A lot of crime-based videogames cast you as the bad guy. The criminal. The gangster, doing gangster shit. Why is that? It could be that, to game designers, the choices a good guy needs to make and the code he has to live by simply aren’t fun. Not as fun as being an immoral, unhinged criminal.
I don’t know about that. The Batman Arkham games are certainly fun. And ‘Sleeping Dogs,’ the game I played last night, is a hoot.
You play as Wei, an undercover cop (spoiler!) trying to bring down a Hong Kong gang from within. They don’t give you a gun to accomplish this. Instead, Wei uses kung fu and the environment, tossing thugs into dumpsters or smashing them into aquariums (which is a bit cruel for the fish). It’s an open world game set in Hong Kong, in which they drive on the left. Takes a bit to get used to. But I love the game world. Lots of neon, great music. It’s easy to lose yourself just driving around.
The whole time I was playing, though, I was thinking about Kowloon Walled City, which used to be in Hong Kong before it was demolished. The story of the Walled City is quite interesting, and I wish I could visit. It shows up as a virtual world in William Gibson’s Bridge Trilogy books, which I’ve just re-read (almost done with “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” the third in the trilogy). The Walled City has apparently been used as a setting in a few videogames, thought I haven’t played any of them. It would indeed make an awesome game environment, especially in an open-world game. ‘Grand Theft Auto: Kowloon,’ maybe?
Next week, another game from the backlog, on Twitter, 7pm-ish.