When you’re shown the first trailer of this game your mind will immediately rush to, “Another GTA Clone”. Thankfully, as I was introduced to more of the gameplay and story I was sorely mistaken.
The feel of the game, and the sandbox environment, do provide the feel of GTA style. Luckily, they’re on different sides of the room. One of the biggest providers to that gap is the story itself.
In this game you’re following Wei Shen. Previously, he had been stationed in the United States. As a result of that, he’s off edge from the current events in Hong Kong. Returning to his native town to help the local police take down the Triad, he’s tasked with going undercover. As he’s going deeper and deeper into the cover, the lines between what he should, and want to do, become blurred.
I believe that aspect gives the game a good jump in players. Playing an undercover cop who’s constantly keeping his assignment under wraps is vastly thrilling. The story plays off that well, giving players several situations where it looks like things could be going south. To add to the story, the voice acting is simply astounding. The way they’re able to place in Chinese and American languages in superb. What I mean by superb, is the way I can not be lost by the Chinese dialect. Some games add in that extra sense of feeling immersed, and some players become annoyed with the accent or find ways to make fun of it. The way it’s integrated here is very well done.
My simply favorite part: Fighting! The combat is another factor that can really stand out for people. Their focus wasn’t fully drawn to the games even though its modern time. With the fact that it’s Hong Kong, they really played off with the chance to throw in a good load of hand-to-hand works. The controls with the fighting styles are very well done. Yes, it will feel like button mashing of course. It’s still difficult to not get bored with the fact of they Shen moves. Laying waste to a good set of enemies with fancy kicks, punches, and counters. Combat works well with the environment as well. They allow you place in combos that make sure you can interact with the objects around you. From beating someone’s head into the nearby phone, to laying their head into a fan and watching the gore fly.
Last thing to add in was the fact that there were three factions Shen had to appeal to: Triad, Cops, and Face. Triad, obviously, are the criminals. They add up with you brutalizing your enemy’s kills, to focusing on their lines of criminal missions. Cop faction was being aware of citizens, and focusing his attention of cop missions. Last, is the Face faction. Face faction is based mainly on helping citizens all around the city. To old lady’s, shop clerks, to someone in a dire need of a hero. All of them are branched out differently, and offer different sets of abilities for Shen to use, and clothing options.
One of the big things that stood out for me was the camera angling. While you’re running around the city or fighting, this area is marginally unnoticed. Driving is a completely different story.
While driving, camera angle can be very crucial when you’ve found yourself doing a wrong turn. You’re going to want to turn around, and driving in that sharp of a place can be difficult. The camera will sometimes jolt back and forth between forward and backward, while sometimes getting off to the side. It makes it annoying when you’ve come in at an angle and you find yourself constantly hitting that same annoying object.
These closing Comments:
With the camera angles out-of-the-way, this game really hit the dot for me. The story was excellent. Combat was sublime, a few errors at best, and entertaining. Driving was decent. To finish off, the dialogue made it interesting to get stuck in.
Being told there’s at least twenty to twenty-five hours of gameplay, I’m happy to be diving in with Shen.
I’d roundhouse kick this game a healthy 8 out of 10.