Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs - Square Enix video game cover
Sleeping Dogs' box art
Developer(s) United Front Games
Square Enix London Studios
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Namco Bandai Games (AUS)[1]
Designer(s) Mike Scupa
Writer(s) Jacob Krarup
Artist(s) Hani A Ghazaleh
Composer(s) Jeff Tymoschuk[2]
Engine luminous engineHavok (physics engine)
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s) NA August 13, 2012 (Steam)
NA August 14, 2012[3]
AU August 16, 2012[1]
EU August 17, 2012[4]
JP September 27, 2012[5]
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Media Optical disc, download, cloud gaming

Sleeping Dogs is a 2012 open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games in conjunction with Square Enix London Studios and published by Square Enix, released on August 14, 2012, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.[6] Sleeping Dogs takes place in Hong Kong and focuses on an undercover operation to infiltrate the Triads.

The game started development as an original title, but was announced in 2009 as True Crime: Hong Kong, the third installment and a reboot of the True Crime series.[7] As a result of the game's high development budget and delays, it was canceled by Activision Blizzard in 2011. Six months later, it was announced that Square Enix had picked up the publishing rights to the game, renamed Sleeping Dogs, without a relation to True Crime.[8]


Sleeping Dogs gameplay

The combat is a key feature in Sleeping Dogs. In this screenshot Wei is using the environment to defeat enemies.

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization - named for the real life Sun Yee On. The player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players can drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

The combat system revolves around hand-to-hand fighting, similar to Batman: Arkham Asylum "Freeflow" combat system.[9] The cover system allows the player to move between cover, fire blindly, aim freely, and target a specific enemy. Individual body parts can also be targeted. Regarding the driving segments, several developers had worked on previous Need for Speed titles.[10] While driving, Wei can get out and jump onto other moving vehicles.[11]

Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game and unlock certain content and parts of the city, players can complete them at their leisure. When not attempting a storyline mission, players can free-roam, giving them the ability to participate in activities such as car-jacking, joining a fight club, singing karaoke, visiting gambling dens betting on cockfights and participating in street races. There are several potential girlfriends for Wei Shen to date. Successful completion of side missions offers the player rewards.[11]

Sleeping Dogs features role-playing elements with three different experience point values: Triad XP, Face XP, and Police XP. Triad XP and Police XP measure Wei's devotion to the triad and police, respectively, while Face XP is a measure of his general reputation. Clothing, accessories and vehicles are available for purchase by Wei, and have an effect on non-player characters' reactions. Sleeping Dogs tracks acquired skills in areas such as hand-to-hand combat, which improve through use in the game.[11]

Although there is no multiplayer component, the game features online stats and leaderboards so players can compare scores.


The interface of the game features a circular mini-map on the bottom-left corner of the screen that displays a small map of the city and key locations (safe houses and contact points) or targets. Wei's health is shown by a semicircular meter on the left side of the mini-map, while another one on the right represents his face, which allows Wei to regenerate life during fighting when its full, then empties after a short time. When Wei is armed, an icon of his weapon and ammo count are represented on the top-right corner of the screen.



Sleeping Dogs features a large cast. The player character is Detective Wei Shen (Will Yun Lee), an officer sent deep undercover in a feared Triad gang. Other important characters are Police Superintendent Thomas Pendrew (Tom Wilkinson), Wei's police handler Raymond Mak (Byron Mann), Wei's childhood friend and low-level Triad member Jackie Ma (Edison Chen), and Triad boss "red pole" Winston Chu (Parry Shen).

Further characters include David Wai-Lin "Uncle" Po (James Hong), Amanda Cartwright (Emma Stone), Conroy Wu (Robin Shou), Vivienne Lu (Lucy Liu), Henry "Big Smile" Lee (Tzi Ma), Inspector Jane Teng (Kelly Hu), Jiang (Elizabeth Sung), Sammy "Dogeyes" Lin (Ron Yuan), Peggy Li (Lindsay Price), Sonny Wo (Chin Han), Sandra (Steph Song), Tiffany Kim (Yunjin Kim), Not Ping (Celina Jade), Ilyana (Megan Goldsmith) and Ming (Terence Yin).[12][13]


The game takes place in modern day Hong Kong with players assuming control of Wei Shen, an officer of the San Francisco Police Department, who had been seconded to the Hong Kong Police Force. Wei has been assigned by the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau to go undercover and infiltrate the Triad society, gather information on Sun On Yee (the equivalent of the real-life Sun Yee On) and take them down.

