Sleeping Dogs developer United Front Games has announced a new three-on-three “competitive gang warfare game” called Smash and Grab. Set in a crumbling, crime-ridden near-future dystopia, it pits gangs of criminals against one another in fast, 15-minute matches to be the first to steal $50,000 worth of merchandise from high-end shopping districts—and each other.
Each gang is made up of five characters, a leader, a lieutenant, and three soldiers. Gang members can be selected from ranged and melee characters, and will have a variety of moddable weapons at their disposal—the “chainsaw shovel” sounds interesting—as well as unique combat moves, special abilities, perks, and customizable clothing.
“Smash + Grab combines our love of competitive online games with our expertise in action mechanics and hand-to-hand combat, sharpened during our development of Sleeping Dogs,” United Front games CEO Stephen Van Der Mescht said. “The playtesting rivalries got pretty intense in the studio during development, and we hope to see the same reaction on a bigger scale with Smash + Grab’s Early Access launch.”
In a very general sense, it sounds a little like Triad Wars, the free-to-play open-world action game announced in 2013 that failed to make it out of the beta stage. But Triad Wars was basically an online Sleeping Dogs—third-person shooter, each player controlling a single avatar—while Smash + Grab appears more akin to a MOBA, and lacks that glorious Hong Kong action film ambiance.
Smash + Grab is listed on Steam now and scheduled for an early access launch in September, with two multiplayer modes and maps, and an offline practice mode, although the studio said players “will have to play online for all game modes so that you can earn XP and item unlocks.” New maps, modes, leaders, weapons, and vanity items will be added over the course of the early access period. Until it begins, you can get a closer look at your upcoming life of crime at playsmashandgrab.com.