The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogsconsists of giving the player an open worldenvironment 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 YeeTriad organization (a reference to real-life Triad gang Sun Yee On). On foot, 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 are also capable of driving a variety of vehicles, including automobiles, boats and motorcycles.
The combat system heavily revolves around hand-to-hand fighting, similar to Batman: Arkham Asylum/City's "Freeflow" combat system. 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. While driving, Wei can get out and jump onto other moving vehicles.
Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game and unlock certain content and parts of the city, they are not required, as players can complete them at their own leisure. When not attempting a storyline mission, players can free-roam, giving them the ability to participate in activities such as carjacking, joining a fight club, doing karaoke, visiting gambling dens betting on cockfights and participating in street races. There are also several potential girlfriends for Wei Shen to date. Successful completion of side missions offers the player rewards.
Sleeping Dogs features role-playing elements with three different experience pointvalues: 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.
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, similar to that found in the Grand Theft Auto series. 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 is the game's equivalent of an experience (XP) bar. When Wei is armed, an icon of his weapon and ammo count (if any) are represented on the top-right corner of the screen.
Sleeping Dogs features a large cast. The player character is Wei Shen (Will Yun Lee), an officer sent deep undercover in a feared Triad gang. Other important characters are Police Inspector Pendrew (Tom Wilkinson), Wei's police handler Raymond Mak (Byron Mann), Wei's childhood friend and low-level Triad member Jackie Mah (Edison Chen), and Triad boss "Red Pole" Winston Chu (Parry Shen).
Further characters include Uncle Po (James Hong), Amanda Cartwright (Emma Stone), Conroy Wu (Robin Shou), Vivienne Lu (Lucy Liu), Harry "Big Smile" Lee (Tzi Ma), Inspector Jane Teng (Kelly Hu), Peggy Li (Lindsay Price), Sonny (Chin Han), and Sandra (Steph Song). Yunjin Kim, and Terence Yin provide voices for undisclosed roles.
The game takes place in a fictional Hong Kong with players assuming control of Detective 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 called Sun On Yee and take them down. There are two subplots 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 subplot consists of completing the 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.
The game starts in a Shipping Harbor in Hong Kong as undercover cop Wei Shen, along with Naz, meet with a drug buyer. However, a security guard sees this illicit exchange and attempts to intervene. The buyer kills the security guard and the police, who have been keeping close surveillance on them, come after all three involved in the deal. Naz and Wei both end up being arrested. While in prison, Wei meets his old friend, Jackie Mah, who has become a member of a powerful Triad called the "Sun On Yee" and offers Wei to hook up with the gang after he leaves prison. Wei meets with Police Inspector Pendrew in the interrogation room and he is assigned a handler called Raymond Mak. Wei asserts that he now has links with the Sun On Yee.
After meeting with Jackie, Wei is introduced to Winston Chu, a Sun on Yee red pole, and his henchman, Conroy Wu, who has a particular dislike for new blood. To prove his loyalty, Winston sends Wei to the Night Market to deal with one of Winston's men, Ming, who has sided with Red pole and archenemy and ex-friend of Winston, Dogeyes. After reaffirming Ming's allegiances to Winston, Wei is arrested by the police, and bailed out after Superintendent Pendrew affirms his superiority over Police Inspector Jane Teng.
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.No mention of another True Crime game was made for several years. Work on an open worldaction-adventure video game began in 2008 by United Front Games, almost immediately after United Front Games was formed. 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. Then, on December 12, 2009, Activision debuted the announcement trailer for the series third game, simply titled True Crime, at theSpike 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 traditionalTrue Crime developer Luxoflux, largely due to the studio being closed in February 2010.
On August 6, 2010, it was announced that the game would be delayed until 2011 to give more development time. According to Activision CEO, Eric Hirshberg, who’s 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 mechanic's 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.
On February 9, 2011, Activision decided to cancel the game, in order to focus on online games that have a higher margin. 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. Activision didn't expect True Crimeto generate enough profit and stopped development. 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." The game's executive producer Stephen Van Der Mescht told Computer and Video Gamesthat True Crime: Hong Kong was playable from start to finish and "virtually complete" in terms of content before Activision canned it.Despite Activision's low expectations, Van Der Mescht said the game "stood apart" from the competition.
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. "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.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.
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