It is hard to believe that it has been over 2 years since United Front Games and Square Enix first brought Sleeping Dogs into our PlayStation 3’s and Xbox 360’s. It was a game that I thoroughly enjoyed, with it serving up a rather good alternative to the Saints Row’s and Grand Theft Auto’s of this world. Square Enix have decided that Sleeping Dogs should be woken yet again with a remastered release in the form of Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition. This time, it is on the new generation of consoles. Would I enjoy this even more this time around? Read my full review below to find out!
Game: Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition
Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Square Enix
If you haven’t played Sleeping Dogs before, and the Definitive Edition is your first foray into the open-world game then the story is based on an undercover cop who goes by the name of Wei Shen. Living in Hong Kong, Shen is given the task by his commanding officers to take down the most brutal, powerful triad gangs in the city, the Sun On Yee. Shen has a history with the Sun On Yee, and must not let personal issues get in the way in taking down the gang and returning to the force as a hero. It has been over 2 years since I first went through the story but I enjoyed it just as much the 2nd time around, maybe even more because I understood more this time around. I’d advise not to rush the story, and try not to skip any cut scenes because it really is a good story to go through.
Sleeping Dogs was originally a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 title so it has to be said, one of the main aspects I was looking at was the visual progression the game has had since then. To be quite honest with you, I was disappointed with what is on offer. The game looks very, very slick and nice yes, but in all honesty, so did the last-gen versions.
Yes, the textures and character models look more ‘polished’ if you will, but I would of hoped that the developers would of put a lot more work into bringing Sleeping Dogs on to the new generation consoles with a bang. If Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is your first go at the game, you may think it looks alright, but having played the last version, I just wanted that bit more than ‘alright’.
Nothing has changed in that respect for Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, as it near enough sounds exactly the same as it did 2 years ago. That is certainly no bad thing however, as the voice acting was generally at a good standard, with the expected radio stations also at a good standard when driving along.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition comes bringing across the same gameplay from the original, but feeling as fresh as it did back in 2012. I used to love the combat mode back in Sleeping Dogs, and found myself getting right back into the action on my PlayStation 4. As you go through the game and progress your stats, there are so many combo’s you can pull off, meaning that fights against hordes of triad members is by means no boring grind. One of my favorite parts, and still is today is the environment kills. Putting your enemies into the garbage, or their head into a meat grinder is in my opinion, a very good way to die!
As the new consoles are so much powerful than the last, I would of liked to been able to use even more of the environment in order to freshen up the fights even more. Driving and shooting also come in unchanged, which again, is a bit of a shame. They feel solid in how they are executed in game, but really feel that the Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition could of been pushed more in terms of the overall gameplay that is on offer. Although the gameplay is enjoyable, I still feel exactly the same as I did regarding the Mission types that were on offer. After a bit, they do tend to feel repetitive. Drive someone somewhere, chase someone, kill a few bad guys…. That is all you ever seem to do, time and time again.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition comes including the main game, and all of the previously released DLC in one package. The main game’s story can be completed in about 7 hours, depending on how many of the cut scenes you watch or skip through. However, after completing the main story, there is still tonnes of side-missions to complete that will take more of your time up. The 2 story-based DLC packs can be completed in just a couple of hours for the both, but the entire package should leave you satisfied for the best part of 20 hours.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition reminded me how much fun I had with Sleeping Dogs the first time. The harsh assessment to be honest, is that it truly feels that the developers have done a simple Copy + Paste job onto the new generation of consoles. Yes it is smoother, Yes it looks a tiny bit nicer, but it could of been so much more. Maybe they are testing the waters for a Sleeping Dogs 2?. If you haven’t yet played Sleeping Dogs, then do so right away!, just play it on the last-gen consoles for almost an exact experience, with a more cheaper price tag to go with it.