Sleeping Dogs (video game)

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Sleeping Dogs
True Crime: Hong Kong
Sleeping Dogs' box art
Developer(s)United Front Games
Square Enix London Studios
Publisher(s)Square Enix
Namco Bandai Games (AUS)[1]
Producer(s)Jeff O'Connell
Feargus Carroll
Designer(s)Mike Skupa
Artist(s)Hani Abu-Ghazaleh
Joshua Lee
Writer(s)Jacob Krarup
Tim Carter
Composer(s)Jeff Tymoschuk[2]
EngineHavok (physics engine)
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s)NA August 13, 2012 (Steam)
NA August 14, 2012[3]
AU August 16, 2012[1]
EU August 17, 2012[4]
JP September 27, 2012[5]
DistributionOptical disc, download, cloud gaming
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Sleeping Dogs
True Crime: Hong Kong
Sleeping Dogs' box art
Developer(s)United Front Games
Square Enix London Studios
Publisher(s)Square Enix
Namco Bandai Games (AUS)[1]
Producer(s)Jeff O'Connell
Feargus Carroll
Designer(s)Mike Skupa
Artist(s)Hani Abu-Ghazaleh
Joshua Lee
Writer(s)Jacob Krarup
Tim Carter
Composer(s)Jeff Tymoschuk[2]
EngineHavok (physics engine)
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s)NA August 13, 2012 (Steam)
NA August 14, 2012[3]
AU August 16, 2012[1]
EU August 17, 2012[4]
JP September 27, 2012[5]
DistributionOptical disc, download, cloud gaming

Sleeping Dogs is a 2012 open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games in conjunction with Square Enix London Studios and published by Square Enix, released on August 14, 2012, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.[6] Sleeping Dogs takes place in Hong Kong and focuses on an undercover operation to infiltrate the Triads. It is the first installment to the Sleeping Dogs series.

The game started development as an original title, but was announced in 2009 as True Crime: Hong Kong, the third installment and a reboot of the True Crime series.[7] As a result of the game's high development budget and delays, it was canceled by Activision Blizzard in 2011. Six months later, it was announced that Square Enix had picked up the publishing rights to the game, renamed Sleeping Dogs, without a relation to True Crime.[8]

In October 2013, it was confirmed by United Front Games that a game, titled Sleeping Dogs: Triad Wars, set within Sleeping Dogs' universe was in production. They also confirmed that it would be the second installment to the series and published by Square Enix.[9]


The combat is a key feature in Sleeping Dogs. In this screenshot Wei is using the environment to defeat enemies.

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization - named for the real life Sun Yee On. The player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players can drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

The combat system revolves around hand-to-hand fighting, similar to Batman: Arkham Asylum "Freeflow" combat system.[10] The cover system allows the player to move between cover, fire blindly, aim freely, and target a specific enemy. Individual body parts can also be targeted. Regarding the driving segments, several developers had worked on previous Need for Speed titles.[11] While driving, Wei can get out and jump onto other moving vehicles.[12]

Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game and unlock certain content and parts of the city, players can complete them at their leisure. When not attempting a storyline mission, players can free-roam, giving them the ability to participate in activities such as car-jacking, joining a fight club, singing karaoke, visiting gambling dens betting on cockfights and participating in street races. There are several potential girlfriends for Wei Shen to date. Successful completion of side missions offers the player rewards.[12]

Sleeping Dogs features role-playing elements with three different experience point values: Triad XP, Face XP, and Police XP. Triad XP and Police XP measure Wei's devotion to the triad and police, respectively, while Face XP is a measure of his general reputation. Clothing, accessories and vehicles are available for purchase by Wei, and have an effect on non-player characters' reactions. Sleeping Dogs tracks acquired skills in areas such as hand-to-hand combat, which improve through use in the game.[12]

Although there is no multiplayer component, the game features online stats and leaderboards so players can compare scores.


