Notice this trailer's opening sequence involves a common Hong Kong gangster's weapon: a butcher's cleaver.
Sleeping Dogs is a new, open world action game currently being finished by United Front Games and Square Enix.
They're quite trend breaking in their choice of subject.
Here you take on the shoes of Wei Shen, a Hong Kong undercover cop with family grudges against the Triad, Sun On Yee. Wei Shen's background seems quite Asian American. He was born in Hong Kong and moved to San Francisco. He became a cop, then was imported back to his Hong Kong birthland to fight baddies. Along the way, you get to make moral choices in this game's universe.
Car chases in this game appear every bit as impressive as Need for Speed, a creme title for a driving game. The fight sequence sometimes sweep like an HK fight scene.
The range of actions here are written thus:
1. You can bet in cockfights.
2. Sing in karaoke.
3. Gamble with dominoes.
4. Visit massage parlors. I know, right.
5. Drive over 65 different cars. Street races too.
6. Shop like a gangster.
7. Then, date beautiful in-game women.
True to the image of Asian culture, this game has a reputation and face system which is shaped by your purchases and decisions. This even determines whether high class establishments will let you in or not.
The game tries to break new grounds in story telling, since here you seem to occupy a morally ambiguous plain. You are asked to do hits by the Triads themselves, ordered by the same organization you are tasked to infiltrate.
A UFC mixed martial arts champion by the name of George St. Pierre aka "GSP", was consulted for this game's fight sequences.
You interact with your immediate environment. You use whatever it is at hand, phone handles or fuses to destroy your opponents. You also get to practice kung-fu in a gym or join a local fight club.
I thought before that this game's theme was only recently the domain of Asian American cop story writers such as Henry Chang (who wrote "Year of the Dog", gangsterlicious too). I'm glad to have been proven wrong by British game developers.
This is the second big-budget game to feature the fabled streets of Hong Kong. The first was Japanese produced Shenmue 2, which was released 11 years ago.
Sleeping Dogs is slated to hit the shelves this August 14, 2012 for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC in North America.
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