyo, but lately, Square Enix has been
winding their shit tighter than Hannah Minx’s water-bra. At this rate, they’re actually
in genuine danger of having a fuckin’ CLUE. From my personal 2011 game of the year Deus
Ex: Human Revolution… to even the minor improvements to their flagship RPG series
during the incrementally-less-shitty Final Fantasy XIII-2… Square Enix has apparently
recognized their fallibilities over the past decade… and appears to be taking genuine
steps to remedy the problem. Sleeping Dogs does to the increasingly stagnant Grand Theft
Auto series… what Deus Ex: Human Revolution did… to BioWare’s fallen angel, Mass Effect.
It extends a middle finger, takes a lingering puff of a cuban cigar and proclaims, “No,
motherfucker… THIS is how you do it.” To commence in decidedly cosmetic fashion,
I found the voice acting in Sleeping Dogs to be downright superb. Particularly for a
game that cuts such a wide swath ethnically. Protagonist Will Yun Lee is dynamic and clearly
ethnic, without once permitting his performance, or those of the supporting cast, to degenerate
into Hong Kong Phooey. “White… cocksucka!”
“Two white cocksuckers killed him… and stole the dope that he was bringin’ to you?”
“White cocksucka! You! Swedgin!” “The dope that you were gonna’ fuckin’ sell
to ME?” “White cocksucka!”
“These two, white cocksuckers?! Who the fuck did it?”
‘Wu!” “WHO, you ignorant fuckin’ chink?”
“WU?!” “Wh-who… WHO STOLE THE FUCKING DOPE?!”
“COCKSUCKA!” But to every rule, an exception. And where
Sleeping Dogs’ voice acting is concerned, that exception’s name… is Kelly Hu. Mind
you, I would never dream of criticizing the performance itself. Ms. Hu is as convincing
and fantastic as ever, the problem is that her in-game avatar has all the erotic appeal
of a shuffleboard tournament. I mean, have you seen Kelly Hu?! This woman is hotter than
Thai Food, why the fuck is her character post-menopausal?! Scan her into the game balls-ass naked and
keep her that way. You’ll still be pulling in Game of the Year awards five fuckin’ years
from now. Just in time for MovieBob to stop masturbating to it.
For the better part of the last decade, gamers and journalists alike have implored developers
to resist their natural impulse to succumb to the proverbial ‘one button to rule them
all’ syndrome. In Assassin’s Creed, for example, from waffle-making to hairy, Italian orgies…
there’s little the combination of the right trigger and the X button cannot do. Which
makes the fact that Sleeping Dogs requires you to actually depress the ‘A’ button each
and every time you actually want to jump all the more refreshing. Admittedly, in the greater
macrocosm of design elements, it’s almost a trifling addition to itemize, but in a modern
industry where ‘inclusive’ has become synonymous with ‘aggressively lobotomized’, it’s a welcome
indicator connoting Sleeping Dogs’ less condescending overall design philosophy.
A philosophy that truly moves to the fore when engaged in a combat system that is easily
one of the more robust martial arts simulations in the history of the medium. Coupling the
freeform, combo-driven pugilism of Batman: Arkham Asylum with a bevy of counters, grapples
and contextual environmental takedowns that place themselves well in advance of the former.
Yes, rageaholics, if Sleeping Dogs is any indication… Wei Shen would shred Batman’s
steroidal ass in twain like a chicken at an Alice Cooper concert.
Perhaps chief among Sleeping Dogs’ accomplishments is the impressive amount of polish applied
to a new I.P. From fist-fighting to car handling, United Front studios have displayed a refreshing
competence and developmental acumen on all levels of design. And while you needn’t twist
my arm to elicit a belly-ache concerning the vomitous camera effect during vehicular accelaration…
a suprisingly negligible amount of time is devoted to actually driving a vehicle in this
game at all! I understand the man is in the twilight of the twilight of his career, but
is there any particular reason we’ve appointed Michael J. Fox as cinematographer during this
game’s driving sequences? This shit is shakier than the Oslo Peace Accords, a fact that might
be less pronounced if the vehicles possessed more than two speeds: Those being ‘Inert’
and ‘Hang onto your ever-lovin’ balls!’ And further, when the inevitable tutorial text
elects to gité into frame and obscure the entirety of your forward field of view fucking
perpetually, until you’ve fulfilled whatever arbitrary objective happens to be involuntarily
scrawled in your figurative day-planner, even on an HD display… it’s driven home to the
player that Sleeping Dogs, though a resounding success, is nevertheless an imperfect one.
But don’t take my word for it: Shoulder roll your ass on down to the Okinawa Corrall and
have yourself a good old fashioned gunfight. This game’s gun fighting doesn’t suck dick…
because fellatio is at least marginally pleasurable for the recipient. No, the gunplay in Sleeping
Dogs is a nebulous black hole from which no fun can nourish the faintest hope of escape.
And don’t even entertain the thought of bringing a knife to a gun fight, because by the time
you so much as make the decision, you’ll already be more riddled with lead than Detroit tap
water. United Front would have been far better served just dispensing with the gun fighting
entirely and instead focusing on their masterful hand-to-hand combat, and to temper this cynicism
for a moment, I’m happy to report that for the most part… that is, in fact, what they’ve
done. Granted, it runs contrary to the game’s pseudo-realistic aspirations to have Yakuza
hitmen playing Power Rangers in rush-hour traffic, but as far as I’m aware, the singular
aim of any video game is to be even the slightest bit fun. David Cage’s ENTIRE CAREER notwithstanding.
By and large, fun is exactly what Sleeping Dogs is. If Grand Theft Auto would like to
be fitted for another sandbox-shaped crown, then a long, hard look in the direction of
Sleeping Dogs is precisely what that will ultimately require. Rent it, buy it, inappropriately
fondle it… but above all, fucking play it! I’m RazörFist.
God – fuckin’ – SPEED!

