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

Hands-on demo suggests zombie DLC can still thrill

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The story goes that Big Scar Wu was once a member of the Sun On Yee gang, but his loose cannon ways and callous violence wasn't appreciated by his superiors. After a series of unfortunate events the leader of the gang, Uncle Po, ordered that he be killed. His former colleagues stabbed him 42 times before cramming his corpse into the grinder at the Smiley Cat food factory. A week later one of the enforcers was also whacked and upon arriving in hell told the story of Wu's demise, earning him the nickname 'Smiley Cat'. Understandably, he's a little bit touchy about being called that.


In the crass but eloquent words of Old Salty Crab, who also makes a welcome return in the DLC, "magic crawls through the town like maggots on month old road kill", and the only way Wei Shen can do battle with the demons overrunning the city and save Not Ping is by cooking up a magical tea made from the egg of an albino hen, a ghost pepper and antifreeze. Apparently antifreeze is a common ingredient in Chinese magic.

Of course doing that is easier said than done as to get your hands on each ingredient you'll have to bounce around the city running errands and dealing with Jiang Shi and gang members. To top it off the citizens of Hong Kong are also possessed and some of them fancy a punch up now and then.

Imbued with the power of magic tea Wei Shen is able to lay a beat down on the formerly untouchable ghosts. Smacking around the Jiang Shi fills the face meter, and once topped up Wei's hands are enveloped in a blue aura and he's able to dispatch archdemons.

Our time with the game spanned a single mission that lasted about an hour. During the course of it we dabbled in a good variety of gameplay, from on foot pursuits to car chases, and of course the Batman inspired hand-to-hand combat. We're told that the DLC tweaks the core gameplay, particularly the combat, but the changes must have been subtle because we didn't notice them.


Zombie DLC is arguably becoming a tired trend that needs to be buried, but United Front Games at least appears to be delivering something a little different with Nightmare in North Point. Adding a bit of eastern spice to the formula has rekindled our interest in the genre somewhat, and based on what we've played this could be a fun addition to what's already a great game.

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