Sleeping Dogs Nightmare at North Point
How NOT to do DLC. Part 1.
All right, as you all know, I was a big fan of Sleeping Dogs. When the first DLC came out, I picked it up immediately. Sure, I dipped into my food budget, a little. But, I was sure it was gonna be worth it. I knew in advance, that it was different from the main game, and a bit sillier. Still, I actually liked the quips in the main game, so I was sure something silly would be fun.
Turns out, I was, well…half-right. This was undoubtably fun, with witty writing, a hilarious antagonist, and some intersetingly designed enemies. Unfortunately, the problems rather outweighted the successes. Though, the fact that it lets you see more of Not-Bing, and Old Salty is INCREDIBLY nice…pity they get two scenes each. See, Not-Ping plays the hostage, who promptly get kidnapped. It turns out, Salty is her uncle, and appears in the intro, and the second mission. Sadly, once the game gets going, Salty disappears from the story. Which is unfortunate, at they’re great characters. The Big Bad, Smiley Cat, is also hilarious…but only gets three major scenes. His intro, when he summons his minions, and when he dies. HIs minions, meanwhile, ALSO only get one scene. They’re three old enemies who Wu killed. Seeing them again is nice, especiallly since two of them only had one scene…but, sadly, their part is simply sending taunts after you and fleeing. Much like their main missions.
If you can tell, my main issue is the sheer SHORTNESS of the plot. One of the main fun parts of Sleeping Dogs was goofing around, doing sidequests, trying additional activities, and such. Nightmare at North Point strips ALL of that, and all the gathering of the plot together. Everything is RUSHED. There is the intro where Not-Ping is kidnapped, a mission to gather the materials to hurt demons, then you face Smiley Cat’s three lieutenants, then you face Smiley Cat. Quick, quick, quick. The only sidequests are killing demons in random locations, th eupgrade system has been eliminated, the outfits you get can’t be used in the main game, and the only item you really get is a peach sword.
In short, the main problem with the game is it’s short, and has stripped all the fun extra stuff out, creating a game where all there is to do is rush through the main plot as fast as possible. In additoin, the new enemies, well..they kinda suck. There’s two, the Jiang-Shi, and the upgraded version. The upgraded version has a unique mechnaic, that they can only be defeated by being in ‘Face mode’. Unfortunately, neither of them are THAT fun to fight. The game used typed enemies well, and they don’t fit in those categories, to their detriment. Jiang Shi can be beaten easily by grappling, and the ‘only attackable in face mode’ isn’t THAT fun of a mechanic. Furthermore, they are fought OVER, and OVER, since just about every encounter has at LEAST Jiang Shi. The lack of variety, means the player quickly realizes their pattern. And since Gunplay has been minimized…
I rate this a solid 2/5. It’s just not that fun. It’s an overly short, self-contained side story, that lacks a sense of accomplishment. That said, seeing Not-Ping, Salty, and some more is good, and the jokes are genuinely funny. If you’re desperate for more Sleeping Dogs, it’s worth a quick playthrough. But it lacks the elements that made the main game GOOD.