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. And then, back in 1999, Planescape Torment showed all RPG in existance how to do it. SPECIALLY, how to talk the final boss to death.

  2. I am here dying of laughter. The bit about vehicle speed was not only great, but the cat on the turtle followed by "hang on to your fucking balls" and a high speed motorbike crash…for some reason that murdered my funny bone.

    Thank you for the laugh, it's exactly what I needed man. 😉

  3. This game is actually really good. It will probably get overlooked, but I'd still recommend it to any open world fan while waiting for assassin' creed 3

  4. GTA3>SR2>Sleeping Dogs >SR3>=GTAIV
    However, don't get me wrong here. Sleeping Dogs has tons of flaws that really detracted from my experience with it. The gun play and the overall story felt clumsy, even if the voice acting was decent and a few scenes well-done individually. I have some major gripes with many of the game's mini-games, one of which is literally 'follow the orange circle' which just felt insulting.

  5. On the subject of Square Enix, since the sandbox demonstrations at E3 and the contracts mode, what are your thoughts now on Hitman Absolution?

  6. Dude razorfist, i got invited to the hawken beta. Its fucking cool, if you like combat fps mech games this will be the game for you!

  7. Great review Razorfist. You are a true reviewer in every sense of the word. You give us your opinions on a game but have facts to back them up. Which is more than I can say for gaming sites like Gametrailers and IGN. I wanted your opinion on the new IP releasing in about a week called Dishonored. From the information I've gathered so far, it reminds me of the Thief series. Is this game in the same league as that series, or is it just a pretender?

  8. Hey Razor, big fan here. 🙂 I know this is off topic, but you ever play Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines?

    I remember you being into noir and being a huge deus ex fan, so having just finished Bloodlines, I can say it was one of the best WRPG I've played, right up there with the original Deus ex.

    I checked to see if you'd reviewed it, and you haven't….so I thought I'd just give it a recommendation to you.

    You need the fan patch though, or it's broken. Plus, the patch restores cut content.

  9. the game has a 0.9 user score on metacritic and 68 "Professional" reviews lol I didn't think Crapcom could fuck themselves any harder and then they go and pull this shit

  10. Razorfist, great review. In fact had to buy the game on your review word only. Anyway spot on comparing it to the arkham games. The combat is the close but not being batman you do not feel quite as invincible. Also the size of the map is comparable to arkham also both have a large play area but make the traveling less of a pain in then in say of something like saints row two. I would add that your review of something you love are way better then any time you review something you hate.

  11. its basically true crime. that y the driving is retarded, the fighting is quite good, and the shooting is also shit. i played the demo and it was meh

  12. He just said Gta is getting kind of stale, calm down. You don't have to get your pubic hairs in a twist every time somebody says something negative about a game you like.

  13. Just got this game for Christmas and its all I've done for the past three days. One thing though, am I the only one who doesn't hate the shooting?

  14. Shitty broken Physics, an EXTREMELY uninteresting story, the fact the game punishes you for trying to have fun the GTA way.

  15. Well, to be fair RazorFist… SE didn't have any creative input in this one, or any other western developed game they published, so they are not that enlightened.

  16. Considering this was a True Crime Sequel simply purchased by Squenix, it doesn't surprise me that it's this good. I loved True Crime: Streets of LA.

  17. Having sold 1.75 million copies (not counting Digital Sales), do you think this new IP has a chance of producing a sequel? Franchises such as Street Fighter, Assassin's Creed, Red Steel, Just Cause, etc. for example had improved sequels and sales compared to their first game.

