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Square Enix's next game, Sleeping Dogs, is a bit of a hypocrite. Its name is derived from that old proverb about "letting sleeping dogs lie," but the Square completely ignored that advice when it resurrected the dozing open-world adventure game after it had been deemed too troublesome by Activision and left for dead. But that may turn out to be a very good thing. The new publisher must've seen something in the former True Crime: Hong Kong that Activision didn't, and it's not content to let Sleeping Dogs lie for long.
Open-world action game protagonists tend to be of a schizophrenic bent. Nico Bellic’s world-weary distaste for conflict does daily battle with his love for driving down the wrong side of the road hitting every lamppost on the way. Just Cause’s Rico Rodriguez is a government agent who ‘destabilises’ rogue states by reducing their infrastructure to rubble.
Winston Chu has a bulging, tattooed body, a gold-plated gun and a massive square head. He’s a gangster, so that face is locked into a permanent scowl, a symptom of years of steroid abuse and a childhood under the fist of a psychotic mother with an unhealthy love of cleavers. Welcome to life in the triads. Mrs Chu is your mother, too, in a sense. You’re Wei Shen, undercover cop, on a mission to bring down the triads from the inside. The trouble is, once you’re initiated, you’re family. Another brother in a grotesque gang of crooks and killers. You’ll spend most of your time in this richly realised, open-world Hong Kong performing missions for thugs, the better to get close to the sharp suits who run the show.
Square Enix has announced that its upcoming open world cop drama, Sleeping Dogs, will be released August 17, 2012 in the UK and August 14, 2012 in North America. Pre-ordered special edition retail versions will include extra content, and exclusive content for the downloadable PC version will be announced at a later date.
If Sleeping Dogs has you unsure of whether it's worth your hard-earned cash, now's your chance to give it a try as Square Enix have released the Sleeping Dogs demo on Steam. It features an on foot pursuit through a crowded market, chasing down a rival gang member before beating him to a bloody pulp. This is followed by a warehouse section that shows off Sleeping Dog's slow motion shooting. If you like what you see, rest assured there's plenty of content on its way as Square Enix have announced that they have six months of Sleeping Dogs DLC planned. Also, be sure to check out Sleeping Dogs' PC-specific features.
Sleeping Dogs took a strange trip before it hit retail shelves and digital download services. It started out as another entry in the True Crime series before Activision cancelled it in 2011. Then, Square Enix picked it up and re-branded it as a new game with developer United Front Games. Sleeping Dogs released in August 2012 with overall positive reviews, and now United Front Games is teasing a successor.
Just to be clear, this is Squeenix's Sleeping Dogs, the game that used to be True Crime: Hong Kong, not Watch Dogs, the magic cellphone game. One is out later this month, the other not until next year. This is the first; the open world crime drama that started out as True Crime: Hong Kong, before being cancelled, picked up again and renamed. In it, you're a cop called Wei Shen on a mission to infiltrate one of the Triads - not this one - and do your best to clean up the streets while you're at it. Here's a video of the producer playing through one of its missions, with Shen using his contacts, policework skills, and ability to pull off crazy stunts like hijacking cars at 60mph to track down and capture a serial killer with a suicidal penchant for taking out other criminals.
Square Enix have revealed there is an "extensive" Sleeping Dogs DLC plan for at least the next six months. Content will start appearing on Steam when the game is released later this week and will include "the 80's-inspired Retro Triad Pack, a killer old school outfit with its own player buffs and funky kung-fu van," according to the publisher. Details are scarce but there's more planned for September in the form of a "high-speed Racing Pack" and an "explosive SWAT Pack". It's not hard to imagine what they might consist of.
Last week Square Enix announced that they're bringing back True Crime under new name, Sleeping Dogs, not to be confused with the film in which Sam Neil tries to make peace between right wing factions in New Zealand. This'll be set in Hong Kong instead, and instead of peace, there are meat cleavers. You'll be able to use these, along with a selection of guns and martial arts skills, to defend yourself against the criminal factions who want you dead. Failing that, fast cars and speedboats will be on hand to help you escape in the most dramatic possible manner. It's due out later this year, and will look a little bit like this.
Square have announced John Woo film: The Game, officially titled "Sleeping Dogs." It's a reboot of the True Crime series, which Square Enix picked up from Activision back in 2010. It'll be "a gritty and visceral openworld cop drama set in the vibrant city of Hong Kong." It looks a bit like GTA, except with more meat cleavers. It's out "in the second half" of this year. The debut trailer above features a tattooed chap doing terrible things to a small army of attacking goons. Really, REALLY terrible things, with meat hooks and cleavers and bullets. We hope he sees the full might of the criminal justice system. Judging from the new screenshots below, we'll be playing as him. If Sleeping Dogs stays true to classic Hong Kong cop dramas, he's probably an undercover cop, and one of his best cop friends is probably a criminal mole, a disparity that can only be resolved by killing everyone on both sides and then having a car chase. See one of those car chases and a good deal of shooting in these first screenshots.
The PC port of open-world crime-a-rama Sleeping Dogs packs some neat toys such as high-res textures and DX11 support, but that extra effort may not have happened before publisher Square Enix took control. A PA Report interview reveals Square Enix actually pushed for the inclusion of those features as well as the retention of in-house development for the port.
A memory edit for open world swordfish-'em-up Sleeping Dogs has freed up camera control, allowing you to roam the streets of Hong Kong in first person. Or second person, if you fancy shifting the camera over into the passenger seat. It also adds support for head tracking, something modder Racer_S has previously worked into Need For Speed: The Run.
It's almost time to wake up some Sleeping Dogs, but first, we PC folks are being thrown a bone (ha ha, dog jokes). A trailer for the soon-to-be-released open world crime drama (preview here) runs down the PC-specific features we can expect, including DX11 support, multi-GPU support, a day-one high-res texture pack, and "increased world density," which isn't fully clarified.
Sleeping Dogs is the martial-arts-and-gunplay open-world action game that previously went by the name True Crime: Hong Kong. I went to see it recently: it's shaping up quite nicely. The melee combat takes after the Arkham Asylum games, albeit with far more enthusiasm for jamming people's faces into pointy things (and vice versa.) The driving also benefits from the devs' past experience on the Need for Speed series. Check out our most recent preview for more information. The new screenshots cast some light on the range of activities that undercover cop Wei Shen will be engaging in while taking down the Hong Kong Triad. As any undercover police officer knows, crimes get solved faster the more cars you set on fire from the back of your awesome motorbike.
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“Well, there’s piss and milk.” “And the water. Water makes you wet too.” That’s the kind of office discussion Team Fortress 2′s Triad Pack encourages. It’s all thanks to the Pyro’s new melee weapon, The Neon Annihilator, which gives 100% crits towards wet players. In theory, this means Pyros can set people alight, then whack them for a crit as they douse themselves to survive the burning. Or you could keep an eye out for players covered in piss and/or milk and target them.
Undercover Detective Wei Shen's Triad shenanigans in Sleeping Dogs involve plenty of activities beyond strong-arming street vendors and butterfly-kicking random civilians, and he'll soon have more diversions at his disposal. Developer United Front Games and publisher Square Enix plan a bevy of DLC content in October to furnish the open-world action-adventure with additional racing activities, cop missions, and weapons across five content packs releasing throughout the month.