Sleeping Dogs

#1
In a nutshell - GTA meets Infernal Affairs meets Yakuza (the game, that is).
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(the level of detail is quite impressive, considering these building are just background[album][/album])
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(the night market is pretty bustling, and it's nice to see these games finally starting to move towards realistic crowd densities)
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(the depth of field is pretty effective here)
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(Hong Kong's neon skylines are a nice change from the fairly cliched US city setting; even Saints Row 3, for all it's excessiveness, with pretty generic compare to this IMO)
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(it's maybe not the best shot to show it, but the rain effects really are excellent)
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(there are a few neat little scripted touches in the world here and there)

It's actually, IMO, a very good game (apparently the Cantonese is well done too, according to Mrs Aldo). Although there's a baffling overabundance of US accents (but at least still a reasonable smattering of Cantonese, both as 'flavour' in the cutscene and in the world in general), the Hong Kong setting is perhaps the most interesting in an open world game since Just Cause 2, and it's refereshing to have a non-caucasian lead for once. Graphically quite nice (this is everything bar anti-aliasing at max), with especially nice rain effects - although the facial animation is a little bit wooden compared to other games.

In terms of gameplay it's the standard drive here, shoot this type of mission - but with the added feature that guns are rare and a rather satisfying melee system dominates combat (hence the Yakuza comparison). As the main character is ostensibly an undercover cop, there are some more interesting missions that involve planting bugs, stealing records, etc - nothing massively complex, but nice variety compared to GTA. They've also chucked in the Just Cause 2 'jump vehicle to vehicle' hijacking thing (er, just because) and a neat employment slo-mo feature that makes shooting while driving actually possible with a controller. They've even added in a copy of Assassins Creeds parkour system, which makes the occasional foot chase sequence interesting (especially as the developers have been really good at setting up the world cinematically for these - it's common to burst in on little realistic vignettes, like when jumping through a window into someones kitchen, or through people chopping/packing fish in a trawler). Even the storyline, whilst not entering Oscar territory, is pretty good.
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