Sleeping Dogs Nightmare in North Point: Big trouble in little China

Hands-on demo suggests zombie DLC can still thrill

Zombies have shuffled their way into most forms of modern pop culture. In movies the evil dead are frequently seen getting the jump on unsuspecting teens, and in comics hordes of the walking dead are somehow the least dangerous people in Georgia (but still liable to nibble on the careless).


Next to Nazis and power tripping businessmen they're the most enduring bad guys in fiction, but in the gaming world zombies have come to represent something far more dangerous: a quick and easy way to make a few extra bucks.

The practice of giving games a zombie-themed makeover post-launch was popularised by Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, the success of which has resulted in umpteen copycats, but with every new release of zombie DLC audiences seem to become a little colder on the idea.

Sleeping Dogs developer United Front Games' take on the played-out genre draws inspiration from classic Hong Kong horror movies like Mr. Vampire. As the name of the Sammo Hung-produced movie suggests, technically the zombies aren't zombies at all. The Jiang Shi are commonly described in Chinese culture as 'hopping vampires'.

In comparison to the decaying ghouls of the west they're a much classier bunch; pale white of skin and dressed in colourful Chinese garb. Unable to shake rigor mortis, these reanimated corpses bounce around with their arms outstretched. Without the ability to bend limbs you'd think they'd be pushovers but they certainly put up a good fight.

This is partly because their lunging attacks require precise timing to counter, but also because they like to hang around in a posse and aren't beyond bum rushing returning protagonist Wei Shen. It's like getting your ass kicked by David Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China.


Nightmare in North Point picks up shortly after the events of the main game. As is par for the course during the Hungry Ghost Festival, the gates of hell are opened and the souls of the tormented spill into the living word (worst annual tradition ever).

Having spent years feeding on hatred and despair a fair few of them return to the land of the living with revenge on the brain. Big Scar Wu happens to be one of them, and his grand scheme to exact vengeance on the Sun On Yee crime organisation kicks off with the kidnapping of Wei Shen's kind-of-girlfriend Not Ping.

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