Sleeping Dogs was one of the *ahem* sleeper hits when it first launched on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC back in 2012. It was a fun and engaging game about undercover police and gang wars in Hong Kong on top of a Grand Theft Auto open world framework, and did it very well. After multiple GTA games in American cities it was a bit of a breath of fresh air to have a game set in Hong Kong, and have it recreate the city and feel of the country as well as it did. With borrowed mechanics from some of the industries hot titles (Batman‘s combat, for instance), Sleeping Dogs quickly became a cult classic with many gamers itching for that GTA-style open world experience set in a new and foreign locale. Fast forward to 2014, Square Enix announces that a definitive edition of the game will launch (with all DLC) on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. That time is nearly upon us, so let’s take a look at how the next-gen debut of the franchise compares to the original release.
As the game has already been out and been reviewed I want to try to steer this review to look more at the new things or upgrades to this definitive edition. The first thing most will notice is the boost graphically. Textures are better (specifically on Wei’s clothing) and the lighting has gotten a boost. I also noticed rain and puddles on the ground looking even better, which is crazy given that the rain “look” in the original release was one of the best looking parts of the game. Strolling down the night market area of the city you are bombarded by neon signs that pop more, bigger crowds yelling at you to buy noodles, and puddles of water on the ground that reflect the world around it. Now, we’re not talking top next-gen graphics here, as this is still a port, but it does look better. I’d say The Last of Us Remastered looks a bit better overall, but for an open world game Sleeping Dogs looks very good, some areas better than others.
Aside from pure graphic fidelity there are not a ton of new upgrades to the game. There seem to be more people on the streets, which adds to the overall feel of Hong Kong (which was one of the initial release’s best features) and the changing weather and time of day help make the game feel more alive. The biggest bonus here might be the addition of all the DLC with this new package. The Sleeping Dogs DLC went in a few different directions and most all of it was solid. There’s a fun Halloween themed DLC mission pack, a fighting tournament in the vein of Mortal Kombat, and even some outfits and costumes from iconic Square Enix characters.
Overall Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition is a solid upgrade on the original release, and offers a good chance to grab a game and all of its DLC to players who skipped it back in 2012. For those who have played the game already, it offers a chance for more Wei fu**ing Shen action with a visual fidelity boost and a chance to play some of the DLC you might have missed. I think the $60 price point is a bit high, especially for those who have played the game already ($40 might be better there), but for new players it may be worth it to get the entire package and experience one of 2012’s best games. If you at all enjoy open world games in the style of Grand Theft Auto, and enjoy combat systems similar to the Batman: Arkham games, but want a new city you may not have experience before in a game this package is perfect for you. Wei Shen deserves more sales!
Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition Gameplay PS4