There are two sub-plots contained within the main storyline: the first is Wei's personal struggle between completing his mission as a police officer, and having to commit crimes to prove his worth to the triad. The other sub-plot consists of completing missions set out by a triad lieutenant, such as killing triad members who are loyal to competing lieutenants. The island is divided into four fictional districts which are named after real areas.[14]


The game starts in Victoria Harbour, where drug smuggler Wei Shen is busted after a deal gone bad. Thrown into jail, Wei meets his old friend Jackie Ma, who offers to introduce Wei to members of the Sun On Yee triad once they have both been released. Wei meets with Superintendent Thomas Pendrew and another police officer, Raymond Mak; Wei, it turns out, is an undercover police officer, and the bust was staged to allow him to make contact with Jackie. Jackie introduces him to Winston Chu, a Sun On Yee "red pole" (local leader) and leader of the Water Street Gang, at Winston's headquarters, the Golden Koi restaurant, owned by his mother. Winston sends Wei on various missions to seize back territory from a rival red pole, Sam "Dogeyes" Lin, leader of the Jade Gang. During one mission to make an example of one of Winston's thugs, Ming, Wei is arrested by Inspector Jane Teng, but Pendrew bails him out and reveals his identity to Teng.

After Dogeyes attacks the Golden Koi, Winston attacks one of Dogeyes's warehouses. Wei convinces Winston to spare Dogeyes's drug maker Siu Wah to avoid the wrath of the Sun On Yee leader, Uncle Po. Wei destroys the warehouse and captures Siu Wah, fully earning the trust of the Water Street Gang. When Winston is summoned by Uncle Po, Wei reports on the meeting to Raymond, his police handler, who is concerned that Wei is becoming "one of them".

At Winston's wedding, the Sun On Yee is attacked by rival Triad gang, the 18K. Winston and his bride are shot dead by 18K member Johnny Ratface and Uncle Po is critically wounded, but Wei manages to get him to the hospital. For saving his life, Uncle Po promotes Wei to the rank of red pole, succeeding Winston as leader of the Water Street Gang. At the request of Winston's mother, Mrs. Chu, Wei captures Johnny, who confesses that Dogeyes was behind the wedding massacre. Wei captures Dogeyes and delivers him to Mrs Chu, who kills him.

When fellow Sun On Yee red pole Henry "Big Smile" Lee attempts to take over the Water Street Gang's territory, Wei resists, instead agreeing to an alliance with red pole "Broken Nose" Jiang. During a meeting with other red poles and a hospitalized Uncle Po, Jiang nominates Po's nephew "Two Chin" Tsao as temporary Sun On Yee leader, to prevent Lee nominating himself. At Jiang's request, Wei sabotages Tsao's residence to make him appear incompetent to lead, limiting the number of candidates to succeed Po as chairman to two: Jiang and Lee. When Uncle Po suddenly dies, Wei is told by Pendrew his undercover duties are over, but he protests: if Lee assumes leadership of the Sun On Yee, matters will be worse than they were under Uncle Po.

Furious at Wei's insubordination, Pendrew is complicit in an attack on the Sun On Yee at Uncle Po's funeral. He then reveals Wei's identity to Lee, who attempts to draw Wei out by having Jackie kidnapped, buried alive, tortured and brutally murdered. Distraught, Wei is attacked and captured by the Sun On Yee torture master Mr. Tong. Wei manages to escape, killing Tong and his enforcers before hunting down Lee. After a long, arduous chase, Wei corners Lee and kills him by shoving him headfirst into an ice chipper. Raymond congratulates Wei on a case well done, but informs him that Pendrew has been promoted to Interpol and cannot be touched for providing information to Lee.

