Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sleeping Dogs feat. James Hong!

Not been doing anything with miniatures lately but thought I'd just pop in to say a word and acknowledge my continued existence!

Every once in a while I get sidetracked by a video game. It hasn't happened often since the demise of DOS as the preferred video game platform but there it is.

In fact since those halcyon days of computerized play only three games have taken me away from miniatures for any appreciable time:

1. Lucas Arts. "Outlaws!"
2. Gearbox Software's "Borderlands"
and now 
3. Square Enix' "Sleeping Dogs"

"Sleeping Dogs" is an RPG adventure wherein you play an undercover policeman in Hong Kong. Now I am not normally a devotee of the Kung Foo genre...except when it comes to Hong Kong Police stories. Go figure.

In any event a game where you plays as a policeman rather than a low life was immediately appealing. Having watched the trailers I was gobsmacked to learn that among the voice actors were Kelly Hu, Lucy Liu and my favorite actor of all time James Hong!

If you watch American television you have seen James Hong. He's been in everything from "Bonanza" to "Sienfeld", to "2 Broke Girls", in films from "Blade Runner" to "Big Trouble in Little China" to last years' "R.I.P.D.", through in a considerable amount of voice acting and you must have at least heard Mr. Hong at some point.

I have to tell you that simple sound of his voice always brings a smile to my face and his work in children's programming means he has also brought joy to my children as well. 

With that cast, as we say around here, "So? What's not to like"?

The game itself is very enjoyable. The story is solid if a bit cliche in places. The visuals and vibrancy of virtual Hong Kong are fantastic. There is plenty of martial arts action, gunfights, car chases, boat chases, and such although no aerial action, which was fine by me, but could put some off.

The game is often described as a sandbox or open world game. While that is true in so far as there are side missions galore and there is no need to pursue the main plot until you want to, that plot itself was pretty linear. The player does not get to make any meaningful decisions except perhaps to avoid playing out the main mission, which would seem a bit extreme. Some of the player character's forced choices in the plot did bring out the odd groan of "why the heck didn't he see where this was heading" and such like.

That aside the game is great fun and the acting top notch. 

Highly recommended with a strong caution for foul language and graphic mayhem.

Will no doubt be back to miniatures soon as the plot has been resolved!

Thanks for checking in :)