Average User Score: 5.4Nov 29, 2012I really wanted to enjoy this game - I thought that, since its' predecessor (and supposed inspiration) was so much fun, that this can in no way be a disappointment. Let me start off by saying that this is not NFS, this is not Most wWanted's sequel - this is just burnout with no story and licensed cars.
There is no semblance of a plot to be had here; the basis of the whole game is to find random cars scattered about the whole map, evade cops and compete in races - doing the latter two nets you points, which contribute to your most wanted score; once you get to a certain point, you race a most wanted car then, "shut it down", or in other words, crash it to obtain the car, after which, you just rinse and repeat until you're number 1. That's it. You do get an intro scene for each race (that you can skip), so that is kind of a plus - but I can't understand why criterion didn't add some type of plot - it doesn't need to be complicated, just something to add motivation to the game.
One thing that you can't skip however are the crash scenes. The horrible crash scenes. Every single time you crash your car, either from scraping a concrete fence or by going through a police blockade, you will be treated to a 5 second un-skippable replay of your crash. This is only compounded by the sluggish handling in the game - it takes around 3 seconds from the time you use your analog stick, to the time it actually takes for the car to turn! It feels like i'm driving a brick with melted butter for wheels.
The use of car modifications does make the handling more manageable and the crash scenes less frequent, but these design choices are still rather infuriating - and only furthering my frustration with the game is it's horrible "rubber-banding" Slender-man style AI; no matter how far you are ahead of your opponent, he will catch up and outrun you, and if you crash (especially in the beginning of the game), then you're almost guaranteed to lose. With that said, there are some good things about this game.
Namely the aforementioned car mods, and the graphics. The frame-rate is incredibly smooth, the lighting is great and there is absolutely no pop in. I think that's partly due to how empty Fair-haven feels: there are no pedestrians and barely any civilian cars - in fact, I would say that one out every 10 or so cars is highway patrol! There is also a greatly diminished sense of speed, you could be driving 120mph (193km) and feel like it's 40ish - some type of motion blur could help that, but really, that's only a minor gripe.
The soundtrack is pretty good; it has a good mix of rock, grunge, break-beat, dub-step and Drum and Bass. It is a little on the short side though, and it would be cooler if I could pick my own stations, a la GTA and Sleeping Dogs. I would link to a couple songs, but amazon doesn't allow it, so Google it...
I found this game rather disappointing, the handling, crash scenes, lack of story and empty environment are all serious issues (which can of course be solved with an inevitable sequel), but the graphics, car mods and police chases are all definite pluses.
Graphics: - 9.7 Other than a few less then stellar textures (stop the car and look at the canyons), the graphics are gorgeous.
Sound: 9 - Great soundtrack, but a little on the short side.
Presentation: - 5 No story whatsoever, but it does have a slick look.
Game-play: 5 - The car handling needs to be improved, and the crash scenes are inexcusable.
Replay Value: 6 - Multiplayer, and collectibles extend the game somewhat, but it's still on the short side.
Side note - I actually wrote a better and more cohesive review, but my computer crashed and I lost it! Then I proceeded to get writer's block, so ya; fun stuff...… Expand
Average User Score: 7.6Nov 27, 2012Let me preface by saying that my actual score is 9.5. For the people who don't like to read, I can summarize my review by saying that Sleeping Dogs is an incredibly fun game with a gripping story, arkham city style combat, nfs style driving and gta style open world-ness (but better) - if you haven't bought it yet, then you should go do so NOW! Sleeping Dog's story revolves around Wei Shen, who is an undercover Hong Kong cop trying to infiltrate the fictional Sun-on-Yee - I'm not going to go further into detail, but suffice to say that it's a story that pays tribute to the classic Hong Kong flicks of yore, and has plenty of, "what a twist!", moments... The recreated Hong Kong feels bustling and alive - there's street vendors and whole bazaars, all of which you can interact with. I feel as though I should mention that as I looked at some of the stores near one of my apartments, they were literally cardboard cutouts, so while this is still one of the most interactive sandboxes out there, if United Front was given more time, they could have made the city even more alive. Even the side missions are, for the most part, awesome - the racing is expectedly great given that a lot of these guys used to work for Black box - you can bet on **** (get your mind out of the gutter), be IN fights, and clear out gangs (thought that does get repetitive). All of which fuels an upgrade system that has three branches; triad, cop and super awesome ninja stuff. That's not even mentioning the glorious amount of costumes! I also love the fact that they actually speak Chinese half the time (there's subtitles), and it further lends to the game's authenticity. The actors do an amazing job at portraying the characters as well. I have seen other reviews complaining about the graphics - I really don't understand that - to me, the graphics looked great, the animations where smooth as butter, the draw distance was good (little to no pop in), and the frame-rate was consistent. To me, this game is on par, graphically to red dead redemption, and certainly looks better than games like grand theft auto 4 and saints row 3. Maybe reviewers only care about particle effects and lighting... Also, I have to mention that the soundtrack is sublime; ninja tune and warp radio actually features some real dub-step and break-beat (not the skrillex style stuff) - here's a link to one of the songs - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpgHyCNCDO4&feature=BFa&list=FLNJ6aRWikauOTEZlQZLNKUw Overall, this game is a true underrated gem, it should be experienced by anyone who owns a gaming system or PC - I have not had this much fun with a game in a long time! Stop reading stuff on meta-critic and go buy this game now, you won't regret it!… Expand