The interface of the game features a circular mini-map on the bottom-left corner of the screen that displays a small map of the city and key locations (safe houses and contact points) or targets. Wei's health is shown by a semicircular meter on the left side of the mini-map, while another one on the right represents his face, which allows Wei to regenerate life during fighting when its full, then empties after a short time. When Wei is armed, an icon of his weapon and ammo count are represented on the top-right corner of the screen.



Sleeping Dogs features a large cast. The player character is Detective Wei Shen (Will Yun Lee), an officer sent deep undercover in a feared Triad gang. Other important characters are Police Superintendent Thomas Pendrew (Tom Wilkinson), Wei's police handler Raymond Mak (Byron Mann), Wei's childhood friend and low-level Triad member Jackie Ma (Edison Chen), and Triad boss "red pole" Winston Chu (Parry Shen).

Further characters include David Wai-Lin "Uncle" Po (James Hong), Amanda Cartwright (Emma Stone), Conroy Wu (Robin Shou), Vivienne Lu (Lucy Liu), Henry "Big Smile" Lee (Tzi Ma), Inspector Jane Teng (Kelly Hu), Jiang (Elizabeth Sung), Sammy "Dogeyes" Lin (Ron Yuan), Peggy Li (Lindsay Price), Sonny Wo (Chin Han), Sandra (Steph Song), Tiffany Kim (Yunjin Kim), Not Ping (Celina Jade), Ilyana (Megan Goldsmith) and Ming (Terence Yin).[13][14]


The game takes place in modern day Hong Kong with players assuming control of Wei Shen, an officer of the San Francisco Police Department, who had been seconded to the Hong Kong Police Force. Wei has been assigned by the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau to go undercover and infiltrate the Triad society, gather information on Sun On Yee (the equivalent of the real-life Sun Yee On) and take them down.

There are two sub-plots contained within the main storyline: the first is Wei's personal struggle between completing his mission as a police officer, and having to commit crimes to prove his worth to the triad. The other sub-plot consists of completing missions set out by a triad lieutenant, such as killing triad members who are loyal to competing lieutenants. The island is divided into four fictional districts which are named after real areas.[15]


The game starts in Victoria Harbour, where drug smuggler Wei Shen is busted after a deal gone bad. Thrown into jail, Wei meets his old friend Jackie Ma, who offers to introduce Wei to members of the Sun On Yee triad once they have both been released. Wei meets with Superintendent Thomas Pendrew and another police officer, Raymond Mak; Wei, it turns out, is an undercover police officer, and the bust was staged to allow him to make contact with Jackie. Jackie introduces him to Winston Chu, a Sun On Yee "red pole" (local leader) and leader of the Water Street Gang, at Winston's headquarters, the Golden Koi restaurant, owned by his mother. Winston sends Wei on various missions to seize back territory from a rival red pole, Sam "Dogeyes" Lin, leader of the Jade Gang. During one mission to make an example of one of Winston's thugs, Ming, Wei is arrested by Inspector Jane Teng, but Pendrew bails him out and reveals his identity to Teng.

After Dogeyes attacks the Golden Koi, Winston attacks one of Dogeyes's warehouses. Wei convinces Winston to spare Dogeyes's drug maker Siu Wah to avoid the wrath of the Sun On Yee leader, Uncle Po. Wei destroys the warehouse and captures Siu Wah, fully earning the trust of the Water Street Gang. When Winston is summoned by Uncle Po, Wei reports on the meeting to Raymond, his police handler, who is concerned that Wei is becoming "one of them".

At Winston's wedding, the Sun On Yee is attacked by a rival Triad gang, the 18K. Winston and his bride are shot dead by 18K member Johnny Ratface and Uncle Po is critically wounded, but Wei manages to get him to the hospital. For saving his life, Uncle Po promotes Wei to the rank of red pole, succeeding Winston as leader of the Water Street Gang. At the request of Winston's mother, Mrs. Chu, Wei captures Johnny, who confesses that Dogeyes was behind the wedding massacre. Wei captures Dogeyes and delivers him to Mrs. Chu, who kills him.

