Saints Row came close. True Crime tried. A whole host of others failed miserably. No one has ever out-GTAed, GTA. Until now, perhaps.
After a couple of high-octane chases across the fish markets of Hong Kong, some intense dialogue scenes with a couple of tattooed mob bosses and some truly spectacular straight-out-of-Hollywood set-pieces, we quickly realised that Sleeping Dogs was not going to be one of the also-rans in the race to topple GTA from its lofty pedestal. Oh no, somewhat surprisingly, this was very much a contender to the king of the sandbox’s current-gen throne.
It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what Sleeping Dogs does right that the afore mentioned also-rans didn’t.
It could be the fluid, yet varied, Arkham-inspired combat system. Or possibly the innovations that it’s brought to the genre, which includes free-running, high speed car-jacking and an intuitive upgrade/reward system. Perhaps it’s the twists and turns of a storyline that could quite easily have been taken directly out of Chris Nolan’s big ol’ book of script ideas (we’re sure this exists), which is beautifully capped off by some of the best voice acting we’ve seen from all-star case featuring the likes of Emma Stone (The Amazing Spiderman) and Will Yun Lee (Total Recall).
Actually, the reason why it’s hard to put a finger on why Sleeping Dogs out does it’s competition is because it does so many things better than all of them, that we don’t have enough fingers to place on each one. That good.
This is as close as the GTA series is ever going to get to being challenged, and in our humble opinions, if we had to pick GTA IV or Sleeping Dogs, we’d probably go for the latter. A big call, but we think it’s warranted.
Your move, Rockstar.
+ Great storyline.
+ Brilliant voice acting.
+ Slick combat.
+ Innovative new features.
- Lacks humour in places.
- Low difficulty level.
- Side missions can be a drag.