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Sleeping Dogs game brings Hong Kong to life at E3

John Gaudiosi | June 7, 2012
What began as True Crime: Hong Kong has evolved into one of the most impressive open world games at E3.

What began as True Crime: Hong Kong has evolved into one of the most impressive open world games at E3. Sleeping Dogs will allow players to immerse themselves in all aspects of the Hong Kong underworld, going deep undercover as Wei Shen, who's out to take down the Triads. The game offers a trio of explosive gameplay options, including vehicular combat, martial arts and assorted guns and weapons. Jeff O'Connell, senior producer on Sleeping Dogs at United Front Games, talks about the new open-world action adventure in this exclusive interview.

Game On: What did you learn from traveling to Hong Kong that you applied to this game?

Jeff O'Connell: The biggest thing that we learned when we went to Hong Kong is that all your cliché notions of Hong Kong that you might have got from movies like Big Trouble in Little China, which is a great movie in its own right, are not to be believed. Hong Kong is an amazing city. It's a complex city. It is more Chinese than people might think and I mention that because obviously it's in China, but the British influence there isn't as strong as you think. Most people speak Chinese; the cab drivers don't even speak English. It's the little things like being on the streets in the game. You'll hear more Cantonese. The radio stations in the game don't play Western pop, but Asian music. We've really tried to make things like that in the game and make it feel authentic. It also helped with understanding that the relationship between the cops and the Triads goes back almost 200 years. We've used the stories we've heard and the people we've talked to to try and build a really authentic story.

How does the John Woo Hong Kong-style bullet time work in your game?

The way that our system works is as you go out of cover you can vault out of cover or you can descend off an object. By holding the left trigger as you do that you'll engage into that slow motion mode where you have more time to target. The more successful taking down guys in that mode, that time will extend. So you can go through entire sections of gunplay in that slow motion mode, and we've tuned all of the effects and reactions to look good as you're in slow motion.

Can you give us some examples of open world options what people aren't on missions in the game?

Even though we've got an incredibly strong story flow, there is a lot to do in the open world. Just to name a few things, there's additional content that's opened up as you gain respect or what we call "face" in the game. These characters who will now talk to you because you have a certain face level will give you quests or jobs to do and that will unlock more content. There are bike races, car races, boat races. There are karaoke mini-games, which is very cool unlocked through the story flow. There is cock fighting mini-game. There are safe houses to own, clothes to buy. There's a real wealth of content in there besides the main story flow.


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