Triad Wars Lets Sleeping Dogs Name Lie, Is Online-Only

One punch to your expectations.

Sleeping Dogs is one of those quietly under-appreciated games; not because it was brilliant, but because it was surprisingly alright despite all appearances to the contrary. Curiosity abounds then for the follow-up, which is called simply Triad Wars. It’s the “flip-side” of Sleeping Dogs, which apparently means it’s an online-only “open world action strategy game”. Hmm. There’s a a trailer full of footage and talking developers below, which explains more of what that means.

This is interesting! I’m often frustrated that open-world games don’t let you change that world in any meaningful way, so an online version of Sleeping Dogs where you can work as a criminal to capture parts of the city might scratch that itch. I’m also not against the idea of taking Sleeping Dogs’ context-sensitive combat – with all its silly swordfish-skewering kill moves – into a place where I can perform those actions against other people.

Assuming of course that the MMO-ness doesn’t make that combat guff.

If you’ve got questions, there’s a Reddit AMA happening at 12pm PST today. This is the first peep about the game since its initial announcement last October.

Sleeping Dogs itself had a troubled development, beginning life as a follow-up to the True Crime series before being abandoned by Activision and picked up by Square Enix. Alec liked the result quite a bit, even if he found it ultimately forgettable.

Thanks, PC Gamer.


  1. eggy toast says:

    Ok so if it wasn’t brilliant what is a better game of the type? Because I’m not sure there is one.

    • Jools says:

      Sleeping Dogs wasn’t awesome as an open world sandbox, but it was amazing for what it was. I enjoyed it a lot more than GTA 4.

  2. scannerbarkly says:

    The butthurt in the comments section of that video is superb. Warms the heart.

  3. Rufust Firefly says:

    Hmm. I don’t think I saw any of their characters eating any street food. And if there’s one thing Sleeping Dogs taught us, it’s that a man who never eats pork bun is never a man at all.

    (Also, “we want you to help us make the game” and “you can do whatever you want” sets off all kinds of alarm bells for me, but since I really enjoyed Sleeping Dogs I’m cautiously optimistic.)

  4. skyturnedred says:

    Sleeping Dogs was pretty damn good in my books, despite some of its flaws. I’m curious about this, but honestly, everything about this screams free-to-play, so it all depends on how they want to make money.

  5. heyricochet says:

    I have to ask how long it took to come up with that headline.

    I’m really excited for this, though am worried about how you can “take over other peoples territory” or something like that. I’ve never heard of it working well since people don’t spend 24/7 in their games.

  6. Premium User Badge

    DuncUK says:

    Shame. I was looking forward to another Sleeping Dogs game having loved the original, but I’ve little interest in grinding in an MMO. Another series to cross off the list, I guess?

  7. alphager says:

    I would expect a europen site to translate 12 AM PST to a european time format (20:00 GMT, 21:00 GMT+1).

  8. __FOXHOUND says:

    THIS IS A GAME ABOUT THE SEEDY, VIOLENT UNDERBELLY OF HONG KONG as pitched to you by a room full of white bread Canadians. You don’t have to have lived somewhere to make a game about it but it feels a little weird to have white guy after white guy telling us about the game and then Oriental criminal after criminal across the screen.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Do we still call them Orientals? It certainly feels like a dated reference but I don’t really keep up with these things.

      I’m not sure about Triad Wars, but I remember reading through the credits for Sleeping Dogs and seeing quite a few Cantonese names in there.

      Regardless, HK underworld is just a great place to set an action-packed crime game. So many juicy references from Hard Boiled to Infernal Affairs to Police Story. It would be a shame if only HK producers were allowed to work with that material. Do they even do game dev in Hong Kong?

    • radishlaw says:

      If I remember correctly, United Front sent a few people to Hong Kong for research. They also claimed they talked to actual triad members for information. As a native I would say they are around 70% on mark which is pretty good in my opinion.

      Re: Game development in Hong Kong. There were actually MMOs about triad members back in the early 00s but they are pretty dated.
      The game dev scene in Hong Kong is a tragic tale of low population base + high piracy suppressing commercial development, with a recent bounce back due to mobile and social games.

  9. brokeTM says:

    Well good there’s an AMA as I have a ton of questions. It’s all so vague, a.t.m. I’m guessing it’s like Saints Row’s hoods but the hoods are controlled by other players?

  10. Radiant says:

    Sleeping Dogs made me want to move to Hong Kong.

    So I got my job to transfer me and I almost immediately lost all my savings trying to buy a new couch.

    HK is terrifyingly expensive but Sleeping Dogs is pretty alriiiight.

  11. Paul says:

    Sleeping Dogs was brilliant, actually.

