Sleeping Dogs (known in Japan as SLEEPING DOGS: Hong Kong Secret Police) is a crime-themed open-world third-person action-adventure game developed by United Front (in conjunction with Square Enix London) and published by Square Enix for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on August 14, 2012.
Set in the streets of a fictional version of contemporary Hong Kong Island, players control Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer sent to infiltrate the ranks of a notorious Triad organization known as the "Sun On Yee". Along with the standard gunfights and vehicle driving of other open-world games (such as the Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row series), a great focus of the game is on martial arts combat and free-running sequences.
It later received numerous paid downloadable content, including expansion packs, new outfits (often with bonus weaponry and abilities), new vehicles, and boosters to give players an early advantage. The game later received an updated re-release for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, with technical enhancements and all non-booster DLC included, on October 14, 2014 (as Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition). Players who pre-ordered the retail Definitive Edition version received a limited-edition artbook.
The game is known for its troubled and prolonged development from its original publisher (Activision), beginning in 2008 as "Black Lotus", then re-worked years later as a spiritual successor to the True Crime series (as both "True Crime" and "True Crime: Hong Kong") before being cancelled in 2011. It was picked up a year later by Square Enix, who allowed United Front to resume development (with help by Square Enix London) and published the game later that year. It is considered United Front's signature game before their closure in 2016.
Playing as Wei Shen the player completes various missions from both sides of the law. Depending on how you complete your mission plays a huge part on how much experience you gain from the police and triad. By completing police missions, lessening nearby environment destruction, and reducing the amount of innocent civilians killed will result in an increase to your police xp. As compared to completing triad missions and defeating your opposition in brutal ways such as environment kills will increase your triad xp. As players gain more police xp and triad xp they are given ability points which allow players to customize their players skills.
The game has on foot, free-running sequences. In these sequences, the player is chasing a criminal. As a Wei runs, he pushes people out of the way and vaults over objects. Hong Kong has been mapped in such a way that it's adapted to the game play. During these chase sequences, the player will engage in hand-to-hand combat. Wei can use his fists, as well as weapons such as knives, meat cleavers and the environment. Enemies can be pushed into TVs, have their faces run against vents and and be thrown from rooftops. The game also has a counter system where an enemy flashes red to indicate when a counter can be performed.
The melee combat is reminiscent of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, bringing a similar timing and counter based approach to fights. The main attack button can be done in normal and heavy versions by tapping or holding to button, the counter button can (and should) be hit when an enemy is highlighted red, and the grapple button allows you to grab most enemies. Once grappled you can punch, throw, drag, or preform a variety of environmental attacks, which range from throwing in a dumpster to shoving a persons head into an incinerator. Wei also has the ability to lock onto enemies which allows for more precise and creative attack patterns. A specific side quest allows Wei to learn more combos to help him take down foes in even more ways.
The game incorporates the cell phone function that has become a feature in many open world games, most notably GTA IV. Using his phone Wei can call contacts (Triad Members, Girls, Police handlers, etc) to gain access to side/miscellaneous quests. There is also a text feature, but it always sends scripted messages that are used in the context of a mission. Wei can access the variety of CI Reports, Background info, and surveillance gatherings through the reports tab, access the social hub, and during some missions take pictures.
One of the key features of the game is known as Face. It has several passive advantages to help the player outside of combat, such as making consumables last longer, discounts, and additional contacts, but it is most obvious in combat. Dealing damage (it seems that more impressive attacks/counters will help more) will fill up the Face Meter, and once it is filled up, Wei regenerates health, intimidates enemies, and through unlocks gains additional advantages such as unblockable attacks and reduced damage. Face is upgraded through side missions and goes to level 10.
Players who grappled and parachuted their way through Just Cause 2 will get a little extra when Sleeping Dogs detects a save file from that game on PS3, Xbox 360 or PC: a Rico Rodriguez outfit that also boosts the player's ability to board and hijack moving vehicles from a distance.
Each of the three expansion packs include a different side-story that's completely separate from the main campaign. Completing specific parts of each pack unlocks some outfits in the main story.
Nightmare in North Point
A bizarre horror-themed side-story in which an army of Jiang Shi (among other demons) have risen and the citizens of North Point are possessed by a hellish ghost named Smiley Cat, thirsty for revenge.
