Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Available On: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Reviewer’s Note: I played this on a PlayStation 4. There may be differences between versions.
Sleeping Dogs first big content addition comes in the form of Nightmare in North Point: A silly non-cannon story that involves vampires and demons, because why not? Yet after Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare DLC got the zombies oh-so-right, Nightmare in North Point has a really tough act to follow, and it doesn’t quite reach Undead Nightmare’s level at all.
After Wei Shen and his girlfriend Not Ping (No that’s not actually her name, but that’s what she tells everyone it is) see a silly horror movie, they exit the theater right in time for a former Sun On Yee member name Smiley Cat to come back from the dead and abduct Not Ping. Now Wei Shen needs to team up with Not Ping’s vulgar uncle Old Salty Crab, and formerly alive food obsessed Sun On Yee member Vincent, to stop Smiley Cat. It’s mostly played for laughs: at one point Wei Shen needs to create a tea to give him abilities to defeat the demons that wander the land and the tea’s ingredients include antifreeze and ghost peppers. With all the joking around, I’m a little disappointing that so few characters from the main game show up to get in on the silly.
One of my biggest complaints about the main game was the lack of enemy variety, and Nightmare in North Point seeks to fix this with the addition of Jiang Shi and Yaoguai. Jiang Shi are easily the most common enemy in the DLC: weird zombies/vampire things that hop around and always keep their arms outstretched. They constantly try to bite Wei Shen to suck his blood, and they have massive health bars. To defeat them I had to weaken them so they were dizzy, then grapple them to preform a special finishing attack. Yaoguai, on the other hand, are just big demons with teleportation skills. These foes can only be hurt one Wei fills up his Face bar, which is also a plus as it’s the first time I actually cared about Face in the game. Furthermore, peachwood swords can be found to either make short work of a few Jiang Shi, or to kill a single Yaoguai.
Yet as much as I appreciate these new enemies, there’s not really much to Nightmare at North Point. Nearly every mission is basically just “go to place and beat up enemies” with no variation on it at all. A single gun fight tries to break the flow with basically the same problems I had with guns in the main game. There’s no vehicle segments, which I guess makes sense considering zombie vampire ghosts probably don’t drive cars, but it does make things a little disappointing. The sidequests also suffer from this problem: each one is basically just going to an area and beating up a few Jiang Shi (and rarely a Yaoguai) before moving on.
As one could probably guess from the title, Nightmare in North Point takes place almost entirely in the North Point section of Hong Kong. It’s a little weird that the option to leave North Point is available though, as a player could wander off to Central or Kennedy Town if they wanted but there’s no reason to. All the new collectables, side quests, main quests, and anything else related to the DLC is contained inside of North Point. Nightmare in North Point took me about 3 hours to finish the main story and side quests, which makes it a pretty decent length for the asking price. There’s also no real reward for completing the DLC outside of a single new hat for Wei to wear.
I can appreciate the silliness that Nightmare in North Point brings to the table, and I can also appreciate the addition of more enemy types to a game that sorely needed it. Yet Nightmare in North Point suffers from a lack of compelling missions and short length. Fans of Sleeping Dogs should find something to enjoy here, but anyone sick of the game won’t find anything new to enjoy.