Weaving through the streets of Hong Kong with Sleeping Dogs’ designer

Techradar: “Sleeping Dogs’ open world is one of my favorite in gaming. It captures the variety, buzz and character of Hong Kong as well as any action movie, and the setting feels as believable now as it did when it came out in 2012. I wanted to find out how the now-defunct United Front Games managed to capture this world, so I spoke to design director Mike Skupa, who told me about the “battle” between making a fun, accessible game and recreating Hong Kong faithfully – and how a trip to the city changed the way the team thought about its world.”

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Yi-Long843d ago

As someone who has visited Hong Kong many times, and lived there, I felt disappointed about how they depicted Hong Kong. For starters, it was JUST HK Island, which is basically just the 'Western' part of Hong Kong. It left out far more interesting parts, like Kowloon (including Tsim Sha Tsui), it left out the harbour and ferries, it left out the amazing Lantau Island, and it left out the numerous NT towns like Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tai Po, Sai Kung, etc etc. Not to mention the endless amount of green mountains, parks, beaches, islands, etc etc.

As far as HK Island goes, it didn't even seem like much of an authentic representation of thr place, with especially The Peak looking nothing like the real place, but also once again just missing many major and important landmarks.

I actually enjoyed the gameplay, and I'd rate the game a 7/10, but as far as it offering an authentic HK experience, it fell way short.

PhoenixUp842d ago

Quality over quantity. With open world games I’d rather they make do a lot with the spaces in the area rather than just bloating it for the sake of being bigger. When you make the place too vast you just have a ton of space the sets you further away from your mission. And unless you put in a lot of stuff within the space, the. You get a whole lot of nothing.

These articles further delve into why bigger isn’t always better.

Yi-Long842d ago (Edited 842d ago )

Agreed about quality over quantity, but in terms of Hong Kong, HK Island is probably the least interesting part of Hong Kong. Not just that, but they left out the more interesting parts of HK Island, like Tai Tam Reservoir, the harbour, the huge Causeway Bay park, etc etc.

Also, Hong Kong is already extremely small and densely packed, so there aren't really any boring wasteland areas. You could make it perfectly to scale and every area will still have something unique and special. Taipo is/feels completely different from Yuen Long, Shatin is completely different from Sai Kung, etc. These truly are very different cities within a city.

Hong Kong is pretty much the ideal location for the perfect sandbox game. It has everything (except snow), and it's compact, with a near-perfect infra-structure to get from A to B, in numerous ways.


Sounds to me like you need a pork bun! 🤣

VTKC842d ago

Did you notice the ridiculous amount of swearing in native language from npc in game just by bumping into them? Its like everyone wants to start trouble.

Oschino1907842d ago (Edited 842d ago )

Game maps based on real life locations are already extremely small and condensed versions of those locations. Hong Kong Island is roughly the size of Manhattan Island with about 20+ miles of landmass.

How big exactly did you expect the map to be? How exactly would you fit everything you personally want let alone just the things involving HK island? How would you make all of this extra space worthwhile?

The Division isn't even a 1:1 recreation of a small (maybe 10%) section in lower Manhattan which is just a part of NY City. Did you expect a GR Wildlands size map but with mostly all city? They couldn't even put those games on last gen.

It almost seems like you feel they had an endless amount of content/story/activities, no budget, hardware or time limits, the people to create all this, etc...

Yi-Long842d ago

I already stated I'd prefer quality over quantity. GTA4 was smaller, but had 3 distinct 'islands'. Vice City feels and looks like Miami. Hell, Yakuza's maps are FAR smaller, yet offer a really authentic look and feel of being in that world.

This never felt like Hong Kong. Even for a condensed version of the least interesting part of Hong Kong, it was lacking in how it was portrayed.

That doesn't make it less fun as a game, or a poor open world sandbox to play in. It just means that, as someone who lived there, it felt underwhelming in its portrayal of one of the best cities in the world.

At the very least, they could have split it up in 2-3 parts; HK Island (modern/new), Tsim Sha Tsui/Mong Kok (old), and Lantau (Green).

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MONOLITHICIDE842d ago (Edited 842d ago )

True Crime: Streets of New York was better in every aspect.

TheColbertinator842d ago

Great game. Loved being ruthless as a cop and mowing down every small or big time criminal with high powered rifles.

DaReapa842d ago (Edited 842d ago )

I liked Sleeping Dogs to the point of me picking up the Definitive Edition despite already having the original (albeit the Steam Spring sale price of $5 for the Definitive Edition made getting it a lot easier). And this is coming from someone who doesn't care much for double dipping. It's a shame these talented developers went under. Aside from a Sleeping Dogs sequel, I would LOVED to have seen what they would have been able to do for a Matix: Path of Neo remake. That game had so much potential during it's day that was never realized due to overambition combined with limitations of the consoles at the time.

annoyedgamer842d ago

This game was one of my favorites. I played through the demo multiple times.

Gamist2dot0842d ago

I was hoping there would be a sequel...

boing1842d ago

Me too. They started and never finished.