Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 47
  2. Negative: 1 out of 47
Buy On
  1. Aug 14, 2012
    Sleeping Dogs does some things better than even the cream of the crop, and its story will be what keeps you focused on playing. The fact that the game happens to play well is simply icing on the cake.
  2. Aug 14, 2012
    Varied missions, hard-hitting melee combat, and a captivating setting make Sleeping Dogs an enjoyable escapade.
  3. Aug 12, 2012
    Sleeping Dogs has enough entertainment value to justify Square Enix's decision to save it from cancellation, but it also displays a lack of polish that makes its troubled development evident. [Sept 2012, p.90]
  4. Aug 14, 2012
    This is a fantastic game. Where some strive for realism while sacrificing fun, or focus on fun to the detriment of realism, Sleeping Dogs manages the impressive feat of finding a between the two. The characters are universally interesting, the story is engaging, there is never a shortage of things to keep you busy, and it all comes packaged in a gritty and visceral virtual version of Hong Kong. What more could you want?
  5. Aug 14, 2012
    Overall, I feel like Sleeping Dogs is the start to something that has the potential to get even better down the road. I really love the setting, characters, and hand to hand combat of the game, but the remainder feels a little recycled in comparison to other open-world games we've played so far this generation.
  6. Aug 27, 2012
    From an artistic and technical standpoint, Sleeping Dogs is not a marvel, but it is perhaps my favorite summertime game. It's a game that fuses some of the best parts of other open-world titles and fuses them with Hong Kong Triads. In many ways, that's all I wanted.
  7. Aug 14, 2012
    Despite several setbacks with authenticity and character depth, Sleeping Dogs delivers an entertaining and realistic enough interpretation of Hong Kong to warrant a sequel.
  8. Games Master UK
    Aug 13, 2012
    Imagine if Martin Scorsese and John Woo teamed up to make a GTA game...It's that good. [Oct 2012, p.80]
  9. Aug 17, 2012
    If you enjoy the genre and, like me, love a good Hong Kong action flick, this game is a must own. It does so many things better than most open world games; things we definitely take for granted. Sure it has some rough edges, but the overall experience is more than worth taking.
  10. Aug 14, 2012
    Successful because it dares to be different, and actually thinks about how to make narrative, gameplay and setting play off each other. Which, for a game that no one expected much from when it was taken out back and shot, is quite something.
  11. Aug 14, 2012
    Overall, Sleeping Dogs is a remarkable game. The storyline is my favorite one yet for a sandbox game and is wonderfully-acted. It's hurt slightly by being a bit rough around the edges in places and not really doing much new, but what's done is mostly done very well and there's a lot of variety in both missions and extracurricular activities.
  12. Aug 14, 2012
    The four pillars of the game that I mentioned earlier represent a fantastic amalgamation of some of the best games we've played, giving us a serviceable shooting and driving game, a great free-running game, and a fantastic combat engine all in one package. Anywhere Sleeping Dogs might have lost points for originality, it makes up for in managing to combine all of these elements into one coherent game.
  13. Aug 14, 2012
    Sleeping Dogs may not offer anything particularly new and certainly nothing groundbreaking, but what it does do is deliver sharp, thrilling and just downright enjoyable action to savour. Other open-worlders have tried to veer from Rockstar's path, some have even tried to lampoon it, but Sleeping Dogs has shown, confidently and emphatically, that you don't always need to change the rules. You just have to know how to play.
  14. Aug 26, 2012
    Sleeping Dogs is a beautifully story-driven game that had some brutal action woven in between. It's just a shame that there is still a fair amount of glitches and that the car chases could have been more intense.
  15. 75
    Even with some less-than-thrilling scenarios and its failure to reward player choice, Sleeping Dogs ultimately delivers a very good open-world action experience. It hits enough high notes to warrant the trip to Hong Kong, even if the route there feels a little too familiar. [Oct 2012, p.64]
  16. Aug 14, 2012
    Sleeping Dogs punches you in the stomach, throws you over the railing to end it by jumping feet first on your face. Painful, intense and exaggerated? Yes, but at the same time a furious and insane rollercoaster ride that you won't soon forget. Look closely though, and you'll notice that it doesn't deliver a completely perfect experience.
  17. Sep 10, 2012
    Rising from the ashes, Sleeping Dogs has proven just how wrong Activision was to cancel it 18 months ago. It takes several gameplay styles from many of the best open world games of this generation and gives them a distinct Hong Kong cinema feel.
