I remember, when True Crime: Streets of Hong Kong was gonna come out, but the devs decided to gut it, last year. Then, I heard nothing else about the game. Several months ago, I saw some vids on this game called "Sleeping Dogs". Found out that Square Enix took over publishing rights to original True Crime game, renamed it and tweaked it. I must say, I am glad that Square Enix decided to take what was supposed to be the next True Crime game, and make it similar, but better. This game is probably the most fun and underrated games of 2012.
In the game, you play as undercover police officer, Wei Shen. He is a Chinese-American detective from San Francisco, who has been called to his native Hong Kong to help infiltrate a Triad gang, called "Sun On Yee". The game takes place in the streets of Hong Kong.
GAMEPLAY: The game is an open-world game ala Grand Theft Auto IV and Saint's Row: The Third, but it seems a little more immersive because of the fighting, interactions, and the cinematic essence in the game. The player can roam free and outside of car-jacking, the player can bet on cockfights and street races, join fight clubs, and do karaoke. Of course, the player can buy various things, such as vehicles, apartments, clothes, and upgrades.
By playing the role as an undercover cop, primary missions will be done on the police side and the Triad side. Also, there are side missions on both, such as drug bust for the police side and "helping" or doing "favors" for residences on the Triad side. "Helping" or doing "favors" can be interesting, but I'm not going to spoil many of the task you are asked to do.
Fighting is a LARGE part of the game. In fact, the fighting would be similar to what is in the Batman Arkham series. It is very addictive and immersive. Sometimes, I don't even feel like I am playing an open-world game. The hits are very hard and brutal. In addition, blocking and making counter attacks will make the player feel like a real kung-fu master. I never felt like such a bad-a** on a fighting game. I must say, it is no easy task, when fighting, especially when fighting seven or more opponents at the same time.
While fighting, a finishing move can be performed. When this happens, the game goes into slo-mo. At that time, seeing the character landing finishing punches or kicks in the opponent's face shows a nice amount of blood coming. It's quite satisfying. What's even better is many other attacks can be learned by finding statues around the city and going to the Do-jo to practice newly acquired attacks on the students.
The coolest part about fighting is using environmental attacks to take out opponents. The player can grapple opponents and throw them at walls, through boxes, phone booths, and electric panels. There are some other parts of the environment that can be used to take out opponents, but won't spoil those.
Driving has similarities to GTAIV, but is a little different. I would say that the driving is not as responsive and the camera angles takes getting used to, especially when going into reverse. Still, it is not much to complain about. It is cool to hear the Hong Kong-based radio stations. I get the feel that I'm actually there.
Shooting on this game is similar to that of Stranglehold, which means it is very animated. Not to mention, the game goes in slo-mo, when the player vaults, while shooting.
GRAPHICS: The graphics in this game are vivid, but not outstanding. I would say that the graphics are sort of dated, but the gameplay outshines that shortcoming, if you want to call it that.
VERDICT: Many people might not want to give this game a chance because they believe it is a knock-off of GTAIV. However, it is its own kind of game. Not to mention, what it lacks in graphics, it is a lot more fun, in my opinion. This game is definitely worth buying, especially since it has gone down in price.