A Quick One: Sleeping Dogs

sleepingdogs1Sleeping Dogs is frustrating, not in the usual sense of a game that refuses to function, but a game that is so much less than it appears.

Our “hero”, Wei Shen, is a man caught between two worlds: cop and gangster, America and Hong Kong; as long as the game has you questioning which world he should cross over to, it remains incredibly engaging. The game is seeped in both American and Chinese culture. Even the gameplay reflects the constant tightrope walk that Wei is walking with its cop and gangster reputation system.

However, the game never becomes more. It simply focuses in on its holy trinity of driving very fast, shooting things and punching dudes. When I first started, I wondered how the violence could be so cartoonish and extreme when it was clearly a commentary on violence itself. As the end credits rolled, I knew the answer: it was never any such thing. It was always a tale of justified revenge. As a simple power fantasy it is perfectly serviceable, but it is so close to something more.

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