For those of you who don't know, Sleeping Dogs is a sandbox/open world game similar to the GTA series. Apparently, it's meant to be the third installment to the "True Crimes" series, which some of you might remember from the PS2 days.
Sleeping Dogs' story line is the main reason why the game can get addictive. It follows the life of an undercover cop who transferred from San Francisco's police department over to the crime underworld of Hong Kong.
The game allows for free-running, which is a fun dynamic to the game play. Though it's not as detailed as Assassin's Creed's free-running/parkour, it is a key feature in many of the game's missions.
The fighting in the game is awesome! I'd hate to compare this game to yet another incredible video game series, but the fighting is somewhat similar to the "Batman: Arkham..." series. If Wei Shen gets hit a few times, his clothes and face get splattered in blood, which I found to be cool, though it did get annoying eventually seeing the man seemingly bleeding to death after just a couple punches.
The game does have a few guns here and there that can be used in missions, but it bothered me that you could only keep the weak 9mm on you while your uzi can't be put in your inventory. So it was either you dropped the uzi or you walked around with it out, drawing unwanted attention to yourself.
The interface of the game is almost identical to GTA. There's a circular mini map on the left hand corner, just like in GTA. I didn't mind too much, but I thought it'd be something worth mentioning if anyone cared.
One thing about the game that I found annoying was the lack of details in Wei's day-to-day life. You're supposed to assume that the random girls you go on one date with are suddenly Wei's girlfriends and that he sees them regularly. In GTA IV, you could continue dating the girls or hanging out with various friends to build relationships, but Sleeping Dogs doesn't offer that. I think it could've been fun for that to be added. It would've allowed for more exploring of Hong Kong, but alas, all you can really do in this game is follow the story.
The voice actors might be recognizable by some of you. I didn't know any of them by voice, but when I looked them up, I was pleasantly surprised. Wei Shen is voiced by Will Yun Lee (Die Another Day, Elektra).
Some of the other actors include but aren't limited to:
Emma Stone (Superbad); Lucy Liu (Kill Bill, Charlie's Angels); Chin Han (The Dark Knight); Robin Shou (Mortal Kombat); etc.
You see, I loved this game because of the story, the fighting, the fact that you could jump out of your vehicle and hijack another vehicle while driving at full speed, but once you're done with the story line, there isn't much else to do in the game.
Sure, you can try to complete the game 100% by doing all the side missions, but after that? The game doesn't have much replay value. That's why I traded it in once I was done with it.
To Buy or Not to Buy
: I suggest you not spend money on the game. If you can rent it through GameFly or borrow it from a friend, do it! Hell, if you're someone who can go through a game quickly, just buy it used from GameStop, pass it within a week, and then return it for a full refund.
It's a great game to play because of the amazing story, but if you buy it, don't expect to get much replay out of it.