To rescue his girlfriend and banish Smiley Cat back to Hell, Wei must seek out powerful Chinese magic and defeat Smiley Cat's armies, including the ghosts of Triad enforcers he defeated in the past.
Added for $6.99 on October 30, 2012.
The Zodiac Tournament
Stylized by classic 1970s Hong Kong kung fu films (such as Enter the Dragon), The Zodiac Tournament has Wei invited to participate in an illegal martial arts tournament led by the charismatic Dr. Zhang at the mysterious Zodiac Island.
The cutscenes are filtered to resemble old aged film while some sound effects are dubbed with sounds from that film era.
Unlike the other two expansion packs, The Zodiac Tournament is only accessible from the main story, rather than its own separate main menu entry.
Added for $4.99 on December 19, 2012.
Year of the Snake
Themed on law enforcement, Year of the Snake takes place before the 2013 Chinese New Year, when a mysterious cult plans to usher in the apocalypse by destroying Hong Kong themselves.
Due to his previous recklessness, Wei is given punishment duty as an ordinary police officer and must utilize the limited resources given to him (eventually gaining access to SWAT equipment, including riot-suppressing gas grenades).
Added for $6.99 on March 12, 2013.
In the Definitive Edition of the game, most outfits must be purchased with in-game currency through a special shop at the Night Market. Some content, such as those in the Police Protection Pack, must be unlocked by completing certain missions.
- Deep Undercover Pack - Includes a new outfit (the Plainclothes Detective Outfit, which reduces the Heat penalty), a new vehicle (the Undercover Police Cruiser, a modified Wangan GSX with a police siren), and a new interactive CB Radio decoration for the safehouse. Originally a pre-order bonus, it was later made available for $2.99 on November 13, 2012.
- GSP Pack - Includes three new clothing accessories (the GSP training outfits, which increases grappling damage and replaces the heavy attack with MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre's signature "flying punch"). Originally a pre-order bonus, it was later made available for $2.99 on November 13, 2012.
- Martial Arts Pack - Includes a new optional mission (Shaolin Showdown), a new outfit (the Shaolin Warrior, which increases melee damage), and new decoration for the safehouse. Originally a pre-order bonus, it was later made available for $2.99 on November 13, 2012.
- Police Protection Pack - Includes a new optional mission (High Speed), which utilizes a new attire (the Super-SWAT Tactical Uniform, which reduces all damage taken and comes equipped with the exclusive SWAT Assault Rifle) and a new vehicle (the Supercharged Police Cruiser, a modified police version of the Wangan GSX). The content was made available outside of the mission in the free Ghost Pig DLC. Originally a pre-order bonus, it was later made available for $2.99 on November 13, 2012.
- Triad Enforcer Pack - Includes two new optional missions (Death by 1,000 Cuts and Triad Highway), a new outfit (the Triad Enforcer, increases melee damage and Face XP rate), and a new vehicle (the Triad Enforcer Car, an enhanced Taikai with an exclusive Golden Cleaver weapon in the trunk). Originally a pre-order bonus, it was later made available for $2.99 on November 13, 2012.
- Retro Triad Pack - Includes new clothing accessories (the Retro Triad Outfit, which increases melee damage, Triad XP rate, and Face XP rate while reducing all damage taken) and a new vehicle (the Airbrushed Dragon Armored Van, a modified Movit with enhanced armor). Added for $1.99 on August 13, 2012.
- Street Racer Pack - Includes three new races (Enduro, Kamikaze, and Harbor Run), a new outfit (the Racing Jacket, which reduces firearm damage taken), and a new vehicle (the Sting superbike). It also adds a new design to the bike helmet. Added for $4.99 on October 16, 2012.
- Tactical Soldier Pack - Includes a new outfit (the Tactical Outfit, which reduces firearm damage taken and comes equipped with an Assault Rifle with under-barrel grenade launcher). Added for $1.99 on October 16, 2012.
- Screen Legends Pack - Includes two new outfits: the Lightning Warrior (which comes equipped with an exclusive sword that does not wear out over use) and the Wing Chun Master (which sometimes slow down time in combat for easier counters). Added for $1.99 on October 23, 2012.
