Sleeping Dogs




  • Evocative Hong Kong setting
  • Excellent hand-to-hand combat
  • Strong plot and varied gameplay


  • Visuals suffer from some pop-in and muddy textures
  • Missions stick close to the GTA formula

Key Features

  • Review Price: £33.99

Available on Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, PC
We can’t help wondering whether the Activision execs who cancelled Sleeping Dogs when it was called True Crime: Hong Kong will be having any sleepless nights. Having showcased the game in 2009 and 2010, Activision dropped it in February 2011, with CEO Eric Hirschberg later stating that “even our most optimistic internal projections show that continued investment was not going to lead to a title at, or near, the top of the competitive open world genre.”

Sleeping Dogs

We’ll never know what state True Crime: Hong Kong was in when Activision dumped it, or what magic dust Square-Enix has been able to sprinkle over United Front Studios and the project, but Sleeping Dogs is far from being the second-rate, open world crime drama that it might have been. If it’s not quite of the calibre of GTA4, then it’s a huge step above Saints Row, The Godfather Part II, Scarface: The World if Yours or any other GTA clone that we could mention.

Rise of the Triads
The secret of the game’s success is in the way it’s taken inspiration from the Hong Kong thriller and translated it into some thoroughly effective gameplay. The central plot – undercover cop joins Triad gang, but who can he trust and how does he avoid crossing the line? – was old even before Infernal Affairs gave it a twist, but it helps deliver a protagonist you can root for, situations ripe for action and a tale that keeps your interest throughout.

Sleeping Dogs

Strong cinematics also work in the game’s favour, along with voice work from actors of the calibre of Tom Wilkinson, Emma Stone, Lucy Liu and Infernal Affairs’ own Edison Chen. Even if the animation leaves the beautifully modelled characters on the wrong side of the uncanny valley, Sleeping Dogs still works surprisingly well as a drama.

Gameplay-wise, it doesn’t deviate too far from the GTA template. There’s a large city to traverse, a range of shops to buy from and characters to talk to, and new missions pop up as you make progress, making up the meat of the game. Nor are the missions themselves all that fresh or innovative. You’ll find some where you’re expected to take snaps with a smartphone camera, bug a gang hideout or  get caught up in – of all things – a minibus chase, but most of the time you’re running errands, beating-up rival gangsters on demand or stealing item(s) X and delivering them to point Y.

Sleeping Dogs

The difference lies in the way the missions are carried out. Driving isn’t actually Sleeping Dogs’ strongest suit. The handling isn’t all that convincing, and it hasn’t got the variety of a Saints Row or GTA. Fighting, however, is a different story. As the game is set in Hong Kong, it’s all about kung-fu, and while the game starts off simple with a clever attack and counter-attack system reminiscent of Batman: Arkham Asylum, it steadily grows more complex with a range of more aggressive special moves.

What’s more, Sleeping Dogs goes big on environmental moves, with every dumpster, every speaker, every shutter and every extractor fan a potential source of brutal takedowns. Even if we’re slightly ashamed to admit it, part of the fun of playing the game is in taking on a big gang of goons, and trying to spot which bits of scenery will make for the most spectacular hospitalisations.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’


Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors


Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer


These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3


Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones


It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites


New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money