Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition Review

Richard Walker

Remastered games are becoming increasingly prevalent these days, what with Halo, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto, Resident Evil and a bunch of others all being subjected to a new-gen lick of paint. Sleeping Dogs is another to add to the list, as United Front Games has draped its open-world supercop caper in lovely new high-resolution visuals, with nicer textures and a little bit of extra graphical detail.

Beyond the slight visual upgrade, however, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is entirely and predictably the same game. That means the same compelling undercover police story, the same fictionalised version of Hong Kong to roam and the same super-fun high-kicking kung fu action that came to define the 2012 title.

"Who farted?"

If you played Sleeping Dogs upon its original release, then you'll already know what to expect from Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, and chances are, you might relish the opportunity to dive back in for a second playthrough. If you've yet to play Sleeping Dogs, then the Definitive Edition is the best possible excuse for finally giving the game a shot. There really isn't a reason not to take Sleeping Dogs for a spin, especially given the swathes of extra content shoved into this particular package.

Where Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition came with a bunch of disposable, extraneous multiplayer bumph, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition actually comes with proper, game expanding stuff, from the Nightmare in North Point and Year of the Snake campaign missions, to the 70s kung fu movie aping Zodiac Tournament, and numerous other mini-mission packs that add extra activities, vehicles, weapons and outfits to the game. It feels like a much denser game with all of this additional content integrated into the world.


Not that the base game without all of these bonuses was lacking in content in the first place. The story-driven core of Sleeping Dogs in which you play as undercover cop Wei Shen, is still every bit as engaging as it was upon its original release two years ago. Playing it through again only reinforces that fact, as each story mission escalates the drama, as Wei Shen finds himself being dragged ever-deeper into the Sun On Yee gang's inner sanctum.

Sleeping Dogs still stands up after a whole two years, with the driving controls remaining pleasingly drifty and enjoyable, while leaping between vehicles with Wei Shen's suicidal 'action hijack' move is the same kind of high speed thrill as it always was. Where the game's combat mechanics are relatively tight and flexible, the shooting could be better, highlighting that there's not really been any attention lavished upon what few flaws there were from a gameplay perspective.

And therein lies the rub. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is a purely cosmetic update - albeit one with every last bit of DLC included – but it's the very same game you'll have already played back in 2012. That said, revisiting the game is a pleasurable experience, especially if, like me, you haven't played it in a long while. Some might find little reason for a return visit to Sleeping Dogs' Hong Kong, but if you're yet to enjoy the game, then now is most definitely the time.

"Tee hee hee! That tickles!"

The only sticking point is the cost. When the original Sleeping Dogs can be snapped up for about a tenner, then you have to wonder whether the Definitive Edition is worth its roughly £40 price tag. While the game does benefit from higher resolution graphics, giving it a new-gen sheen, cut-scenes are choppy, lip-syncing is occasionally poor and it can often look a little rough around the edges, with more than few minor glitches rearing their head. Animations in the game, meanwhile, haven't dated well either. In this age of believable motion-captured performances, Sleeping Dogs' cast can look distinctly odd, especially under scrutiny, and unfortunately, the Definitive Edition's improved visual fidelity only serves to illuminate these shortcomings.

Sleeping Dogs stands up as an impressive open-world crime saga, with a story that continues to engage, a version of Hong Kong that's fun to explore, combat and driving mechanics that are a joy, and a myriad of activities that present numerous hours of entertainment. Sleeping Dogs virgins will find that as the best available version of the game, this is the perfect entry point, while if you fancy a second go around with Wei Shen's police story, there's never been a better time. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is certainly worth sniffing out.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is the perfect chance for newcomers to give United Front Games' open-world caper a go. Stuffed to the gills with content, it's a generous package, and one that even those considering a second trip will enjoy.

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Still rather decent, with the voice acting standing up to scrutiny after a couple of years. The radio stations could do with a few extra tracks though.


Hong Kong's scenery remains quite beautiful, but character models and animations are a bit shoddy, and the cut-scenes suffer from a somewhat shonky frame rate. Otherwise, the rest of the game looks relatively pretty, with its newly applied surface gloss.


Throroughly enjoyable as ever, Sleeping Dogs' combat and driving mechanics still shine, although United Front could have tightened up the shooty bits. Otherwise, it's almost impossible not to have fun playing Sleeping Dogs.


As before, the story engages and will keep you playing for a while, whereas the numerous side-missions, collectibles and other odds and ends will keep you going for hours. It's called the Definitive Edition for a reason.


Again, the achievement list is great. Killing someone with a wet fish, completing challenges, story progression and more is all covered, and its designed to keep you playing for the duration. Nice.

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