United Front Games' upcoming open world crime game has a few new tricks up its sleeve.
Open world crime games are nothing new - hell, GTA alone has been going for fourteen years now - so to stand out from the crowd you have to deliver something special. Developer United Front Games is pinning its hopes on Hong Kong action reminiscent of John Woo's gun fu, and the walkthrough trailer released today, Mrs Chu's Revenge, shows off its unique touches. If you've ever wanted to leap from car to car mid-chase, or slam your opponent's head in a car door for a bone-crunching hand to hand takedown, this could be the game you're looking for.
"Welcome to Hong Kong," the game's website proclaims, "a vibrant neon city teaming with life, whose exotic locations and busy streets hide one of the most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations in the world: the Triads." Your character is Wei Shen, an undercover cop trying to penetrate the organization - another heroic bloodshed trope beloved of Hong Kong cinema - and in the walkthrough mission, you're helping a poor old lady track down the goon who killed her beloved [mumble mumble]. Poor old lady? Yeeesh ...
The driving and goon-tracking work more or less the same way as in other action games, but the combat - particularly the hand-to-hand combat - is pretty fun to watch, and there are plenty of overblown action touches, as with the aforementioned mid-chase jump from motorcycle to car. It reminded me slightly more of Jonnie To than John Woo; the violence and action were all there, but - except for the car chase - it wasn't quite as outrageous as some of Woo's scenes can be.
Sleeping Dogs is the title Activision abandoned and Square Enix, not believing its luck, snapped up. It was originally part of the True Crime series, but Square Enix only had rights to the game, not the name. Sleeping Dogs is due out for Xbox, PS3 and PC in August 2012.