When fellow Sun On Yee red pole Henry "Big Smile" Lee attempts to take over the Water Street Gang's territory, Wei resists, instead agreeing to an alliance with red pole "Broken Nose" Jiang. During a meeting with other red poles and a hospitalized Uncle Po, Jiang nominates Po's nephew "Two Chin" Tsao as temporary Sun On Yee leader, to prevent Lee nominating himself. At Jiang's request, Wei sabotages Tsao's residence to make him appear incompetent to lead, limiting the number of candidates to succeed Po as chairman to two: Jiang and Lee. When Uncle Po suddenly dies, Wei is told by Pendrew his undercover duties are over, but he protests: if Lee assumes leadership of the Sun On Yee, matters will be worse than they were under Uncle Po.

Furious at Wei's insubordination, Pendrew is complicit in an attack on the Sun On Yee at Uncle Po's funeral. He then reveals Wei's identity to Lee, who attempts to draw Wei out by having Jackie kidnapped, buried alive, tortured and brutally murdered. Distraught, Wei is attacked and captured by the Sun On Yee torture master Mr. Tong. Wei manages to escape, killing Tong and his enforcers before hunting down Lee. After a long, arduous chase, Wei corners Lee and kills him by shoving him headfirst into an ice chipper. Raymond congratulates Wei on a case well done, but informs him that Pendrew is being promoted to Interpol and cannot be touched for providing information to Lee.

The following day Wei receives a package from Jiang addressed to "Officer Shen". Inside Wei finds a video of Pendrew murdering Uncle Po at the hospital to permanently conceal their prior relationship: Po gave Pendrew high ranking Triad members, gaining Pendrew a promotion and Po a dramatic rise in power. With the evidence, Wei gets Pendrew sentenced to life in prison, knowing he will not survive long in a place filled with Triad members he has put away throughout his career. Later, while Wei meets with Teng, he is unwittingly observed by Jiang. She tells her fellow triads to leave Wei alone as he has proved his loyalty to her, "one way or another".

Downloable content expansions[edit]

Nightmare in North Point[edit]

After a late night movie, Wei's date, Not Ping, is suddenly abducted by the ghost of Smiley Cat, who has risen up from the underworld to take his vengeance on the Sun On Yee. Smiley Cat was formerly Big Scar Wu, a gangster that was ordered to be killed by Uncle Po for his recklessness. His posthumous name, which he despises, was acquired when his corpse was ground up into the namesake brand of cat food. He has raised an army of jiangshi and Yaoguai to help carry out this task, as well as possessed members of the 18k. When Wei finds his fighting skills have no effect on the spirits, an apothecary brews a special tea for him that imbues his moves with the magic necessary to defeat them.

Smiley Cat summons the ghosts of Dogeyes, Johnny Ratface and Ponytail, a lieutenant of Big Smile Lee that carried out Wu's execution. Wei defeats each one of them and sends them back to the underworld, but not before Ponytail tells Wei how to defeat Smiley Cat: he must burn Wu's pinky finger, the last remnant of his original body.

Wei manages to fend off the hell-spawn and incinerate the finger, sending Smiley Cat back to the underworld and freeing Not Ping. However as the two leave the temple, a final shot shows that Not Ping is possessed and the scene fades to black with Smiley Cat's laughter.

The Zodiac Tournament[edit]

