Yakuza / Sleeping Dogs Review

A year ago, I posted this article, which talks about the lack of Asian representation in todays media. In there, I talked how cool it would be to have an Asian style GTA, like Grand Theft Auto: Shanghai. While GTA V is NOT going to be set in Asia (It’s going to be LA, yet again, bah), I did find two other open world games set in Asia that follow GTA’s style: Yakuza 4 and Sleeping Dogs.

Yakuza 4
Yakuza 4

Yakuza 4 is a Japanese video game that follows four protagonists as they unravel a mystery involving the Tokyo Police and Yakuza. The game follows an open world setting in Tokyo, with a unique combat system.
The best thing about this game is the story. Incredible. You get to play as four completely different people (a loan shark, a former yakuza chairman, a police cop and an escaped convict) and each of their stories revolve around this mysterious woman and entwine together at the end, revealing many betrayals and conspiracies. It’s better than the majority of the movies out there.
The gameplay is also quite good. Every character has a different combat system. There are many different activities to do, some unique to the Asian setting. Massage parlors, Hostess Clubs, Mahjong, Blackjack, Pachinko, Arcades, Bowling, Karaoke, are many things that make the game more Japanese, and more interesting. Overall, a pretty cool game. I beat this game, and that says alot because I often get too uninterested in games to beat them.

Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs is the Chinese version of GTA I’ve been asking for. Set in Hong Kong, the protagonist is a Chinese-American (from San Francisco!) undercover cop infiltrating the Triads and knows Kung Fu. This game does everything GTA does, and better. Great combat system, great driving system, great storyline, parkour style movements, and lots of cool activities like cock-fighting, kung fu training and karaoke. Its like GTA meets Assassins Creed meets Uncharted meets Just Cause 2. I haven’t beat it yet, but so far it looks like what I’ve been asking for.

Props to Sega and Square Enix for making these great games with Asian protagonists!!