Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, The Return Review

This could so easily have been a disaster. Instead, the game formerly known as True Crime: Hong Kong was rescued by Square Enix from development hell, and won over doubters with an authentically detailed sandbox setting generously stuffed with activities and meaty, combat a hybrid of the Arkham games and the Yakuza series. And in undercover officer Wei Shen, it has a likeably conflicted lead, juggling his duties to the police with the need to impress his gangland bosses.

The Definitive Edition is a welcome opportunity to revisit Hong Kong, and it’s looking… Well, pretty much how I remember it. Lighting and draw distances are improved and everything looks that little bit sharper, but beyond bulging veins and sweatier foreheads the character models aren’t that different. More so than in The Last Of Us Remastered, its last-gen origins are clear; I was hoping for some performance enhancing tweaks, so it’s disappointing to see the frame rate drop when things get busy. Elsewhere, it’s frustrating to note a lack of refinements to the gameplay. Vehicles still travel like rockets yet take corners like JCBs unless you liberally apply the handbrake, and the camera can still be wilfully unhelpful.

And yet Sleeping Dogs remains incredibly moreish. Its snack-sized missions are brisk, varied and entertaining, there’s a veritable boatload of asides to occupy you, and as a bonus you get all the DLC thrown in. There isn’t a good enough reason to double-dip if you played the original, but if you haven’t had the pleasure, we’d suggest you Triad it out.

7/10

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