Square Enix's upcoming, Eastern-flavoured, action-packed TPS Sleeping Dogs was, of course, originally the Activision-owned True Crime: Hong Kong, until the Big A let the game go, a move that Square Enix US' boss has labelled "crazy".
“The game was, in a sense, discovered. I’m making air quotes: ‘discovered’ by the folks in Wimbledon,” said ’Mike Fischer, the president and chief executive of Square Enix US. “The minute they showed it to us, we really felt like we had found a diamond in the rough.
“Obviously the game was originally True Crime: Hong Kong from Activision. I can’t speak to why they let that go. I’m not going to speculate on their behalf. All I know is, they’ve gotta be crazy. Because this game is just fantastic."
Good timing for a little bit of big talking, with E3 just around the corner. But Fischer points towards the "scale and scope" of the game, and compares his company's acquisition with some of the cream of gaming's current crop.
“The scale and scope of the game really encompasses all of everything you’d want to do in Hong Kong," he said. "The acting, the story, the characters are very deep.
“There’s clearly a lot of inspiration from [the movies] The Departed and Infernal Affairs. You play an undercover cop who starts to feel mixed loyalties. But the open world feels like Arkham City, the combat feels as good as a fighting game, the driving is as good as a Need for Speed, and the story is every bit as rich as compelling as a Mass Effect. All in one game."
Fischer also noted a similarity between Sleeping Dogs and Dead Island, suggesting that the former is shaping up to be a sleeper hit like the latter.
“In a sense it reminds me a little bit of Dead Island, which Square Enix America did the sales and distribution for. Nobody had heard of that game coming into E3, and in the U.S. alone it sold over 2 million units. It’s great to have a sleeper."
Of course, both having kickass trailers helps too. Sleeping Dogs will emerge this August. [VentureBeat]