Undead ass-whooping is over before it’s even begun
If there’s one game that manages to ‘get’ itself in a way that isn’t too serious or overly tongue-in-cheek, it’s without a doubt Sleeping Dogs. And just like how the original game was a tribute to the crime-drama of Asian cinema, the new Nightmare in North Point DLC practically drips with a fan-boy romanticism for the hammy horror movies of 70’s Hong Kong.
Rather than appear as a yellow mission marker, as with previous Sleeping Dogs DLC like the Zodiac Tournament, Nightmare in North Point serves as a separate game world. Think Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare and you’re about there. Trapped in perpetual night, Wei Shen wanders out of cinema showing a horror flick only to find Hong Kong has been overrun with the kind of evil he’s just watched on the big screen. Mainly a load of freaky spirits and weird, floaty vampires. Not one to confine ass-kicking to the living, Wei Shen sets out to save his date from an undead gangster and banish those pesky evil spirits once and for all.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, it is but that’s half the fun of Nightmare in North Point and none of it feels like United Front Games is taking it too seriously. As fans of the original game we couldn’t wait to dive into these additional missions, but Nightmare in North Point ends up feeling more like a taster of things to come rather than a full-blown experience. Visually, it plays to its strengths. By confining the action to a night time setting the glowing green magic effects look fantastic whist the glowing eyes of passing NPCs look super creepy as you bustle through crowds.
In terms of gameplay you drink some magical tea and gain a finishing move that’ll send the most common vampire enemy back to his dank corner of the underworld. These enemies need to be stunned before they can be permanently disposed of so a change in your usual button-mashing tactics is key. There’s also a large demon that occasionally pops up that’s a much tougher versions of the floaty ones you’ll easily kick into dust.
As with all the Sleeping Dogs DLC that’s come before it, Nightmare in North Point suffers from being too short. Packs that include additional races, chases or costumes are fine but as a fully voiced and rendered story expansion it leaves you empty and is a world away from Red Dead’s Undead Nightmare in terms of meaty content. We clocked the entire DLC in under two hours.
It sounds cliche, but fans of Sleeping Dogs will certainly find some fun with Nightmare in North Point. Just be mindful that it’ll all be over in the blink of an undead eye though.