Inspector Teng requests that Wei investigate an illegal fighting tournament taking place on a nearby island. Teng has managed to get Wei an invitation to compete. After arriving on the island, the Tournament Master, Dr. Zhang, arrives and informs the competitors are "the best of the best of the best" and the tournament is being attended by the richest and most powerful men in Asia. Wei then chats with the other competitors as well as Little Fu, who claims to be a fan of Wei since he helped her father in the Night Market. After defeating several fighters in some brutally lethal matches, as well as traversing some dangerous booby-trapped paths, Little Fu gives Wei some tea before his next match. Unfortunately, the tea turns out to be poisoned, since Fu had bet on an opposing fighter. Despite being handicapped, Wei manages to defeat his next opponent on a one on one battle and cure himself via some medicinal flowers. Wei along with the rest of the contestants are then summoned to the final match. Midway through the match, however, Zhang insists that they battle each other to the death until only one remains. When the contestants refuse, Zhang reveals that the arena ceiling is covered in spikes and rigged to lower, and it will only stop if only one is left standing. The contestants have no choice but to battle, but Wei makes everyone promise that whoever survives kill Zhang. Wei wins and chases after Zhang. After a battle with Zhang, the latter claims that he made 50 million dollars by hosting the tournament and betting on Wei and promises to give Wei half the money if he spares Zhang's life and become his partner, calling the money "a fair price for swallowing your pride, wouldn't you say?". In response, Wei snaps Zhang's neck and belatedly replies "No. Not even close" and returns alone to Hong Kong.

Year of the Snake[edit]

The story begins with Wei at the undercover HQ (now as a police station) meeting with Inspector Teng, who tells him that the officials were unhappy with Wei's recklessness when he infiltrated the Sun On Yee. Wei was subsequently demoted to a patrolman. One night, when Wei was about to put a ticket to a sports car, he sees a suspicious looking blue Enterprise and chases it (while he calls dispatch over the radio and tells them the license number, which the dispatch found to be a rented car). The car stopped near a dragon dancer attraction, where Wei asked people around about men in yellow shirts. Wei quickly apprehends the suspects and makes his way to the blue sedan, which turned out to be wired with a bomb, to which he quickly drives the car and runs it into the harbour. After this incident, Wei asks for the address and uncovers that the address that the dispatch gave him is a warehouse. He investigates the warehouse and discovers that the suspects he arrested were a group of cultist. After investigating, he is ambushed but manages to escape with help from a fellow officer. At the town's police station, Wei and Teng interrogate one of the cultists and found out that the cult predicted an apocalypse when the Chinese New Year started. Throughout the rest of the crisis, Wei disrupts the cult's operations, and manages to apprehend the cult leader during the climax of the Chinese New Year celebration.


Initial version[edit]

The original cover artwork for True Crime: Hong Kong.

True Crime: New York City was met with mixed reviews and did not meet sales expectations. Although a True Crime 3 was said to be in production, these low sales numbers for New York City made Activision cancel a third game and focus on other titles.[16] No mention of another True Crime game was made for several years. Work on an open world action-adventure video game began in 2008 by United Front Games, almost immediately after United Front Games was formed.[17] The game was meant to be a completely original IP, however Activision (the publisher) decided that the True Crime name would help the game sell, so it then became True Crime: Hong Kong.[18] Then, on December 12, 2009, Activision debuted the announcement trailer for the series third game, simply titled True Crime, at the Spike Video Game Awards 2009. The trailer confirmed that Activision would be publishing and that a new developer, United Front Games, would be developing in place of traditional True Crime developer Luxoflux, largely due to the studio being closed in February 2010.[19]

On August 6, 2010, it was announced that the game would be delayed until 2011 to give more development time.[20] Part of this development phase included bringing in Hollywood action editor Tony Ciccone to consult with project animators on the cinematics as well as the visual identity of the game. According to Activision CEO, Eric Hirshberg, who assured that the August delay of True Crime: Hong Kong had greatly "paid off". "The additional development time invested in this game has really paid off. We wanted to make the gameplay mechanics for the fighting and shooting as sophisticated as the driving, which is something that's very hard to achieve in the open-world genre", said Hirshberg.[21]

On February 9, 2011, Activision decided to cancel the game, in order to focus on online games that have a higher margin.[22][23] The game was declared cancelled for being "just not good enough" to compete in the open world genre. Even with its most optimistic projections, said the firm, it couldn't see True Crime reaching the top of the open-world genre.[24][25] Activision didn't expect True Crime to generate enough profit and stopped development.[26][27] United Front Games announced their disappointment on their website: "We are sorry we did not get a chance to complete this project with Activision, but we understand why. We are both committed to doing quality games and nothing less. Maybe we will have a chance to work together in the future, but in the meantime we are setting our creative sights on a different horizon".[28] The game's executive producer Stephen Van Der Mescht told Computer and Video Games that True Crime: Hong Kong was playable from start to finish and "virtually complete" in terms of content before Activision canceled it.[29] Despite Activision's low expectations, Van Der Mescht said the game "stood apart" from the competition.[29]

