Square Enix Couldn’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

By Craig Pearson on February 8th, 2012 at 2:36 pm.

I can do that, but I don't want to.
For every amazing game in the pile just to the left of your monitor (I have TWO copies of Tresspasser, there), think about how many didn’t get made. That didn’t make it past the development scribbles, or the publisher pulled out somewhere long the line. Are you thinking of a number? Now subtract one, because Square Enix have just announced Sleeping Dogs, by United Front Games. In a previous life it was known as True Crime: Hong Kong before Activision canned development. We have tiny wee details.

It’s an open-world game set in Hong Kong, where you’re undercover cop Wei Shen infiltrating the Triads. It’s being jointly worked on by United Front Games, who made the PS3 Trackmania style racer Modnation Racers, and Square Enix London, who had a pinkie of a fist in Akham Asylum. So something with good driving and good, martial arts focussed melee while wandering all around the towering metropolis of Hong Kong? That’s what they’re saying. I’m already looking forward to the Splinter Cell: Conviction style environmental takedowns. Circular saw? Yes!

But wait, there’s a hilariously OTT live-action trailer that has nothing to do with the game but definitely has some nicely choreographed manhits and at least one cleavered off hand.

It’ll be out in the second half of this year.

Via VG247 .

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37 Comments »

  1. HermitUK says:

    Is that man in the screenshot beating up a hobbit?

  2. Sarlix says:

    Title rename:

    Man Wot Biffs Stuff

  3. Echo Black says:

    I watched nearly three minutes before I finally figured it’s just a bullshit live action trailer and that I wouldn’t be seeing any gameplay. Is this the 90s or something? Honestly, I doubt this kind of trailer succeeds at hyping anyone up. I speak only for myself, but I’d say it has precisely the opposite effect. I’m now less likely to give this game a chance. Yes, solely over this trailer.

    • Grinnbarr says:

      As a piece of entertainment in its own right it was pretty good though

    • Orija says:

      At least it had a cute, aflame, chubby asian in it.

    • magnus says:

      Chubby? I’ll save her!

    • Tams80 says:

      I’m hyped by it. Of course the news of which developers, martial arts, guns (sorry, weapons), driving, the setting and the story all intrigue me.

      The trailer was good on its own anyway.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      You know, in much less than 3 minutes you could have read the sentence above the video that tells you clearly it’s just a LA trailer, rather than suffering the whole thing and getting all self righteous.

      Besides, they’ve only just revived the title, and are probably looking to make some changes before they’re ready to show in game footage, so it’s CG/LA cinematics or nothing. And PR wise they had to do something to make sure everyone understands “sleeping dogs” is the new name for “true crime: hong kong” and making sure it doesn’t drop off the radar with people who were excited about it before it got canned.

  4. DevilSShadoW says:

    if this has combat even remotely similar to batman then I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl

  5. diamondmx says:

    I’d probably watch the fist-meets-face film these guys would make.
    The game, well, let’s say I’m not holding my breath.

  6. Surlywombat says:

    Played True Crime:LA on the gamecube of all things. It was a lesson in how not to do an open world police game.

    There are so many police tropes I’m sure a game which melds them all would be interesting and varied. I’m still waiting for the mix of C.H.I.P.S., Columbo, and SWAT that would make an interesting game. Noire was too narrow for my liking.

  7. squirrel says:

    What’s the fun of a undercover police in Triad?

    Undercover triad member in the police force, now that’s what we call a cool man.

    Inferno Affairs.

    • The Magic says:

      Remember this, if you see someone doing something but at the same time watching you… then he is a cop.

      oh yeah and it’s Infernal Affairs, not inferno.

  8. noodlecake says:

    I enjoyed the last True Crime game. The story was mildly engrossing and the melee combat was good fun. It made you feel like you were an hero from a bad cheesy 90′s action movie staring Jean-Claude Van Dam or Steven Segal. There aren’t really any games that pull that off very well at all. The fighting in GTA is quite fun because of the unparalleled in game physics (well! Only beaten by other games made by Rockstar) but there isn’t enough variation in what you can actually do in a fight. Saints Row 3 has lots of really over the top Capcom-esque fighting which I can’t stand! Although I found pretty much every aspect of that game dreadful and cringe worthy.

    But yeah! I want this to be the cheesy 90′s action movie style game I’ve always wanted but without cartoon pimps or gangs all dressed in bright red or purple suits or physics that feel like you are on the moon. I guess a game that is ironically corney rather than just bad like Saints Row is.

    • DocSeuss says:

      I can’t speak for the original Saint’s Row, but the second and third games were awesome in two very different ways.

      Also, Grand Theft Auto (all Rockstar games, really) have pretty shit physics. Max Payne appears to be the first one with an excellent physics system, and they’re using a readily available open source physics library called Bullet.