- The SWAT Pack - Includes a new activity: Cop Jobs. When activated, players patrol the streets in the Super-SWAT Tactical Uniform and SDU Armored Truck and stop activity ranging from armed robberies to hostage situations. This system was reworked in Definitive Edition. Added for $3.99 on October 23, 2012.
- Ghost Pig - Includes four new headgear (the Ghost Pig mask, black fedora hat, cowboy hat, and straw hat). Also unlocks the content in the Police Protection Pack outside of the mission and the Golden .50cal once the story is completed. Added for free on November 2, 2012.
- Square Enix Character Pack - Includes three new outfits based: Agent 47's Suit (which reduces the Heat penalty and comes equipped with the exclusive silenced Silver Baller Pistol), Sarif Industries Armor (which reduces firearm damage taken and comes equipped with the exclusive FR-27 Flechette Rifle), and Rico Rodriguez Outfit (which and allows the player to perform an action hijack from a greater distance and comes equipped with Rico Rodriguez's signature pistol, which can fire explosive shells). Added for $1.99 on November 13, 2012.
- Drunken Fist Pack - Includes a new outfit: the Drunken Fist (which unlocks a series of new unique special moves and counters when the Face Meter is filled up). Added for $1.99 on November 20, 2012.
- Gangland Style Pack - Includes three new outfits with new tattoo schemes: Yakuza Style (which reduces the Heat penalty), Russian Mob Style (which increases firearm accuracy), and Mongrel Tribe Style (which increases melee damage). Added for $1.99 on November 27, 2012.
- Monkey King Pack - Includes a new outfit (Sun Wukong, which increases melee damage and adds a new variety of heavy attacks with a magical staff) and a new vehicle (the Somersault Cloud, a modified version of the Drag 979 that is surrounded in a yellow cloud when driven). Added for $1.99 on January 29, 2013.
- Movie Masters Pack - Includes three new outfits: Bronze Warrior (which reduces melee damage taken), Unknown Warrior (which increases Face XP rate), and Vigilante (which makes counters easier to perform). Added for $1.99 on January 29, 2013.
- Law Enforcer Pack - Includes two new outfits (the SWAT Tactical Uniform, which reduces gunfire damage taken, and the Crime Scene Investigator, which doubles Cop XP gain at the cost of no Triad XP gain and comes equipped with a police baton) and five new vehicles (the SDU Armored Truck, HKPD Cruiser, HKPD Motorcycle, HKPD Van, and HKPD SUV). Added for $1.99 on February 13, 2013.
- Wheels of Fury Pack - Includes a new series of optional missions, utilizing a new prototype supercar (the DZS-90) that is upgraded as the player completes the missions (including two mounted chain-guns with infinite ammo, an auto-drive mode for easier defense, a frontal battering ram, and a chargeable electro-magnetic pulse for disabling nearby cars). Once all missions are complete, the car is freely available. Added for $3.99 on February 26, 2013.
These packs are completely optional and are not included in the Definitive Edition.
- Top Dog Silver Pack - Gives 5,500 Triad XP, 3,000 Cop XP, and 3,000 Face XP. Added for $1.99 on August 13, 2012.
- The High Roller Pack - Gives HK$200,000 and early access to both the High Roller outfit and the Tuono vehicle (with a new paint scheme). Added for $2.99 on August 21, 2012.
- Top Dog Gold Pack - Gives 8,250 Triad XP, 4,500 Cop XP, and 4,500 Face XP. Added for $2.99 on August 21, 2012.
- High Resolution Texture Pack - PC version only. Adds high-resolution textures. Added for free on August 13, 2012.
- The Red Envelope Pack - Adds 20 pickup collectables (resembling red envelopes) throughout the map, each giving HK$50,000 when picked up. Added for $2.99 on August 21, 2012.
The Characters are listed with their respective voice actors
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 1
- Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or Athlon X2 2.7 GHz
- Memory: 2GB
- Hard Disk Space: 15GB
- Video Card: DirectX 10 or 11 compatible Nvidia or AMD ATI card, ATI Radeon 3870 or higher, Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT or higher
- DirectX®: 10
- Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD CPU
- Memory: 4GB
- Hard Disk Space: 15GB
- Video Card: DirectX 11 Nvidia or AMD ATI card, Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 or ATI Radeon 6950
- DirectX®: 11
- Sound: DirectX compatible sound card