On June 22, 2011, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg explained the reason for the decision, stating that the game's development budget and delays were, in a sense, also a contributing factor in its cancellation.[30] "The market changed dramatically since the game was first greenlit", Hirshberg said. "Back then, it was possible for more titles with such a large scope as True Crime: Hong Kong to find sizeable audiences". However, according to the CEO, competition has become stiffer and now only the top games end up being successes.[31] Hirshberg didn't foresee True Crime: Hong Kong becoming a blockbuster on the scale of a Grand Theft Auto, and without blockbuster potential, it didn't make sense to compete.[32]

Rights acquired by Square Enix[edit]

"Our team has worked very hard to find a solution where everybody wins. Square Enix gets the benefit of the tremendous investment we've made in the game thus far. UFG gets to stay together and complete their vision. And gamers get to play a great game. We couldn't be more thrilled."

 —Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg about the publishing rights[33]

On August 2, 2011, Square Enix picked up the publishing rights to the game. Square Enix will still be working with United Front Games on True Crime, but the game was renamed as Square Enix did not pick up the True Crime intellectual property.[34] "When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it", Square Enix London Studios general manager Lee Singleton told Gamasutra. "It's one of those games where you don't want to put the controller down; it's what we call 'sticky'", Singleton added. "When we met the team at United Front Games, it was a done deal in our eyes — we instantly recognised the huge potential in the game and the team".[33] United Front Games' President Stefan Wessels stated he was excited and "really pleased to be working with Square Enix London Studios and their excitement on the game means a great deal to us".[35]

Reports of the rename Sleeping Dogs surfaced following a Sony retailer event in February 2012. No information had been released publicly by Square Enix, but numerous reports from the Destination PlayStation event indicated that the game would be released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in August 2012.[6] Canadian retailer Future Shop published an image which had similarities to True Crime: Hong Kong, but with the Sleeping Dogs logo.[36] A Sleeping Dogs trademark by Square Enix was spotted January 2012, mistakenly associated with a new entry in the Kane & Lynch franchise.[6]

Following the reports, Square Enix revealed that True Crime: Hong Kong was renamed to Sleeping Dogs. The announcement was accompanied by a live action trailer and several in-game screenshots. Square Enix London Studios general manager Lee Singleton stated that Sleeping Dogs "has one of the best melee combat systems out there".[37] The developers stated that the game's fighting system was inspired by Tony Jaa's film Tom-Yum-Goong.[38] Design director Mike Scupa said that Sleeping Dogs is "not as large as previous True Crime games", and the team focused instead on "gameplay density" and an "environment that really catered to the strength of our gameplay".[39]

In May 2012, Mike Fischer, president and chief executive of Square Enix U.S, said Activision was "crazy" to abandon True Crime: Hong Kong, stating "The game was, in a sense, discovered. I'm making air quotes: 'discovered' by the folks in Wimbledon. The minute they showed it to us, we really felt like we had found a diamond in the rough. Obviously the game was originally True Crime: Hong Kong from Activision. I can't speak to why they let that go. I'm not going to speculate on their behalf. All I know is, they've gotta be crazy. Because this game is just fantastic".[40] Square Enix pushed for an optimized port for the PC version of the game.[41]


Sleeping Dogs features a soundtrack that can be heard through radio stations while the player is in a vehicle. Hong Kong is serviced by 10 radio stations. The stations feature music from a large range of genres:[42]

The song used in the announcement trailer of Sleeping Dogs is "Sleepwalking" composed by Photek featuring Linche.[42] Sleeping Dogs also features 8 classic songs for the karaoke minigame.[42]