The following day Wei receives a package from Jiang addressed to "Officer Shen". Inside Wei finds a video of Pendrew murdering Uncle Po at the hospital to permanently conceal their prior relationship: Po gave Pendrew high ranking Triad members, gaining Pendrew a promotion and Po a dramatic rise in power. With the evidence, Wei throws Pendrew into jail, knowing he will not survive long in a place filled with Triad members he has put away throughout his career. Later, while Wei meets with Teng, he is unwittingly observed by Jiang. She tells her triads to leave Wei alone as he has proved his loyalty to her, "one way or another".

Marketing and releaseEdit

The game was released in North America on August 14, 2012,[3] followed on August 16 in Australia,[1] and August 17 in most of Europe.[4] A release in Japan was for September 27, 2012, where it was released under the title Template:Nihongo.[5][15] The Japanese version of the game was censored to pass the classification by the Japanese ratings board CERO. The most noticeable is a penalty for attacking civilians during certain missions. Other tweaks include the removal of a character that signals the start of a street race, and a less graphic sex scene.[16] The German version has also been censored to pass the classification by the USK. In addition the German release date has been delayed by several weeks.[17]

Prior to release, United Front Games relied heavily on viral marketing. Sleeping Dogs was promoted through the use of numerous Internet and TV trailers. Monthly videos were posted on the company's official website and on YouTube offering fans a preview of upcoming content.[18] To keep in touch with fans during development, social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter were utilized by members of the game's production team.[19][20] Sleeping Dogs appeared at game conventions with its own booth, including at Game Developers Conference '12,[21] PAX East,[22] MCM London Comic Con,[23] E3,[24] Comic Con[25] and Gamescom.[26]

On April 13, 2012, Square Enix revealed North American pre-order bonuses for Best Buy, GameStop, and Amazon shoppers. Each chain offered up its own exclusive in-game content for the retail versions of the game. Best Buy is offered the "Georges St. Pierre (GSP) Pack", GameStop offered the "Police Protection Pack", and Amazon offered the "Martial Arts Pack".[27] A Limited Edition of the game was available at all UK games retailers for consumers who pre-ordered, which includes the "George St. Pierre (GSP) Pack" and "Police Protection Pack".[4] A special edition for Australia was available at EB Games and JB Hi-Fi, and carry the same price tag as the standard edition, but will be limited stock only. The special edition includes the "George St. Pierre (GSP) Pack", the "Police Protection Pack" and the "Martial Arts Pack".[1]

On August 3, 2012, information on cross-promotional content for the PC version of Sleeping Dogs was posted on the game's official website. Players who purchase the game on Steam will obtain the "Triad Pack" for Team Fortress 2, consisting of eight battle-type items. Other players can also purchase the items in the in-game store, and a new Hong Kong-themed map, Kong King, will be available for all players.[28][29][30]

Anyone who has a save file for Just Cause 2 on their Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or PC hard drive will have automatic access to an outfit similar to that of protagonist Rico Rodriguez's; the clothes set will be available as soon as the player gets a chance to visit Wei Shen's safehouse closet. The Rodriquez-inspired ensemble will offer a bonus to players' action hijack ability, allowing them to perform "stunt-style takeovers" of enemy vehicles from farther away.[31]

A demo of the game was released on Steam, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live on August 22, 2012, one week after the game's launch.[32][33][34]

Downloadable contentEdit

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On August 13, 2012, Square Enix announced an "extensive" six months of downloadable content are planned for the game.[35] The first two additional content was available in time for the game's release, including the 80s-inspired Retro Triad Pack, "a killer old school outfit with its own player buffs and funky kung-fu van". The Top Dog Silver Pack adds 3,000 Triad, 2,000 Cop and 2,000 Face experience points.[36]

On August 21, 2012, the Top Dog Gold Pack, Red Envelope Pack and High Roller Pack were released. The Top Dog Gold Pack adds 8,000 Triad, 4,500 Cop and 4,500 Face experience points. The Red Envelope Pack adds 20 envelopes each stuffed with HK$50,000 scattered throughout Hong Kong. The High Roller Pack gives early access to the Tuono vehicle and the High Roller outfit, as well as $200,000.[37]