    • noodlecake says:

      Um. No. GTA4 has amazing physics. They use the Euphoria engine which results in some pretty awesome procedural animation. The characters and vehichles feel like they have real weight. They will try and keep their footing when falling over and catch their feet on hings and stumble in a really cool way. Most games just have fairly basic ragdoll physics which result in a character going completely limp when they are shot (Like Saints Row). The only game that I’ve played that tops it for physics is Red Dead Redemption which more or less expands on the stuff in GTA.

      There’s a star wars game that uses Euphoria too but I don’t think they did a particularly great job of it.

      The animation in Max Payne 3 does look pretty fantastic though! I agree.

      I’ve played all 3 Saints Row games and I only enjoyed the first one really because it was sort of a lame version of GTA with irritating characters but it was all I really had to keep me busy till IV came out. It’s just TOO slapstick. I found Saints Row 3 funny for about 10 minutes. I can still get drunk of GTAIV and have fun stumbling into people and making them roll down stairs all realistically.

  9. WhataShame says:

    That piece of action looked very good actually. Huh.

    If the game has at least some of the charm from that trailer, then I’m gonna check it out.

  10. Kong says:

    Another PEGI 18 without anything “that would make the viewer feel a sense of revulsion” other than lousy gameplay?
    Did anybody wonder why manchild should be allowed to see/play non-revulsive violence in media? The games I play and the nonsense I think about when bored, please excuse me

  11. Eraysor says:

    Squenix loves dogs. (Kane & Lynch: Dog Days and now this)

  12. skyturnedred says:

    I’d watch that movie.

  13. Benny says:

    To quote the Devs on the game’s site.

    “To ensure we accurately communicate the universe of Sleeping Dogs, the team at United Front Games worked directly with Goldtooth Creative to ensure Wei’s actions reflected those made possible during play. In short: yes, you can get creative with a meat cleaver.”

    Not sure if that mean’s you can do all of that stuff but at least they went live action rather than pre-rendered fighting you can never actually do in game.

    http://www.sleepingdogs.net/blog/About-the-Trailer

    • woodsey says:

      When Activision canned it, it was said to be almost done; so why not just do a bloody in-game trailer?

    • d34thm0nk3y says:

      I’m guessing they didn’t do an in-game trailer because they plan on changing what the game looks like before release.

  14. Calabi says:

    All that money wasted on that trailer that could have been spent on the game. So heavily hyped you know its going to be rubbish.

    I wish games were like that though. Able to move through the environment like that, able to improvise and use anything as a weapon. A city to play in thats alive and you can go anywhere and its up to you how to pursue the investigation as if you were investigating. Instead of just moving through a series of linear gates which are set up clearly before you.

    I wonder if we’ll ever get there.

  15. Shooop says:

    If even Activision canned this game…

    Well what does that tell you?

    • DocSeuss says:

      It tells me that Activision hates female leads, because that is why they canned it all those years ago. There was an article on Gamasutra detailing it, as well as some other stuff I’ve read elsewhere that I can’t quite place. Basically, there are some people within the company, particularly specific individuals with power over the focus testing groups, who have very strong ideas about what games should be. As this was set to have a female lead, someone who insisted that female leads were not possible got it shut down.

      They tried to do something similar to Call of Duty. Basically, the reason that Call of Duty 2, 3, and 5 were greenlighted is because some person at Activision believed modern military games would NEVER succeed, so they came up with all sorts of focus tests and stuff showing that people wouldn’t buy them.

      Activision and Infinity Ward came to a deal: Infinity Ward would make a second WWII game, while Treyarch would make a third and fifth. They also demanded that Infinity Ward change Modern Warfare’s name to “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.”

      So, um, anyways, my point is that Activision canning this game doesn’t tell me it will suck, which seems to be what you were implying.

    • Shooop says:

      Wait, seriously?
      They thought a game with a female lead wouldn’t sell?

      Holy shit that means Tomb Raider is a figment of our collective imaginations!

    • marcusfell says:

      @DocSeuss

      How old was that article?

    • anotherman7 says:

      So Squeenix… remade the game with a male lead? Amazing. I agree that this trailer was a pretty pointless affair, but I wouldn’t mind batmanning around HK as The Worst Policeman.

  16. Terragot says:

    Graphics look good.

  17. Navagon says:

    Let’s hope it will prove worth the wait.

  18. Turkey says:

    Can you teach sleeping dogs new tricks, though?

  19. jjujubird says:

    did ctrl+f “deus ex”, was surprised to see no matches.

  20. orange says:

    I find it funny that a game trailer manages to be a better movie than an actual action movie these days.
    That trailer was really well made. The cinemaography, editing, action set pieces and fighting, acting and sound/music were all excellent. They also managed to fit quite a bit of story into 3.5 minutes. The trailer makes for an excellent short movie and manages to hype me up for the game.

    Oh and “Sleeping Dogs” is an awesome name!