The score for Sleeping Dogs was composed by Canadian composer Jeff Tymoschuk, the musician who also wrote and performed the score for two James Bond games published by Electronic Arts (James Bond 007: Nightfire, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing) as well as for The Simpsons: Hit & Run.[43]

Marketing and release[edit]

The game was released in North America on August 14, 2012,[3] followed on August 16 in Australia,[1] and August 17 in most of Europe.[4] A release in Japan was for September 27, 2012, where it was released under the title Sleeping Dogs: Hong Kong Secret Police (スリーピングドッグス 香港秘密警察?).[5][44] The Japanese version of the game was censored to pass the classification by the Japanese ratings board CERO. The most noticeable is a penalty for attacking civilians during certain missions. Other tweaks include the removal of a character that signals the start of a street race, and a less graphic sex scene.[45] The German version has also been censored to pass the classification by the USK. In addition the German release date has been delayed by several weeks.[46]

Prior to release, United Front Games relied heavily on viral marketing. Sleeping Dogs was promoted through the use of numerous Internet and TV trailers. Monthly videos were posted on the company's official website and on YouTube offering fans a preview of upcoming content.[47] To keep in touch with fans during development, social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter were utilized by members of the game's production team.[48][49] Sleeping Dogs appeared at game conventions with its own booth, including at Game Developers Conference '12,[50] PAX East,[51] MCM London Comic Con,[52] E3,[53] Comic Con[54] and Gamescom.[55]

On April 13, 2012, Square Enix revealed North American pre-order bonuses for Best Buy, GameStop, and Amazon shoppers. Each chain offered up its own exclusive in-game content for the retail versions of the game. Best Buy is offered the "Georges St. Pierre (GSP) Pack", GameStop offered the "Police Protection Pack", and Amazon offered the "Martial Arts Pack".[56] A Limited Edition of the game was available at all UK games retailers for consumers who pre-ordered, which includes the "George St. Pierre (GSP) Pack" and "Police Protection Pack".[4] A special edition for Australia was available at EB Games and JB Hi-Fi, and carry the same price tag as the standard edition, but will be limited stock only. The special edition includes the "George St. Pierre (GSP) Pack", the "Police Protection Pack" and the "Martial Arts Pack".[1]

On August 3, 2012, information on cross-promotional content for the PC version of Sleeping Dogs was posted on the game's official website. Players who purchase the game on Steam will obtain the "Triad Pack" for Team Fortress 2, consisting of eight battle-type items. Other players can also purchase the items in the in-game store, and a new Hong Kong-themed map, Kong King, will be available for all players.[57][58][59]

Anyone who has a save file for Just Cause 2 on their Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or PC hard drive will have automatic access to an outfit similar to that of protagonist Rico Rodriguez's; the clothes set will be available as soon as the player gets a chance to visit Wei Shen's safehouse closet. The Rodriquez-inspired ensemble will offer a bonus to players' action hijack ability, allowing them to perform "stunt-style takeovers" of enemy vehicles from farther away.[60]

A demo of the game was released on Steam, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live on August 22, 2012, one week after the game's launch.[61][62][63]

Downloadable content[edit]

"We want to create something to suit everyone's play style from cool cars and high-speed missions to outlandish outfits and game-extending mission packs. The game launch is just the beginning."

 —Square Enix London Studios general manager Lee Singleton[64]

On August 13, 2012, Square Enix announced an "extensive" six months of downloadable content are planned for the game.[65] The first two additional content was available in time for the game's release, including the 80s-inspired Retro Triad Pack, "a killer old school outfit with its own player buffs and funky kung-fu van". The Top Dog Silver Pack adds 3,000 Triad, 2,000 Cop and 2,000 Face experience points.[66]

On August 21, 2012, the Top Dog Gold Pack, Red Envelope Pack and High Roller Pack were released. The Top Dog Gold Pack adds 8,000 Triad, 4,500 Cop and 4,500 Face experience points. The Red Envelope Pack adds 20 envelopes each stuffed with HK$50,000 scattered throughout Hong Kong. The High Roller Pack gives early access to the Tuono vehicle and the High Roller outfit, as well as $200,000.[67]

