A disclaimer: I am not saying that GTA V is a bad game, I am not saying it is rubbish, not am I criticising it in any way. What I am doing is simply stating my opinion as to why I think Sleeping Dogs is better. These points are what’s important to me and you are free to disagree with me on any or all of them. I love both games, I just love Sleeping Dogs a little more.
So, with that in mind, read on.
The setting of a game might not seem that important, but in this case I think it is. They are both open world games set in the ‘real’ world. While GTA V is set in the US, Sleeping Dogs is set in Hong Kong, and I really like this. There are many games set in the US, the are many US TV shows and films that get show around the world, but Hong Kong? Not so much. I think it’s great to experience this game version of Hong Kong with all the Eastern culture that it provides. There’s nothing wrong with the setting in GTA V, it’s just nice to have a change of scenery.
Combat in GTA V is the usual affair of guns and shooting. It’s mixed up with Trevor’s and Michael’s abilities which affect how it works in different ways, and I really like it. Where I think Sleeping Dogs is better is in the variety of combat. While combat in Sleeping Dogs is mostly focused on hand-to-hand, either unarmed or armed with melee weapons, it is very strong and it feels good. It’s not like in GTA V when a melee attack does little more than push the enemy away for a ranged attack. There are also guns in the game, which aren’t used a lot but the shooting mechanics are solid. They don’t auto-aim like GTA V so there’s more skill involved, but it’s great. Using guns should be discouraged though, as I found out to my cost. Using them and holding them while out on the streets attracts the attention of the police, who will come at you shooting. This is more of an ‘is’ thing and seems to reflect the culture of Hong Kong. Guns are much more noticeable in Hong Kong due to their absence whereas in the US no one seems to care when a lot of people carry them openly.
Law, Order, and Chaos
Another aspect of Sleeping Dogs that I prefer is to do with the law. As much as I like committing random acts of violence and crime, I also like fighting it too. The only other game I’ve played that was open world with a crime fighting element was Crackdown. It was a great game and I enjoyed it. What I didn’t like was that it felt too restrictive. It was all crime fight all the time with any civilian casualties resulting in the regular police chasing you. Sleeping Dogs has a good balance between committing crime to get into the organisation and fighting crime. It wouldn’t work in GTA V but it works in Sleeping Dogs.
There aren’t a huge number of mini-games in Sleeping Dogs, unlike GTA V which has lots. The ones in Sleeping dogs that I like are hacking into security cameras which is a trial and error combination guess game, unlocking some of the lock boxes which involves a combination lock with a single number wheel like on a safe door, and karaoke. Karaoke is simple but challenging fun, if you like the songs. I enjoy it but I can see why others might not. GTA V has golf, yoga, and tennis. It’s probably the only time I’ll play golf or tennis in a game, but still, not my cup of tea.
Where GTA V is Better
As much as I love Sleeping Dogs, there are some things that GTA V does better. Graphics get a mention, but it’s really to be expected, isn’t it? Sleeping Dogs is older and GTA V is one of the last few games to come out for the Xbox 360, so it’s going to look prettier. Sleeping Dogs does have a more colourful pallet though, I’ll give it that.
Taxis in GTA V are better too. You can go pretty much anywhere where there’s a road, whereas in Sleeping Dogs you have to go to one of the few locations on the map. I couldn’t stop off where I know there’s a collectable, for example, I’d have to go to the nearest car park or somewhere like that. Not good if you’re in a hurry, but Hong Kong is nice, so it’s not a huge problem.
As much as I enjoy GTA V, I think I enjoy Sleeping Dogs that little bit more. The mix of undercover cop and criminal gang member is something I really like, mixing up crime solving with committing crime. The characters and settings are colourful too, which is great, and Hong Kong makes a pleasant change from the US or fictional cities in it. Like I said, both games are excellent but if I was given the choice I’d probably go for Sleeping Dogs most of the time.
Do you agree? Do you disagree? Is there anything you prefer about either game that you think I should have mentioned? Leave a comment as I’d love to know what your opinions are.