  18. Jan 14, 2013
    Sleeping Dogs had been in development as the next installment of Activision's "True Crime" franchise but the publisher ceased funding and cancelled it. Square Enix turned up to salvage the project and Sleeping Dogs was the result. The fact it turned out as good as it did -- that it's executed so well, performs as well as it does, sets the bar for open world combat and driving -- made Sleeping Dogs, story stumbles aside, the most surprising game of 2012.
  19. Aug 27, 2012
    While it's definitely not going to win any awards in the gameplay department, it does dial up the level of detail that we can expect visually from an open-world game. It also delivers enjoyable, intensely violent action for anyone who wishes they could fill the boots of Chow Yun Fat or Jet Li.
  20. Aug 14, 2012
    The main story can be completed in a fraction of the time you'll actually end up devoting to the world, and ironically, it's one of the few sandbox games whose sidequests offer substantial rewards. Thus, don't be put off by Sleeping Dogs' troubled development for it's a meaty package you'll struggle to put down. And best of all, it's darn good fun.
  21. 90
    A game of rich variety and strong personality that never gets boring over its ten essential hours - many more if you stop to check out the full and entertaining world... It's shorter than GTA IV, for sure, but it's also much sweeter. [Sept 2012, p.82]
  22. Aug 16, 2012
    Sleeping Dogs is a great game with an interesting and thrilling story, with an action-packed Martial Arts gameplay and an atmospheric Hong Kong. The dialogue is well spoken and include nicely made story twists. The only thing is that the open world of Sleeping Dogs is not as perfect as in GTA IV. However, if you like action, well-narrated stories with an atmospheric city, then play Sleeping Dogs.
  23. Aug 14, 2012
    Fantastic visuals, top-notch sound and varied gameplay makes Sleeping Dogs a must own for gamers who enjoy such titles as Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row and Crackdown. The compelling story manages to suck you right in and the level of depth offered up in the game is impressive.
  24. Aug 27, 2012
    Sleeping Dogs is a tough adventure into the dark side of life.
  25. Aug 27, 2012
    If Sleeping Dogs started life as an unloved orphan, it's now an adult that can hold its head high.
  26. Sep 12, 2012
    With a stunning city to be let loose in, an excellent radio soundtrack, and a cast that Hollywood would be jealous of, Sleeping Dogs has been worth the wait
  27. Aug 14, 2012
    Sleeping dogs is a fantastic game that you need to play.
  28. Sep 23, 2012
    As much as it may lack polish and finesse, Sleeping Dogs makes up for its minor shortcomings with pure entertainment. [Issue#89,p.78]
  29. Sep 18, 2012
    After the two mediocre True Crime games, we had abandoned all hope for a good project by United Front Games. Sleeping Dogs proved us wrong. It's a great, open world game, with beautiful graphics, engaging gameplay and one of the most interesting stories this genre has to offer.
  30. Aug 28, 2012
    While it may not have the epic sweep and polish of a Rockstar title, Sleeping Dogs is refreshingly streamlined, serious, and contained, even as it pays homage to its sometimes less-than-grounded source material.
  31. Sep 2, 2012
    Sleeping Dogs combines successful gameplay mechanics and a great story creating a well balanced – even if not innovative – and entertaining mix. A very good game, dragged down only by a somewhat short story and little lack of polish. And a good starting point for a successful series for Square Enix.
  32. Aug 14, 2012
    But Sleeping Dogs has to rank as one the pleasant surprises of this year. While the campaign is relatively short, there is loads to do and the missions, story and presentation come together to make a pretty solid package. And you always have the option to jump in a car, flick on the radio and cruise around Hong Kong looking for trouble, before it finds you.
  33. Aug 14, 2012
    So perhaps Sleeping Dogs isn't one of those games you'll want to keep on playing long after you've seen its story's conclusion. But while you're engaged with that story, this is an effective open-world experience, filled with interesting characters, some exciting action, and enough unpredictability to keep you hooked. It might feel familiar, but that doesn't make it any less fun.
  34. Aug 25, 2012
    Going back to the opening question and whether there is anything bad about Sleeping Dogs, there are a few rough edges here and there but absolutely nothing to write home about. The overall experience from start to finish is brilliant and the only disappointment is the wait you'll have until some DLC hopefully comes out. Even if you're currently playing something right now I urge you to stop and go buy this right now!
  35. Aug 14, 2012
    United Front Games has crafted a stunning open-world action romp that draws on a variety of cinematic influences to startling effect. Sleeping Dogs is by no means perfect, but at times, it comes painfully close.
  36. Aug 14, 2012
    It's a better experience than any of the Saints Rows and fantastic filler as we wait for the next Grand Theft Auto. Anyone that is a fan of either sandbox or action titles should give this one a shot and not miss out on what is sure to be a serious 2012 sleeper hit.