On October 16, 2012, the Street Racer Pack, Tactical Soldier Pack and Community Gift Pack were released. The Street Racer Pack adds three new races, each for a boat, car and motorbike. Also included is a new Sting superbike, a Dragon Helmet and a Racing Jacket with extra protection against gunfire.[68] The Tactical Soldier Pack adds the game's "most powerful weapon and armour". The free Community Gift Pack adds an exclusive UFG tuned Bisai car, a UFG t-shirt, and a luchadore wrestler mask.[69]

On October 24, 2012, The SWAT Pack and Screen Legends Pack were released. The SWAT Pack adds 20 new cop missions, a SWAT outfit with extra damage resistance and an armoured SWAT van. Screen Legends Pack adds the Wing Chun Master outfit which improves the melee counter strikes, and the Lightning Warrior outfit with an everlasting sword.[70]

On October 30, 2012, the first story-driven game expansion titled Nightmare in North Point was released. Nightmare in North Point's theme is based upon Chinese horror and folklore along with featuring Chinese vampires, the jiangshi.[71] United Front stated at Comic-Con that "with the DLC, we feel that we can explore other aspects of Hong Kong cinema."[72]

On November 14, 2012, Square Enix released the five already-released Sleeping Dogs DLC add-ons and pre-order bonuses, in one bundle Dragon Master Pack. The Dragon Master Pack includes: Triad Enforcer Pack (two new missions, a new vehicle, outfit and a golden cleaver weapon), Police Protection Pack (a new police racing mission, police car and SWAT assault rifle), Martial Arts Pack (Shaolin Showdown mission, outfit and Wing Chun decoration for your safehouse), GSP Pack (GSP-branded outfit with stat and move bonuses) and Deep Undercover Pack (Plain clothes outfit, police car and CB Radio decoration).[73]

Square Enix released four DLC packs (Dragon Master Pack, Drunken Fist Pack, Square Enix Character Pack and Gangland Style Pack) over the holiday season,[74] The Drunken Fist Pack (boozey new fight moves) was available to download from November 20, 2012.[75] The Square Enix Character Pack (a Hitman, Deus Ex and Just Cause outfit and weapon) was also released the same day.[76] The Gangland Style Pack (stat-boosting tattoos) was released on November 27, 2012.[77]

The second story-driven expansion, Zodiac Tournament, was released on December 18, 2012.[78] The Zodiac Tournament added a new island to the game, as Wei Shen was invited to an exclusive fighting tournament held away from Hong Kong. New fight arenas, enemies, bosses, outfits and "story-extending cut-scenes" were included.[79]

In January 2013 two DLC packs were released, Movie Master Pack and Monkey King Pack. Movie Master Pack adds three costumes and Monkey King Pack adds the Monkey King costume which has its own weapon, buff and vehicle.[80][81] In February 2013 one DLC pack was released, Law Enforcer Pack. It adds two outfits, a weapon and five police vehicles.[82]

On February 26, 2013 Wheels of Fury expansion was released. It adds a prototype supercar which upgrades are unlocked through five missions.[83]

On March 12, 2013 Year of the Snake expansion was released. It adds six missions which are set after the story of the main game.[84]


Aggregate scores
GameRankings(PC) 84.07%[85]
(PS3) 83.66%[86]
(X360) 81.61%[87]
Metacritic(PS3) 83/100[88]
(PC) 81/100[89]
(X360) 80/100[90]
Review scores
Computer and Video Games8.4/10[91]
G44.5/5 stars[94]
Game Informer7.75/10[96]
GamesRadar4.5/5 stars[100]
GameSpy4/5 stars[99]
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK)9/10[103]
Official Xbox Magazine UK9/10[102]
Giant Bomb4/5 stars[105]