  18. the thing that freaking annoys me about this is this. Sleeping dogs is( though not always was) a new ip. It didn't have any major attractions, other than the game itself. No huge marketing, nothing major. It managed to sell nearly 2 million, based mostly on the word of mouth from the players. In ANY other publishers, sleeping dogs would be a massive success. But thanks to S.E.'s stupid business expectations (we expect tomb raider to sell more than any other T.R. game), its now a failure,

  19. I'm sorry to break this to you, but GTA was built from the very beginning to be over the top and goofy and Rockstar decided to arbitrarily dumb down the gameplay into a tiresome realism simulator and to shoe horn a pretentious, boring story in order to placate the idiotic hipster generation we currently inhabit. I cannot begin to fathom as to how GTA IV is called "serious and realistic" when you can launch a bus from a swing set 10,000 ft in the air and land on the other side of the map.

  20. I'd like to let you know. I was eating a pop-tart while watching this.

    TERRIBLE idea. In the process of swallowing at 3:09, I was blind-sighted with the funniest clip and the funniest joke ever said. My sides need medical attention.

  21. This game without a contest
    GTA IV is trying too grey and boring and tries too hard to be realistic and Saints Row is just too crazy and silly, Sleeping Dogs offers a perfect balance.

  22. No, I don't suck at driving in GTA IV. But when I am driving and I slightly turn left, I don't want to fucking spin out and crash into every living thing.

  23. When I drive, I don't do a 360 just because I turned right slightly too hard. It's not realistic, it's just bad handling. As for Sleeping Dog's simple handling, it fits the game's unrealistic action style. And it's actually FUN to drive in that game, not a fucking chore that makes me want to blow my brains out.

  24. And you insult me for putting down GTA IV's poor handling. You sad, sad man. Do everybody a favor and go fuck yourself.

  25. Well, let's see. The first thing you replied to me with, you called me a fuckwad. And then you just called me a whiny little bitch, for putting down the awful car handling. Yeah, "I didn't insult you directly"

  26. This game was the underdog of 2012. Yes that was a pun 😉 But seriously this game is really fun. I thought shooting was OK but good ninja jesus was the combat awesome. And to the piece of shit reviewers who say that the controls during combat felt a bit clunky, fuck you!

  27. Glad that our lovable "pok gai" Razorfist liked Sleeping Dogs, which I'll have to play at some point.

    I could only watch playthroughs, but I fell in love with the martial arts combat, the voice acting, the story, the customization, and many of the characters from the game. Speaking of which, Jackie Ma still deserves more love.

    Yes, Kelly Hu's character Inspector Teng could have used a makeover in the game, but I thought that she didn't look that bad to begin with. Here's hoping that she shows more skin in a sequel.

    Sorry for calling you "pok gai," Razorfist. That phrase should be reserved for those who were responsible for the recent Thief game, hmm?

  28. I recently purchased the definitive edition of this game and am currently enjoying it.

    Thank you wholly for the recommendation. I wouldn't have known about this game if not for you.

  29. Props to you for having the balls to even imply the truth that Sleeping Dogs is a bit more fun than GTA. But I have to say, the fact that they didn't sexually objectify every woman in the game (Kelly Hu's character included) is not a flaw.

  30. Sleeping Dogs is mediocrity incarnate. The fact that the internet can't shut up about great this game is says less about Sleeping Dogs and more about how low the bar has been set for video games in general.

  31. I bloody love this game. Admittedly I'm a huge mark for Hong Kong cinema and martial arts movies in general, so it plays me like a fiddle, but sometimes a good fiddle is downright lovely.

    I actually liked the gunplay more that most open world action games, if only for the slow mo pop'n'shot maybe and combos to extend the combos. That said I really don't care for most third person shooters anyway.

  32. I just got this game over the weekend and fucking balls is it awesome I ended up playing it for 6 hours before even realizing it this is what gta 6 needs to look at if they are gonna set that in a Asian country they could make the gun play better and the driving better

  33. I've only played a bit of this game. So far I like it, but I can't continue due to the Popstar Glitch. Basically at the end of the third mission I have to take pictures of him buying drugs, using the drugs, and finally Popstar killing the dealer. The error occurs when I try to take a picture of him killing the dealer. It won't recognize that I took the picture and keeps saying I failed to get the evidence. I googled the error and tried all the solutions that popped up but none of them worked. Great video as always Razor.

  34. I thoroughly enjoyed this game. For me the big disappointment (other than that Kelly Hu's "in game avatar" wasn't hotter, of course) was United Front ended up making a failed MMO follow up to the game ("Triad Wars") that was basically the same game if it completely lacked a story, mission diversity or an actual direction and goals. They made THAT instead of a proper sequel.

  35. I inappropriately fondled sleeping dogs once, 10/10 would get enviro-killed by a meat hook at a fisherman's wharf again.

  36. I haven't watched this yet. It better be good, cause this game was fukken great. I ll get back with you.

    Alright, enough of this shit about how crap the driving and the guns are. They arnt even that bad. The only thing wrong with this game is that to unlock all your FU moves you have to Finnish the game. Oh, also they prevent you from just starting some random ass whoop in the night clubs. That was a bummer. Other than that it's the Kung Fu movie you play!

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