  37. Aug 14, 2012
    I can't say playing through Wei Shin's story in Sleeping Dogs is a pleasant experience. It's gritty, dirty, filled with curse words and exquisite torture, but also utterly enjoyable if you're a fan of those kinds of stories and don't mind a romantic interlude or two.
  38. Aug 20, 2012
    With a suitably complex and violent story, Sleeping Dogs is a competently told tale of revenge in a sandboxed approximation of Hong Kong. With gameplay mechanics more coherent and well-implemented than most other games in the sandbox crime-simulator genre, it delivers a solid experience. The story, acting and atmosphere really shine through, but even on purely technical terms the game manages to stand out.
  39. GamesBeat
    Aug 14, 2012
    Like the celluloid explosion-and-exploitation fests that inspired it, Sleeping Dogs isn't about defying convention. It's about silly, stupendous entertainment.
  40. 85
    Sleeping Dogs is a very well put together action game that manages to keep your interested throughout the whole story (as well as through most of the non-essential content). It manages to pick and choose components from other games that really work well, tweak them to give them their own unique touch, and provide an experience that manages to cover all bases and do a generally better job at them than other heavyweights in the open world genre.
  41. Hyper Magazine
    Sep 18, 2012
    Sleeping Dogs is an addictive diamond in the rough with a compelling story and insane combat only slightly let down by poor driving and racing mechanics. [Oct 2012, p.54]
  42. Aug 14, 2012
    While Sleeping Dogs works from an established palette, it's an absolute blast to play. Like the Uncharted series, the focus here isn't to break new ground for the medium through innovation. Instead, the aim here is to make the player feel like an action hero in a piece of blockbuster entertainment, while remaining fun to play throughout. Sleeping Dogs is not the most original game you'll play all year, but it's easily one of the most enjoyable and it's arguably one of the best.
  43. Aug 15, 2012
    This well rounded open-world-experience lacks true innovation but offers a great balance of different gameplay, a superbly told story and a game world both exotic and immersive. It is held back by its performance though.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 476 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 476
  1. Aug 14, 2012
    I was really looking forward to this game, and I am not disappointed. The story (so far) is believable and well written. The city is livingI was really looking forward to this game, and I am not disappointed. The story (so far) is believable and well written. The city is living and breathing and very enjoyable to inhabit. The attention to detail is remarkable: you can see bugs crawling on the ground! The voice acting is superb. As for the gameplay, the driving is great, a great mix between realistic and arcadish. The free running sections are very fun, it's great to run around jumping and sliding to evade the cops. The combat is perfect and challenging. Some may find it a little too challenging... it takes some time getting used to, but free flow with counters and environmental takedowns is just awesome (it's like Batman meets the Bourne Conspiracy). Gunplay is satisfying and focused on moving forward, since you can combine some free running and melee with it, giving a good pace to it. You can stay in cover if you want to, but it's a lot more enjoyable not to. Had this game been published by Rockstar, the reviews probably would have been better. I mean, GTA4 was good, but not as enjoyable as this game was for me... and the reviews were so biased it's not even funny. If you're looking for a solid open-world game with great gameplay and a compelling storyline, I recommend this game hands down. Full Review »
  2. Aug 15, 2012
    Definitely worth a buy, but I'd wait for the first price cut if you are the type of gamer that doesn't explore open world games ad nauseam.Definitely worth a buy, but I'd wait for the first price cut if you are the type of gamer that doesn't explore open world games ad nauseam. The story is done very well, with some awesome voice acting. The only bad voice acting is street vendors screaming at you, often in tandem with the same voice and same line. It was funny the first time, the next few times not so much. There are some expected glitches since the game is brand new, but nothing game breaking that I've run into.

    The only true problem with this game is a $60 price point with the ONLY multiplayer experience being comparing scores of random "achievements" with those on your friends list. Since I am the only person on my friends list with this game, I compete with myself. A bit lame honestly.

    It's GTA with a proper story and combat. Well, for an oversimplification that is how I would describe it. I personally cannot stand Rockstar games, but I very much like Sleeping Dogs. It's a solid buy for anyone that will play open world games for more than their story. If you are looking at this for the campaign only, then I'd wait for the first price cut.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 15, 2012
    Fantastic game. Superb city that is huge and has a lot to offer. The graphics are outstanding and all of the gameplay elements work reallyFantastic game. Superb city that is huge and has a lot to offer. The graphics are outstanding and all of the gameplay elements work really well. Sleeper hit of 2012, no doubt in my mind. Full Review »