[Continued from Part ]

Suit Up, Wei Shen

I’m Sexy and I know it.

There are a huge number of outfits and playing with fashion will affect Triad, Face and Cop experience bonuses. Some will give 15% increased XP, increased Melee damage and so forth. Other than that, it’s aesthetics and collection purposes only, solely for perfectionists out there.

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My Wei or the high Wei

Although Multiplayer doesn’t exist in Sleeping Dogs, the closest you can get is comparing scores with other players in the Leaderboards. The Leaderboard can be accessed through the menus or Wei Shen’s cellphone. Players will be able to see their own ranking and the number of achievements and track and compare with their friends. You can also replay previous missions from the Social Hub to achieve better scores for bragging rights.

Before we get into the details, do check that video out.

Gripes (not grapes)
It’s NOT perfect in Hong Kong. Firstly the GPS isn’t accurate, felt like a Garmin most of the time, sending me through places i can’t get through. But then again, that happens in real life. Combat is fast paced, similar to the likes of Assassin’s Creed’s combat system, but the controls can be problematic at times, since the same button is used for numerous functions. I’ve robbed and stolen by accident so many times on missions,  hurt the cop score so badly that it was difficult to get any exp, I’ve jumped off buildings by accident during combat because the space bar is also used in combat, and is also the key you use to climb over objects. Tapping the forwards key twice when you’re near an object also causes you to leap over, in which case, either sends me plunging down into oblivion or jumping directly into a firefight when I have no guns. Travelling seems awkward at times, as cabs refuse to bring you to any other locations except selected restaurants, shops and parking lots, which by far in the the history of free roaming games with cabs, the most useless.

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The Good
Good thing there are plenty of save points though, so overcoming these problems above are generally easy. Jump off a cliff and died? No problem, you’ll reappear in a nearby hospital a tad bit poorer (there are clinics and hospitals in each area, so you don’t start halfway across the universe). Died during a mission, no worries, restart from an autosave point in the mission.

The environment is your weapon, grapple your opponent and send their faces right into the curb, put them in trashcans or toss them off the 17th floor. Either way, Wei Shen’s a very capable individual and also a very adaptive one (awesome melee combat abilities, slomo gunfight abilities and pretty indestructible to gravity). You’re not the only one who can do that though, so be aware. Speaking of environment, the weather effects are interesting, day shifts to night and having rainstorms randomly throughout your travels around Hong Kong adds to the experience. The citizens of Hong Kong adapt to these changes as well, taking out their umbrellas and walking closer in the shades when it rains. (You’ll see some quirky behaviors too, like using an umbrella under the shade, but hey, who buys a game for stuff like that)

You get to choose when to advance in the story line and you’ll generally get the gist of how the story system works after a few missions. You’ll be forced to sleep before the next chapter, so you can finish up your minor duties along the way (if you’re a completion-ist)

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Wei Shen is also quite the player, but i’ll leave that to your imagination. The storyline is brutal, dramatic and interesting, comparable to GTA but in a very Hong Kong triad way. Despite being similar and having played GTA, Saints Row and Risen, all i can say is that the experience is significantly different and is worth some dollars. Do also remember that you’re undercover and unlike the Mafia, the triads were more into melee combat than gunfights with a tad bit of torture here and there. You won’t have an arsenal of weapons to choose from, and most of the time, you won’t have any. This is a good thing, as it retains a level of relevance to the story line.

The Aftermath & Summary
Everything in Sleeping Dogs’ Hong Kong is enjoyable. It has it’s quirks, but it’s definitely worth a try if you a fan of free roam sandbox titles. Graphics is above average, however there is a hi-res texture pack available for the pc for those who want it, either way, its the experience that matters. Sleeping Dogs will bring about tension, a dramatic storyline, fast paced combat and solid gameplay mechanics. Vernonchan.com rates this game a 4 out of 5. Time to get going, officer.

Here’s a live action trailer for your entertainment.

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