So as we know, I have been very eagerly awaiting more and more information on a lot of games, but one of the higher priorities, after the last couple trailers and bits of information anyway, has been Sleeping Dogs. After recently learning that it got a lot of influence from The Protector, the game shot way up on my 'want' list and I've been gnashing my teeth hungrily for some proof of this, some actual showing of the influence that can be taken from The Protector. And I gotta say, the trailer doesn't deliver a lot on that front, but it does deliver -some-, but what's more important is that it looks awesome. Mostly. I mean, let's face it, that footage isn't near final product or at least it shouldn't be, and as such, I look at it more as an indication of the spirit rather than the end result. And the spirit is really hitting on the buttons that I want it to hit on.
Let me first direct you to "The Protector Moment" as I saw it about thirty seconds into the video, and this is very clearly from the movie and I don't care what anyone says otherwise. If you've seen The Protector, you know that the fighting style used by the main character is basically "Capture and Destroy" which is exactly what's going on there. I'd wager to say that it was a move directly used -in- the movie, honestly, but that's beside the point. That right there is -awesome- and I want more of it. There's a couple more instances of this style of thought, specifically a disarm and one of the counters, but that knee stomp is classic capture and destroy, it's what drove the movie, and it's what I want to do all the time.
The thing I like about the trailer is that it sort of is pretty basic in the combat, showing off things you'd expect - Roundhouse kicks, takedowns, the classic judo flip and the like. Then it reminds you that weapons are a part of the game and will likely be a big part in some fights. If I can extrapolate a little information, it looks like you can specifically finish off opponents with melee weapons as opposed to basic slices and the like. I mean, that's just what I'm guessing based on the guy jumping up in the air and slamming a butcher's cleaver down across a guy's head. Then also bringing one down on the neck of a guy laying on the ground all defenseless. It's quite brutal, as the developers promised and it's rather glorious in that aspect of it I must say. Still, I would've liked to see more than just knives used to show off the weapon system. (Yes, there was a flash of a lead pipe, but you get my point.)
Then after all that fairly basic stuff, we get to the fifty-five second mark to see a guy get impaled on a fucking pipe. Read that again. Our protagonist, an undercover cop, picks up a guy and slams him down onto a pipe that impales him through the fucking midsection. This was about the moment that I said "Holy shit!" and flailed my arms around in the air as would an excited little girl do. The next ten seconds were nothing short of awesome (barring a few animation things) and did more than any live-action trailer with pretty good music could do in terms of hype. This is what I want, game developers. I want to be able to slam guys into meathooks. I want to be able to turn a table saw into an impromptu brain surgeon. I want to set a guys head on fire with a stove. This sort of visceral environmental interactivity was something I only dare dream of back when the only trailer was a live action one and to see it given form and life is more than I could hope for.
At a certain point, I do remember that this is a combat system for an open world game, and I start to realize that that does mean there will have to be a few things given up. So I can look at the animations and the effects in a softer light, but at the same time, if we've seen anything it's that games can offer us fairly decent animations in an open-world environment. One only needs to look as far as inFamous 2 to realize that, and especially so, given that the original game was oft-criticized in that department. (with good reason, unfortunately) At the same time, I enjoyed the hell out of inFamous 1 despite the stiff NPCs and the like and I can imagine that if the above trailer, in the unlikely event that it is close to the final look, I will enjoy it regardless. But I can't help but hope for a little more, I suppose, since I really want this to succeed. So here's hoping for just a little bit of tightening before release!