On October 16, 2012, the Street Racer Pack, Tactical Soldier Pack and Community Gift Pack were released. The Street Racer Pack adds three new races, each for a boat, car and motorbike. Also included is a new Sting superbike, a Dragon Helmet and a Racing Jacket with extra protection against gunfire.[38] The Tactical Soldier Pack adds the game's "most powerful weapon and armour". The free Community Gift Pack adds an exclusive UFG tuned Bisai car, a UFG t-shirt, and a luchadore wrestler mask.[39]

On October 24, 2012, The SWAT Pack and Screen Legends Pack were released. The SWAT Pack adds 20 new cop missions, a SWAT outfit with extra damage resistance and an armoured SWAT van. Screen Legends Pack adds the Wing Chun Master outfit which improves the melee counter strikes, and the Lightning Warrior outfit with an everlasting sword.[40]

On October 30, 2012, the first story-driven game expansion titled Nightmare in North Point was released. Nightmare in North Point's theme is based upon Chinese horror and folklore along with featuring Chinese vampires, the Jiang Shi.[41] United Front stated at Comic-Con that "with the DLC, we feel that we can explore other aspects of Hong Kong cinema."[42]

On November 14, 2012, Square Enix released the five already-released Sleeping Dogs DLC add-ons and pre-order bonuses, in one bundle Dragon Master Pack. The Dragon Master Pack includes: Triad Enforcer Pack (two new missions, a new vehicle, outfit and a golden cleaver weapon), Police Protection Pack (a new police racing mission, police car and SWAT assault rifle), Martial Arts Pack (Shaolin Showdown mission, outfit and Wing Chun decoration for your safehouse), GSP Pack (GSP-branded outfit with stat and move bonuses) and Deep Undercover Pack (Plain clothes outfit, police car and CB Radio decoration).[43]

Square Enix released four DLC packs (Dragon Master Pack, Drunken Fist Pack, Square Enix Character Pack and Gangland Style Pack) over the holiday season,[44] The Drunken Fist Pack (boozey new fight moves) was available to download from November 20, 2012.[45] The Square Enix Character Pack (a Hitman, Deus Ex and Just Cause outfit and weapon) was also released the same day.[46] The Gangland Style Pack (stat-boosting tattoos) was released on November 27, 2012.[47]

The second story-driven expansion, Zodiac Tournament, was released on December 18, 2012.[48] The Zodiac Tournament added a new island to the game, as Wei Shen was invited to an exclusive fighting tournament held away from Hong Kong. New fight arenas, enemies, bosses, outfits and "story-extending cut-scenes" were included.[49]

In January 2013 two DLC packs were released, Movie Master Pack and Monkey King Pack. Movie Master Pack adds three costumes and Monkey King Pack adds the Monkey King costume which has its own weapon, buff and vehicle.[50][51] In February 2013 one DLC pack was released, Law Enforcer Pack. It adds two outfits, a weapon and five police vehicles.[52]

On February 26, 2013 Wheels of Fury expansion was released. It adds a prototype supercar which upgrades are unlocked through five missions.[53]

On March 12, 2013 Year of the Snake expansion was released. It adds six missions which are set after the story of the main game.[54]