  12. BobbleHat says:

    I think Sleeping Dogs is really rather under-rated. It’s genuinely one of my favourite games of the past few years. Hopefully this’ll be everything that APB promised and failed so miserably at.

  13. PopeRatzo says:

    I enjoyed Sleeping Dogs a lot and have been hoping for a sequel.

    I don’t care if Triad Wars is “online only”, but if it’s multiplayer only, I will be very disappointed. The beauty of Sleeping Dogs was that it was a single-player game with a single-player story and not some slapped-on multiplayer nonsense.

    And why do the people who make these trailers think anybody wants to see the developers? I mean, if there was ever a bunch that’s better heard than seen it’s game devs. Actually, forget that. I don’t want to hear them, either. I just want to read their names as the credits scroll (quickly) by and never give them another thought.


      Showing a lot of devs talking means, we don’t have a lot of game to show yet. *cue one-second clip of a sportscar speeding*

      I feel similarly about Sleeping Dogs and it’s a shame that, judging by how fast its price fell, it wasn’t very successful. It’s essentially GTA that knows when to take itself seriously and doesn’t take place in a hateful world.

  14. pilouuuu says:

    I’m glad it’s whatever thing it is as long as console peasants don’t get a version. It’s nice to have a PC exclusive once in a while.

  15. airknots says:

    Who cares about being a cop or a gang member? Best part of the of the game was the karaoke. They should make a spin-off called “Singing Dogs”.

  16. Marcus says:

    It doesn’t look good…

  17. CherryPhosphate says:

    Although I thoroughly enjoyed my one playthrough one thing that always bothered me about Sleeping Dogs was how terrible the gunplay was.

    I loved the kung fu even with its slightly crap targeting but whenever it was time to transition from Jackie Chan to Chow Yun Fat it all went a bit cack. Where were the dives, the doves, the slow mo … IIRC you couldn’t even dual wield handguns!

    Sadly they don’t seem to have fixed that. I guess I’ll just have to wait until Rockstar trot out another Max Payne and pray to all the gods that they don’t see fit to cripple the multiplayer with p2p again.

  18. BrightCandle says:

    There were two things that were really great about sleeping dogs:
    1) The combat system. This was without a doubt wonderful, it was elegant and just fun to play with, the lack of guns was a big plus point as was the environmental damage.
    2) The campaign and story. This was a really well delivered story where you cared about the characters, you felt the problem of being an undercover cop. It delivered on some emotion which very few games ever achieve.

    Triad wars apparently does away with the two things that made sleeping dogs great and replaces it with free 2 play and MMO mechanics. This wont end well.

  19. thesundaybest says:

    That guy alert – a game studio located in Vancouver making a game about Hong Kong triads couldn’t find ONE Chinese person to work on it? (Or at least feature in the video?)

    • AyeBraine says:

      “Look! Here. A Chinese person! As you see, with his narrow eyes and wide cheekbones, he is unmistakably Asian, which was what our project needed. And we’d like to assure you that he actually works on the game. Lending it the factual, artistic and tonal authenticity it deserves. Actually, that’s what he does. He lends. He was a crediting agent from Manitoba before we hired him.”

  20. malkav11 says:

    Online only? Welp, not curious anymore.

    • Jalan says:

      Exactly. That and it’s likely multiplayer only or “heavily focused on more than just one player trying to solo it” means absolutely no interest from me.

  21. InfamousPotato says:

    I found Sleeping Dogs quite enjoyable. It’s one of the games that I keep installed because I know I’ll go back to play it time to time. While the video gives a sort of general idea of what they’re going for, it was kinda vague. I hope it turns out alright, though to be honest, I think I’d kinda miss being a cop. Sure, there was a sorta dissonance in that you could shoot as many police as you wanted without consequence (it might’ve lowered your police rating… or was that just property damage?), but it felt kinda nice to play an open world game and not be a complete psycho (story-wise anyway. If I get bored while playing it, I turn into a monster). Near the end it really felt like you were torn between the police and the triad, because despite how nasty the triad was, you got the sense that they were people too (well, some of them), some of whom you could actually care about.

  22. Raiyne says:

    Am I the only one worried this will turn out like APB Reloaded, Crimcraft or whatever? It’s not exactly a novel idea, but I’m sure if done right, it would be loads of fun. There will definitely be a lot of technical and design issues the developers will have to work against, though, so I hope they’re up to the task. A lot of people have been waiting for a well designed urban sandbox type of game.

  23. buzzmong says:

    I enjoyed Sleeping Dogs, it was rather good.
    There was one feature I felt could have been better, and that was gun/punching cross over. Why on earth more developers don’t just wholetake take Oni’s system and run with it is beyond me. It’s one of the best systems I’ve ever come across.

    But an online only multiplayer Sleeping Dogs? Nah. I like story.