Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: December 18th, 2012
Available On: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Reviewer’s Note: I played this DLC on the PlayStation 4. There may be differences between versions.
Seeking to reference and feel similar to Enter the Dragon, Zodiac Tournament is a goofy DLC for Sleeping Dogs that features a kung-fu tournament, a woman with an eye patch, a crazy kung-fu master, and a trap filled island. Yet does this DLC have enough content to be worth getting?
After Inspector Teng tells Wei Shen about an illegal fighting tournament on the near-by Zodiac Island, Wei Shen is off to enter and bring down the tournament’s mysterious leader Dr. Zhang. Posing as a Sun On Yee member again and entering the tournament, Wei Shen discovers that there’s a lot of people willing to bet on and watch people die, and now he has to put a stop to it. Featuring a film grain, cheesy B-movie dialogue, and over the top characters, Zodiac Tournament is aiming for a specific style and manages to hit it well. Basically just one long string of references to Enter the Dragon and other kung-fu movies, the silly premise works well and the style just makes it even better.
Taking place on an island away from Hong Kong, Zodiac Tournament does have its own new little map. It’s small and mostly made up of pathways that can’t be strayed from, but the heavily forest areas do make for a nice break from the almost entirely urban based Hong Kong. Most of the missions begin with a long run along a trap-filled pathway that involves dodging spikes that fling out of the ground, while jumping over walls and across broken bridges. I never really found these parts that difficult and they mostly just seemed to be there to drag out the DLC, which is already painfully short at only an hour or two long.
Since this is a fighting tournament, Zodiac Tournament is basically just a string of fights one after another. Every fight in Zodiac Tournament is just a long melee encounter of varying difficulty. It’s not anything new or unique, but since Sleeping Dogs’ melee combat was well made it’s entertaining enough for the game. The real draw is the boss fights. Zodiac Tournament adds in a few boss fights against enemies with specific fighting styles that require a little something different to beat. For example, an MMA fighter named George has a ton of moves that wrestle Wei Shen to the ground, forcing the player to either rapidly tap buttons or counter attack to break away from him. They’re an interesting break from the normal fights, and probably the best bit of content Zodiac Tournament has to offer.
Yet there’s not much to this DLC otherwise. Amounting to little more than a chain of fights with a few boss fights and a few goofy cutscenes, Zodiac Tournament could have been so much more but doesn’t really do much. If you really enjoy Sleeping Dogs melee combat, or can get this on the cheap or bundled with the game, then it’s worth at least going through, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.