The tale and turmoil of Sleeping Dogs has been told many a time. It was originally supposed to be Activision's True Crime, before the publisher pulled the plug on it close to completion. Fortunately Square Enix has picked up this title, gave it a new name, and made damn sure that people got to play it. After seeing what I played at E3 there will be reason for gamers to celebrate.
In the demo your character Detective Wei Shen is on the search for Ming, who screwed a comrade out of a drug deal. Once you find him Ming tries to get away, resulting in a chase that will have you avoiding objects, jumping over tables and fences, and bumping into other people on the street. Once you reach him Ming lets his goons try to take you out, and it's up to your fighting skills and environments around you to knock them out.
Sleeping Dogs's fighting style is very similar to Batman: Arkham City, as it has a punch, counter attack, and big combos to pull off. One thing that stands out in this area is the ability to use your environments to your advantage. For example, in the demo I was grappling with one of Ming's gang members. Near my area was a vent fan, which I was able to put the gang member's face in to kill him. It's a similar form that was once seen in True Crime: New York City, and while this specific game was met with mixed reviews many people still praised that fighting element in the gameplay.
The voice acting, which was a blend of both English and Chinese dialect, felt authentic, matching with the area that this game takes place. Sleeping Dogs's graphics were also very well-detailed, with its environments breathing in a finely-designed Hong Kong market. Finally the controls appear to be solid, with each punch and kick connecting with a click of the button.
It's been a long road for Sleeping Dogs's release date, but the end is almost here. While it is tough to judge a game simply by one level Sleeping Dogs is turning out to be the one title Square Enix needs on its 2012 roster to make it the publisher not to be reckoned with this fiscal year. My only hope is that the game will have as good a flavor as this small morsel I got to taste today.