Sleeping Dogs — Thug Life in Hong Kong
You play as a Hong Kong native who never speaks Cantonese
Recently, I’ve been talking about this idea of mine that I call “digital museum”, but the subject can’t be covered in one article, so I divided it into parts. I want to take a break from it and go back to something related to languages. This time it’s about a game when I enjoyed the ps3 the most, which was in the early 2010s. After that, I slowly stopped caring for video games for the most part until I only ever played League of Legends for the sole purpose of killing time. But before that happened, I played Sleeping Dogs.
So this game is highly underrated because even though it was good enough to demand a sequel, it never happened. I’m sure there’s some video on YouTube why a sequel never happened, but it was a pretty solid game and a fun experience in general for the one game that made it. You basically play as a cop going undercover in the gangs of Hong Kong, where you solve your problems with fists, guns, and your authority (because you’re a cop, albeit undercover). I liked it so much I went the extra mile to get the platinum trophy (back when I thought trophies were cool), and I had like 10 of those.
But enough history lessons; if you want to check the game, then do it. On to the problem because I have a headache and I’m just dying to end this day.
Like I said, he doesn’t speak Cantonese
So the game takes place in Hong Kong and simply put, the protagonist was born in Hong Kong but grew up in America and then came back to Hong Kong for the undercover mission. Clearly, this guy is some specialist if they had to bring him all the way from America just to fight gangs in Hong Kong. But even though several characters verbally speak Cantonese, The protagonist himself only ever speaks English, even though you can tell that he understands them because he has no trouble communicating with the locals. He just insists on talking English. Similarly, the characters who respond to him have no trouble understanding him, meaning they must understand English but insist on talking in the regional language. Basically, people being dicks to each other.
Although I could say that there are many problems with languages, I could say that it lacks authenticity since they communicate by speaking a different language. I could also say that it acts as an introduction to Cantonese, and I am good with what “pokkai” means since the characters repeat it a lot (apologies for the poor Romanisation since I have no idea how Pinyin works). Not the kind of problems that I haven’t talked about before.
In truth, the real problem isn’t how they talk or what they say, but the fact that nobody bothered to make a sequel for this game. That right there is the real travesty.
So what could’ve been?
Well, now it’s too late, so Sleeping Dogs is beyond saving. But from what I understood, there were internal affairs that prevented the game from getting a sequel. Plus, the publisher wasn’t really satisfied with the sales, so that was also an influence.
But what I also understood is that the developers were actually working on the sequel before it was shelved or something because they had to shut down or something like that. What needs to be asked is any game that could make the sequel good, as in “what mistakes happened in the first game that shouldn’t recur in the second?” but all of that doesn’t matter since the game is dead. I, personally, don’t think there’s hope for a sequel. And frankly, some things are better left in the past.
Frankly, there isn’t a solution here. I’d like to believe that there’s a parallel universe where Sleeping Dogs is an international hit, but I can’t be too sure of that. Besides, I don’t care enough to check it out. As I said, some things only stay pretty if they stay in the past… or that’s how I think I said it.
If you were a fan, say your thoughts
As usual, in topics such as these, there isn’t much external help one can ask for. So I’ll just say that if you have an opinion on how the game could’ve succeeded, or what you wanted to see, or frankly anything else that somewhat related to Sleeping Dogs as a whole, then share your thoughts. It would be nice to hear other people’s experiences with something that will surely be forgotten in the years to come. Heck, it’s probably already forgotten now. So go ahead and say something about it before it’s too late.
So yes, you should definitely check out Sleeping Dogs. Like I said a paragraph earlier, this game will likely be forgotten soon since there’s nothing to continue its existence or even sustain what remaining fan-base it has left. So play it if you’re into games from the early 2010s, a time when video game developers were only starting to become cynical. Although I’d recommend playing it on the ps3 since that’s the authentic experience, I don’t know if they still make those, so just get a definitive edition for the ps4 because I heard that’s something that actually exists (unlike a sequel).
I see no problem with any language issues whatsoever. If the characters want to be weird by understanding each other with different languages, I just find that hilarious. The game is good enough as it is, so it might as well provide some tongue-in-cheek elements. Of course, most people will just play the game because you play as an undercover cop, not because of his choice of language.
A sequel is nice, but it’s not happening. But talking about the game was fun since it allowed me to reminisce about a period when it was easier to play video games. But now… not so much.