Backwards compatibility is a great thing. As soon as you bring home a new console, not only can you play the newest products designed exclusively for the most modern hardware, but you already have hundreds of more or less recent games available, including rediscovering some old classics, perhaps fished from the basket of the offers of a hypermarket.
Too bad that backwards compatibility has always prevented one of the most popular fashions of the moment from proliferating: the reissues in HD. For what reason to buy a game at full price just because it is at a higher resolution when maybe I can find it, less beautiful to look at but a few euros?
None but here without magically The Last of Us, Metro 2033, Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs again become eligible for publication, ready to amuse all those who had lost them previously or who are so fans that they want to replay them just because they are more beautiful to see .
There is however a difference between the above examples and the United Front Games game. While the former try in some way to give something more to new buyers, be it the technology used on PC, a higher frame rate or the rewriting of the game with the new graphics engine, the Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition offers ‘only’ the original 1080p game enriched by all the DLC released so far.
Not that it is a negligible offer, Sleeping Dogs was one of the surprises of 2012 but perhaps we would have liked to see something more, especially for those users who on PC have already been able to enjoy full HD and 60 frames per second.
It would not have been enough since the adventure of Wei Shen, a policeman infiltrated within the Chinese triad, is still extremely enjoyable and fun, dotted with memorable characters and scenes with a high emotional impact. For those unfamiliar with it, it is a sort of GTA clone, or rather the third chapter of True Crime set in a violent but fascinating Hong Kong.
Wei, on the one hand, will have to try to climb the hierarchy of the triad, in the usual riot of pursuit missions, shootings and extortions. On the other hand, he will have to help the police to clean the streets, collecting evidence against dangerous criminals, helping colleagues during charges or monitoring hot areas through security cameras.
In the middle there are dozens of car races, strength tests and other skills to find, girls to woo, martial arts moves to learn and a reputation to build. In other words, United Front Games has created a lively and pulsating city, full of things to do, especially after the many DLC released have further improved the offer, with secondary plots, some of which even with an otherworldly cut. Too bad that the more full-bodied are detached from the original game and in hindsight far from unmissable.
Unlike GTA, in Sleeping Dogs the hands are mainly led, in full B-movie style on kung-fu, an element capable of giving its personality to the game. The variety of moves available, some of which exploit the backgrounds for visceral finisher, is wide and makes the fights technical enough to have fun for a long time.
The shootings are discreet, with the possibility of using the covers or switch to melee, while the driving phases are rather fun when someone is to be rammed, thanks to a sort of push that allows you to discard in all directions, but they are not particularly refined in managing the camera or the different driving models.
In other words, the strengths and weaknesses of the original game return unchanged in this Definitive Edition, including the strange animations that are sometimes necessary to activate an event or those that manage the movements of non-player characters.
For the rest, the remastering work is of good workmanship and the game, except for a few sporadic moments when you still notice slowdowns, remains glued to 30 frames per second; and Hong Kong, in its new look in high definition, is even more beautiful and spectacular. The lighting sector has improved, as has the wider, more detailed visual horizon.
Excellent also the work done on the various characters, well done especially in the bodies sculpted at the right point. No news regarding the soundtrack but it was an interesting collection of oriental songs, divided into thematic radios.
In a nutshell the only problem of Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition it is the laziness with which the porting was made on Xbox One and PS4, because the game, its history, Hong Kong and the many activities remained decidedly enjoyable. The assessment therefore takes into account both of these factors and consequently lowers the vote that the United Front Games title won a couple of years ago.