Previewers who had access to the game in February 2012 compared the game's elements to several other critically acclaimed games,[106] praising the parkour-style movement aspect of the game (similar to the Assassin's Creed series),[107] the melee combat system (similar to Batman: Arkham City),[107][108][109] the slow-motion while shooting (similar to the Max Payne series),[108] the vehicular combat (similar to Just Cause 2),[108] the mission structure (similar to the Grand Theft Auto series),[108][109] the atmosphere (similar to the Yakuza series),[110] and the depth of storyline.[18][108] The game is also seen as a homage to the crime films of Hong Kong action cinema, such as Infernal Affairs, Flash Point, SPL: Sha Po Lang, and Exiled.[111]


Sleeping Dogs received mostly positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PC version 84.07% and 81/100,[85][89] the PlayStation 3 version 83.83% and 83/100[86][88] and the Xbox 360 version 81.61% and 80/100.[87][90]

UK Official PlayStation Magazine awarded it 9 out of 10. Editor Ben Wilson describes the game as "the best bits of a load of games you love pooled together with intelligence and humour." Wilson concluded with "It's unquestionably 2012's most brilliantly brutal surprise, and you're duty-bound to check it out".[103]

The second review was published by UK Official Xbox Magazine, who also awarded it 9 out of 10, and stated "A gripping vision of Hong Kong which sports majestic driving, a sharp, well-acted storyline and varied missions," only reserving criticism for the length of the main story which he considered to be too short.[102]

In the September 2012 issue of Game Informer, Sleeping Dogs received a 7.75 out of 10 rating with magazine editor Dan Ryckert citing issues such as a lack of story mission creativity, "stiff facial animations" during cutscenes, "cookie-cutter" shooting mechanics, and developmental bugs that impede game progression. However, Ryckert did compliment the overall game graphics as well as the combat, leveling-up, and driving systems.[96] For the 2013 D.I.C.E. Interactive Achievement Awards, the game was nominated for: Action Game of the Year, and Outstanding Achievement in Story.[112]


Sleeping Dogs was the best selling game in the United Kingdom in the week of its release, becoming the fifth-best first week sales of 2012.[113] It retained the top spot during its second week, despite sales dropping by 15%.[114] It returned to the top spot after four weeks on sale.[115] Sleeping Dogs sales rose by 8%, despite five weeks on the chart, defeating new release Tekken Tag Tournament 2.[116] In the United Kingdom, Sleeping Dogs was the 20th best selling title of 2012,[117] and the best selling original game.[118]

According to NPD Group, Sleeping Dogs was the sixth-best selling game in the U.S. in August 2012,[119] at 172,000 copies.[120] PC sales for Sleeping Dogs were unable to be counted, as it is only available digitally in the U.S.[121]

According to Square Enix, Sleeping Dogs shipped 1.5 million copies through the end of September 2012.[122] Square Enix President Yoichi Wada defended the game's sales, stating Sleeping Dogs sales have not been poor, but that the firm may have had unreasonably high expectations for the game and he sees Sleeping Dogs as a strong new intellectual property. Wada also said that titles such as Sleeping Dogs tends to sell better over long periods of time in the West, unlike games in Japan, where lifetime sales are more or less achieved within the first one or two months on the market.[123]

On March 26, 2013 Square Enix announced that the game was expected to sell about 1.75 million copies at retail in 2013.[124] However on September 10, 2013, Square Enix announced that Sleeping Dogs, along with other of their major releases, did not commercially meet their expectations, but recognized that it was a success in terms of game development.[125]


In an interview with UK Official PlayStation Magazine in October 2012, producer Dan Sochan stated that Square "believed in this game as a potential franchise". When asked about a sequel, Sochan replied "I can't really comment on a sequel right now. Our main focus is on putting out quality DLC so people see value and continue to want to show interest in the franchise. Then we can evaluate and look at it at that point".[126]

In October 2013, United Front Games confirmed that a game, titled Triad Wars, set within Sleeping Dogs' universe was in production. They also confirmed that it would be published by Square Enix, and would be shown to the public in 2014.[9]


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External links[edit]