House Of A Thousand Tissues

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Happy Weekend TAY!

I’m going to keep this short so I can go crawl back into bed. I was sick for a good chunk of last week and particularly unwell for the past couple of days. It is just a flu/cold but it hit me pretty hard and I’ve been mostly confined to my bed in semi-consciousness.

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This meant that I wasn’t able to play a lot last week and ended up spending most of my waking misery bingeing on Joe Rogan’s podcasts while delirious in bed.

I did have a chance to play some more Sleeping Dogs earlier in the week before I took ill and I also had a four-hour session hopped up on cold meds with a fever. The game is just so much fun that it was the perfect distraction to my discomfort, though I ended up with a mountain of used tissues beside me by the time I went back to bed.

I rarely have a chance to play games more than once but I’m thankful to be back in Hong Kong as Wei Shen.

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It is the level of polish and detail to Sleeping Dogs that keeps it enthralling and pushes the game’s quality above most of its contemporaries.

The combat is fantastic despite having an all-powerful counter move which keeps many similar brawlers like the Batman Arkham series, Shadow Of Mordor, and Assassin’s Creed from becoming truly challenging. Sleeping Dogs at least has some variance to the combat flow that can throw off your timing. Some enemies will even parry your counter to keep you on your toes, though there isn’t quite enough of this to make the game as tough on you as I would like. That said, as someone who is masochistic about their game difficulties, I find Sleeping Dogs single difficulty level challenging enough to keep me interested and entertained.

The gunplay, while much less frequent compared to most games in this style, is also well done and makes for a well executed (if not somewhat generic) cover-based shooter. Where the guns really shine is while driving and shooting. The speed combined with the physics engine makes for some of the best car chase sequences I’ve played in video games. (mild story spoiler after 1:30 in video below)

The rest of the game is also well thought out with a deliberate emphasis on fun and fast pacing. The racing sequences could give any good arcade racer a run for its money. The mini-games are enjoyable (for the most part). Given the high rate that the player encounters these mini-games, it says a lot that I don’t find myself groaning when I have to hack yet another camera or computer.

Combine all this with fantastic storytelling, stellar voice acting, beautiful visuals, fantastic physics, and an excellent use of motion capturing. The whole world comes alive in a way rarely seen in this style of open world games.

Even though I know what is going to happen in the story, I find myself always wanting to get back to Sleeping Dogs and can’t stop playing when I do return to it. If you haven’t played it and enjoy the GTA-style of games, Sleeping Dogs is definitely one to add to your must-play list.

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All I’m hoping out of the weekend is to get rid of my cold. Hopefully there will be some more Sleeping Dogs in there somewhere, but I’ll be happy with just some good sleep and no dogs.

So, what are you playing this weekend?