Sleeping Dogs 2: Wishlist

CVG offers up its ideas for a sequel to one of gaming's best hidden gems

Welcome to 'Wishlist', a new regular feature in which we channel our inner amateur game designer and fanboy nerd to come up with a list of improvements, features and pie-in-the-sky ideas for games.

Long time CVG readers may remember a little feature called 'What we want to see'; we had a lot of fun doing that, and it encouraged some great discussions, so we thought it was about time to bring it back. Except, with a less rubbish name this time.

Unlike the last few games we've covered for Wishlist, this week's pick might be outside the realm of plausibility. We absolutely adore Sleeping Dogs, so it pains us to say that - if we're honest with ourselves - it isn't likely to get a sequel for reasons we'll cover below. But, that won't stop us, we'll never give up hope. PORK BUNS FOR LIFE.

Wishlist archive: Assassin's Creed: Unity | Grand Theft Auto V PC | Uncharted 4 | Mass Effect 4


The story so far

Our fondness for Sleeping Dogs is partly due to the adversity United Front battled through to get the game published (and also because it's a genuinely brilliant open-world experience). We love a good underdog story.

Sleeping Dogs originally started life as a reboot of Activision's True Crime series, which itself started out as a fairly average GTA clone.

In February 2011, Activision announced it was axing both the Guitar Hero series and True Crime: Hong Kong. At the time, the publisher said that even with its most optimistic projections, it couldn't see True Crime reaching the top of the open-world genre.

Compounding the shock was the fact that CVG had been to see the game just a month prior to its cancellation, and were told that the game was "virtually complete". On top of that, it looked great.

Vancouver-based developer United Front Games released a statement apologising for the cancellation: "We are sorry we did not get a chance to complete this project with Activision, but we understand why. We are both committed to doing quality games and nothing less.

"Maybe we will have a chance to work together in the future, but in the meantime we are setting our creative sights on a different horizon."

Thankfully for us, Square Enix stepped in to rescue the project. In August 2011, six months after the project was canned, the Final Fantasy publisher announced it picked up the rights to True Crime: Hong Kong and would be releasing it as Sleeping Dogs.

"When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it," said Square Enix London Studios general manager Lee Singleton.

"It's one of those games where you don't want to put the controller down; it's what we call 'sticky,' he added.

"When we met the team at United Front Games, it was a done deal in our eyes - we instantly recognised the huge potential in the game and the team."

The deal even gave Activision an opportunity to save face.

"Our team has worked very hard to find a solution where everybody wins," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg.

"Square Enix gets the benefit of the tremendous investment we've made in the game thus far. UFG gets to stay together and complete their vision. And gamers get to play a great game. We couldn't be more thrilled."

Square Enix's London Studio, which also contributed to the development of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Just Cause 2, joined the development effort and the game was eventually released in August 2012.

In our Sleeping Dogs review we said it was one of the best open-world games we'd played for years.

"For a team who's never made a game like this before, it's an incredible achievement, and one of the best open world games of recent years. It lacks that pristine GTA polish, sure, but it makes up for it with its sense of humour, compelling story, and fun mission design."

Although it performed well critically, and decently at retail, the economic pressures on Square Enix mounted, and in November it reported a net loss of £42,730,000. Naturally, Sleeping Dogs was one of the games that bore the brunt of the company's declining performance.

Despite this, Sleeping Dogs managed to ship 1,510,000 copies in the six months ended September 30 2012, which is a respectable number; it stayed at the top of the UK charts for a number of weeks was the best-selling game of August that year.

Economics aside, we loved the game and urge those that haven't played it to seek it out. It's available for a song at most online retailers and is regularly discounted on Steam.

In October 2013, United Front Games announced it is working on Triad Wars, a new game that is "based in the Sleeping Dogs universe".

"We're super-excited that it's another game based in the Sleeping Dogs universe," the studio said. "It's something we've wanted to do for ages, and we're very happy to be working with Square Enix again... but that's all we can give you for the time being," said UFG.

The smart bet is that the studio is developing a portable or mobile game, but we've got everything on our bodies crossed that it's a full new entry in the series, and have come up with a few suggestions for what we'd like from a Sleeping Dogs 2.

As always, we're sure you've got a whole bunch of your own ideas for what you'd like to see in the game, and encourage you to go into details on each one in the comments.

What we want