One of the many games that got binned when the Activision/vivendi merger took place was True Crime: Hong Kong. Previous games in that particular franchise were mostly received with middling acclaim – so it’s easy to see why Activision got rid of it – although it’s entirely possible nobody there took the time to actually look at it – because in it’s now nearly finished state as “Sleeping Dogs,” the game seems pretty incredible.
In my own hands-on time with the title, I found myself particularly impressed with the virtual, intricately detailed realisation of Hong Kong – and the game’s raced its way right to the top of my most anticipated games – and frankly, Activision must have been crazy to let it go. Seems the folks at Square-Enix share that sentiment.
“The game was, in a sense, discovered. I’m making air quotes: ‘discovered’ by the folks in Wimbledon,” said Mike Fischer, president and chief executive of the US arm of Square Enix to Venturebeat. “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.
“The scale and scope of the game really encompasses all of everything you’d want to do in Hong Kong. The acting, the story, the characters are very deep.
“There’s clearly a lot of inspiration from [the movies] The Departed and Infernal Affairs. You play an undercover cop who starts to feel mixed loyalties. But the open world feels like Arkham City, the combat feels as good as a fighting game, the driving is as good as a Need for Speed, and the story is every bit as rich as compelling as a Mass Effect. All in one game.
“In a sense it reminds me a little bit of Dead Island, which Square Enix America did the sales and distribution for. Nobody had heard of that game coming into E3, and in the U.S. alone it sold over 2 million units. It’s great to have a sleeper.’
Let’s hope it’s a better game than Dead Island; I’m convinced it will be. Sleeping Dogs will be available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in August. Here’s the game’s latest trailer.