Thoughts On Sleeping Dogs
So, I finished Sleeping Dogs this week.
It's tropey, somewhat predictable and a bit standard-action-flick, but the game still grabbed me. It made me cry, it made me angry, it made me laugh, but the most important part is that it made me give a shit about the characters.
I felt more at home as Wei while with the Sun On Yee than I ever did with the HKPD, and that's what I think United Front was going for. The entire game is Wei fighting with himself and his past. Honestly, he makes a better gang member than a police officer. You end up doing more to help the Sun On Yee strengthen their position in the city (and weaken the 18k) than anything else.
Yes, you solve multiple crimes (murderers, kidnappers, illegal racing rings), and feed HKPD information to help them control the triads, but you still do far more for them than against. To top it off they spend the entire game essentially showing you that there are very few decent cops that you interact with. Pendrew is a corrupt, bloodthirsty asshole, Raymond is just kinda a dick. Teng is the only really decent cop to you, who are undercover in a triad that literally tortured the last cop that got caught for TWO days before killing him. The members of the Sun On Yee treat you with respect, after you earn it. They treat you as family while the police you work for treat you like an actual criminal.
The disparity between the way you're treated isn't lost on Wei in the end. No, you don't leave the police force, but you come damn close. Honestly, I would have rather he did. The Water Street Gang was down a lot of members in the end, and they sure as hell could have used him.
The story telling is predictable, but still well done and engaging, the sounds (from what I've been told by Eli who stayed in China for a while) are pretty spot on and the game is visually pretty great. It's a good game that, if you haven't picked up yet, you definitely should.