Every once in a while you’ll find one game that is so epic it’s almost impossible to find a new game that’ll top the experience you’ve just had. I found myself in that predicament when I played and finished Dragon Age: Inquisition. DAI has been my sun, moon, and stars for the last four months of my gaming life. Moving onto other games (until Bioware releases DLC or an expansion to extend the DAI experience) has been a difficult task. What game is worthy of my time and devotion for a whole month? Fortunately, I’ve been able to answer that question and make my choice after feeling out a few games before making a commitment to one.
I started playing Sleeping Dogs before Inquisition came out in November. It’s a no-brainer that Inquisition would be my next video game challenge to take on, but it’d be an ongoing one. To pass a little bit of time until release day for my most anticipated game of the year, I decided to try out Sleeping Dogs.
Sleeping Dogs has been on my radar since it came out in 2012. What typically happens to games I want to play but aren’t on my “must-buy right now” list, I tend to wait for a good deal on the game. The day to call this game as my own came when Xbox’s Free Games with Gold program offered this as free to download and own. After browsing through some of the digital downloads I had sitting in my console, I decided to see what Sleeping Dogs was like.
I instantly immersed myself into modern day Hong Kong and really wanted to see how well main character Wei Shen is able to juggle his double life as an undercover cop, who has to infiltrate and pose as a newly recruited member of the Sun On Yee to be able to bust this dangerous drugs and crime ring from the inside. The game can be both fun and frustrating at times, but I’ve managed to go through at least half of the story already before putting it away upon Inquisition’s arrival.
In between playing Inquisition, I’ve been lucky enough to play Sunset Overdrive when the whole game became free to play for 24 hours as part of Xbox One’s one year celebration of its release. I wasn’t expecting to really get into Sunset Overdrive, much less like it, but I couldn’t pass the opportunity to try it out. Two hours later, I completed maybe five or six missions of the game. It immediately became a game I wanted to have on my buy list. What was also helpful about testing the game out during this special offer was it’d save your current progress if and when you decide to buy the game. Over the Christmas holidays, the Xbox Store offered a special price for Sunset Overdrive and I bought it.
During the time I needed to pick a new game post-Inquisition, I went back and forth between Sunset Overdrive and Sleeping Dogs. Both games are in similar stages of progress, someplace in the middle of the story, but each presented their own set of frustrations for me to deal with. Sunset Overdrive is a platformer game, which I’m not particularly good at. Certain Mario games already give me a hard enough time to play, and trying to master timed jumps is definitely a weak spot for me. Sleeping Dogs has the familiar open world aspect I’ve seen in Grand Theft Auto games and have played in games like Saints Row. However, part of the game has me fighting against thugs as Wei Shen by using his fists and only gives you the option of using a weapon sparingly and for specific missions. It feels like a fighting game, but where I can’t rely on button mashing, I do have to remember to apply a few button combinations to get the upper hand against my attackers. This is especially important when you’re one person against a gang of five. A bit stressful to say the least.
After spending one weekend alternating between the two games, I’ve ultimately decided to make Sleeping Dogs my video game challenge pick for March. What led me to make this decision is the much more involved story this game has over Sunset Overdrive. There is a bit of a story in Sunset Overdrive, but it’s something I’m barely paying attention to when all I want to do is kill the orange zombie like things running around the city or trying to perfect my character’s stunts and moves in the game. Don’t worry, Sunset Overdrive. You’ll get your turn in the spotlight in the future.
Check back at the end of this month to see if Wei Shen and I make it out onto the other side!