Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Achievements: Sleeping Dogs tipped

The neon-lit streets are but a blur. The target's within sight. Watch the pedestrian! Dammit, another casualty - but it's all in the line of duty. The sound of pistol fire rings through your ears. You've got company. Another car, with a gun-toting triad leaning from the window - he's firing. Again and again. Screw you - a well-placed shot to the front tyre takes him and his cohort out, their car rolling along the highway before bursting into flames. Back to the chase. He's close now. Steel yourself, get ready to jump... SLAM. Slightly winded, you retain your grip on the car's roof despite the speed. A quick transition; slide through the window - a well-placed fist to the jaw and you've got him. Now, you've just got to lose the cops!

It's all just a normal day for Wei but for those of us hooked on Square Enix's Sleeping Dogs, it amounts to perhaps the most fun we've had all year. Much delayed, but well worth the wait, this open world adventure marks the end of a dismal summer for game releases. We've now managed to mop up all the acheivements and return some calm to the wild streets of Hong Kong.

Just in case you need a little help to do the same, take a moment to read up on our tips below (mild spoilers ahead):

10) Dress for the occasion
It may sound boring, and appear little more than a distraction, but it's wise to head to the various clothing stores and buy as much as you can early in the game. Wearing certain garments or entire outfits rewards you with some decent XP boosts - helping you to increase your Face, Triad and Police rankings. Unlock these and more combat moves, missions and bonuses are available - as well as those all important achievements!

9) Vary your combat
Don't just run into each battle and pummel the same old button to dispatch the bad guys. Add a  little variety and your points will stack up. The more you get, the better the XP reward at the end of the mission. Add a few combos, counters and grapples to your technique and within no time you'll gain access to new weapons and moves.

8) Hack and stack
When you're roaming the city and you come across security cameras, hack them after you've cleaned the area but don't be in a rush to return to your aparment to collar the criminals. You can store these and do them all in one go - it will save you bags of time.

7) Simple drug busts
Want to wipe out a group of thugs quickly and easily? Steal a car, drive to their hang out and mow them down - makes each drug bust an absolute cynch.

6) Stay focussed and drive safe
Don't plough through pedestrians and wreck cars for the sake of it when you're on a mission - it can severely hamper your score! When you

5) Don't neglect Events
When you see the little yellow shield pop up on your map, don't leave it. These events are hugely important if you want to be a completionist and go for 1000G or a Platinum trophy. If you drive by and aim to pick them up later, you'll be making a big mistake - some of these appear randomly and only at certain times and are sometimes tricky to find.

4) Prioritise your XP
By the time you're half way through the game, you'll probably have maxed out your Face rank (level 10) - thanks in part to winning road races and completing favors. A short time after that, your cop XP will be full. However, forums are full of people moaning that their Triad XP gets stuck half way through level 9... which I had problems with too.

The key is to earn as many Triad points in the missions as possible - do this by pulling off fighting combos, shooting vehicles repeatedly during chases and killing the guys firing back at you - rather than simply blowing the tyres - and getting as many headshots as possible. The dim mak move and environmental kills are pretty good for points too. If all else fails, and you're sick of replaying the missions at the end of the game, you can always take the easy route and buy the cheap Top Dog DLC to give you a hefty XP boost (although you will feel kind of dirty and cheap if you do).

3) Challenging challenges
If you're going for all the achievements, you'll need to complete loads of challenges hidden away in the Social Hub menu. Most of these are easy to get and they'll pop up without you even trying. There are some, however, that can be a bit of a grind if you don't start them early on.
  • Wreck as many cars as you can while driving about the city - make sure you don't do this while on a mission, however, as you'll lose valuable cop XP. Some missions give access to a grenade launcher, so make sure you nuke any cars in the vicinity... otherwise, grab a vehicle (the slower ones are easier to control) and smash into other traffic at speed. Three hits and they start smoking before blowing up. If they don't explode, it doesn't count.
  • As soon as you buy an A-class car, set it as the default vehicle your valet brings you (do this in the garage menu... it's available after a few Face upgrades). You should ensure you drive this super car at every available opportunity - one of the challenges is driving at full speed for 30 minutes... which takes ages if you have to grind it out later.
  • As mentioned above in point 9, vary your combat - and make sure you carry out loads of disarms and limb breaking moves. You'll need quite a lot of these to complete the challenges!
2) Money, money, money
Besides completing missions - especially the latter ones - the best way of making a quick buck is by stealing armoured cars or cock fighting. If you opt for the former, grab a car, perform an action hijack and jump... the police will soon come after you and you'll quickly see your heat level rise. Best tactic I found is to drive off road - up stairs and across parks! Make sudden changes to direction and go down narrow lanes too. You'll quickly lose your pursuers and can then park in one of the nearby drop off points.

Cock fighting is great for money making too. Head to Kennedy Town and you can play high stakes with 50,000-100,000HKD. Save the game, offer the maximum bet and if you lose, reload... otherwise, save. The fights are fairly random but as a rule, if the win/lose gap is large, go for the bird with more wins, if it's close, go for the bird with fewer wins.

1) Guns, guns, guns... and umbrellas
There are even achievements available for using 10 different melee weapons and 10 different types of guns. These are fairly easy to get during your playthrough - but it can prove tricky to find some of them. For the guns, I personally found the assault rifle most elusive... unless you find the one on the floor of the Golden Koi later in the game or you really p#ss off the police and they send SWAT teams after you. In terms of melee weapons, ensure you use the machete on one of the later missions, as well as meat cleavers, the grinder tool and all those tyre irons - but don't forget you can also use umbrellas, bags and briefcases too.

Don't mess with her...