Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point

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Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point
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Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point
Action, Adventure
PC, PS3, X360
Review based on Xbox 360 version
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: United Front Games
Release Date: August 14th, 2012
Fans of Sleeping Dogs have seen a good deal of downloadable content drop since the game’s initial release. Aside one tournament pack, most have been for new outfits, cars, and things like that. Nightmare in North Point, however, marks a brand new mission for Wei Shen, and one that comes with some brand new achievements/trophies as well. But does this dark venture stack up to be worth the high ticket price, or is it this title’s Call of Duty-esque zombie themed cash grab?

Nightmare in North Point introduces a character named Big Scar Wu, but nicknamed Smiley Cat thanks to the fate he suffered at the hands of Uncle Po. Now a demon, he has come back to take control of Hong Kon, possess the 18K, and eliminate the Sun On Yee, starting with Officer Shen. The feud starts when he kidnaps Not Ping during their date, leaving Wei teaming up with Uncle Salty and a local apothecary to stop him, the fallen Triad brothers you killed in the main story, and rid the city of vampires (Jiang Shi) and warrior demons (Yaoguai).

Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point

As far as the audio goes, it’s the same as the original game in pretty much every respect. The music and score seem lifted right from the initial game, and the general radio station selection is available as well. The voice acting, however, is a little better. Aside a few minor characters like the parking attendant, car valet and food vendors, some of the better voice actors return to reprise their roles. Smiley Cat, however, ends up the most impressive thanks to an enthusiastic performance that shows a good amount of range.

For the most part, the graphics also remain the same. It’s the familiar terrain of North Point at night, just with a bit of a haunting glow effect here and there meant to give off an otherworldly vibe. This is illuminated only by the local street signs, as well as the random car explosions that just see to occur for no real reason. Of course the glowing eyes of possessed humans is a nice extra touch to both the scenery, as well as the atmosphere.

Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point

The controls are also another familiar step. The only difference here is that the foes can only be dispatched in certain ways. While the bigger bosses and possessed humans or 18K members can be knocked out normally, and the Jiang Shin need to be stunned then grabbed to be finished off, that is until after you drink the tea you get from the apothecary. This is also the only time you’ll be able to kill the Yaoguai, and only goes into effect when the face meter is filled. There is a Peachwood Sword that can be obtained to dispatch these horrors at any time, which does help even the odds, but still has a rather short life span.

Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point

When it comes to downloadable content, Nightmare in North Point is a roughly ninety minute moderately fun supernatural side story that offers nothing substantial or remotely memorable to the experience. It’s like any other zombie themed downloadable content to a game that simply doesn’t need it. With the collectible missions and additional awards, you’re looking at three to four hours of gameplay total with a guide, unless you feel like wanderin around North Point looking for the ten Hell Money Shrines that blend into the scenary. There’s no need to own Nightmare in North Point other than earning additional achievements or trophies, but if you feel the need to expand on the Sleeping Dogs story line, you’re better off waiting for a really good sale.

Overall Score: 5.5/10
Digital review copy of this title provided by personal funds.