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  2. — Interview with Brian Tyler. Retrieved on 05/08/2010.
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  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named rename
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  10. Justice, Brandon. EGM Review: Sleeping Dogs. EGM. EGM Media LLC.. Retrieved on 19 August 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 SleepingDogs. Sleeping Dogs 101 Trailer [HD]. YouTube. Retrieved on 2012-06-08.
  12. Nunnely, Stephany (July 17, 2012). Lucy Liu, Emma Stone, Tom Wilkinson, more cast in Sleeping Dogs. VG247. Retrieved on July 17, 2012.
  13. SleepingDogs. Behind the Scenes: Voice-Over Talent (UK). YouTube. Retrieved on 2012-07-31.
  14. Gamers to Return Deep Undercover With True Crime in 2010 (2009-12-14).
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  16. Hussain, Tamoor. News: Sleeping Dogs censored in Japan: Civilian brutality punished. Retrieved on 2012-06-28.
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  18. sleepingdogsgame. Sleeping Dogs — Youtube. YouTube. Retrieved on 2012-04-07.
  19. Sleeping Dogs — Facebook. Retrieved on 2012-04-07.
  20. Volledige naam. Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved on 2013-03-13.
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  22. Sleeping Dogs Beats Up PAX East (PC) - GameSpot Video. Retrieved on 2012-05-17.
  23. Sleeping Dogs to Make UK Debut at MCM London Comic Con. Electronic Theatre (2012-05-22). Retrieved on 2012-06-08.
  24. Square Enix E3 2012 lineup detailed – no Versus XIII. VG247 (2012-05-07). Retrieved on 2012-05-17.
  25. Microsoft releases Xbox 360 Comic Con schedule. VG247 (2009-07-17). Retrieved on 2012-06-29.
  26. Ivan, Tom. News: Square Enix reveals Gamescom line-up. Retrieved on 2012-07-31.
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  28. News: TF2 Triad Pack. Retrieved on 2012-08-03.
  29. Valve (2012-08-03). Year of the Dog. Retrieved on 2012-08-08.
  30. Valve. Team Fortress 2 - The Triad Pack. Retrieved on 2012-08-08.
  31. Goldfarb, Andrew (2012-07-25). Sleeping Dogs Offers Bonus to Just Cause 2 Players. Retrieved on 2012-08-05.
  32. By Andy. Sleeping Dogs demo now available to download. Retrieved on 2012-08-29.
  33. PSN Update: Sleeping Dogs Demo, Expendables 2 Hits PS3, But No CS:GO. NowGamer (2012-08-22). Retrieved on 2012-08-29.
  34. Vilches, Jose. Sleeping Dogs PC demo now available on Steam. Retrieved on 2012-08-29.
  35. by Xav de Matos on Aug 13th 2012 5:00PM (2012-08-13). Sleeping Dogs staying awake with six months of planned DLC. Joystiq. Retrieved on 2012-09-21.
  36. The Story Begins. Sleeping Dogs. Retrieved on 2012-09-21.
  37. DLC Packs. Sleeping Dogs. Retrieved on 2012-09-21.
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  39. Ivan, Tom (2012-10-16). News: New Sleeping Dogs DLC out today. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  40. Sleeping Dogs. Sleeping Dogs. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  41. Phillips, Tom (2012-10-15). Sleeping Dogs Halloween-themed DLC features the undead. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  42. Caruana, Christine (2012-10-15). News: Sleeping Dogs DLC plans to scare. Retrieved on 2012-10-28.
  43. Phillips, Tom (2012-11-13). The next Sleeping Dogs story DLC will add a new island. Retrieved on 2012-11-28.
  44. Sleeping Dogs. Sleeping Dogs. Retrieved on 2012-12-22.
  45. Sleeping Dogs. Sleeping Dogs. Retrieved on 2012-12-22.
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  47. Sleeping Dogs. Sleeping Dogs. Retrieved on 2012-12-22.
  48. Kubba, Sinan (2012-12-14). Rage, Sleeping Dogs DLC packs firing up on PSN Dec. 18 [Update: Rage DLC also on 360/PC, details confirmed. Joystiq. Retrieved on 2012-12-22.
  49. Sleeping Dogs gets second expansion this holiday season. Warp Zoned (2012-11-13). Retrieved on 2012-11-14.
  50. Sleeping Dogs: Movie Masters Pack. Steam. Retrieved on 12 March 2013.
  51. Sleeping Dogs: Monkey King Pack. Steam. Retrieved on 12 March 2013.
  52. Sleeping Dogs: Law Enforcer Pack. Steam. Retrieved on 12 March 2013.
  53. Sleeping Dogs: Wheels of Fury. Steam. Retrieved on 12 March 2013.
  54. Sleeping Dogs - Year of the Snake. Steam. Retrieved on 12 March 2013.

External linksEdit