3 ways GTA 5 and Sleeping Dogs differ (& 2 ways they're similar)

Similarities and differences between GTA 5 and Sleeping Dogs (Images via Square Enix and Rockstar Games)
Similarities and differences between GTA 5 and Sleeping Dogs (Images via Square Enix and Rockstar Games)

Comparisons between GTA 5 and Sleeping Dogs have been a long-standing discussion in the gaming community, especially among fans of the two games.

Even though Sleeping Dogs was released a year before GTA 5, its storyline and gameplay has been in constant contrast with the latter ever since its release. But a more heated argument comes in when fans start to debate which one is a better game.

Regarding popularity, it is obvious that GTA 5 has a bigger fan base and reach. Over the years, Sleeping Dogs has shown that a game can survive and stay relevant with a relatively small but dedicated community.

Nevertheless, this article will focus on the differences and similarities that began this comparison in the first place. This will allow players to have a clearer picture of both of these games.

The differences between GTA 5 and Sleeping Dogs

1) Sleeping Dogs is more focused on hand-to-hand combat


Sleeping Dogs provide players with a much deeper and more extensive hand-to-hand combat system than GTA 5. Furthermore, the latter is way more of a gun-based shooter as physical combat takes priority in most of Sleeping Dogs' missions.

Ground combat is just as entertaining, with a counter and combo-focused system that allows for plenty of dazzling melee beatdowns of big groups of enemies with brutal, in-character finishing moves.

On the other hand, Grand Theft Auto 5 focuses on the wide variety of weapons that players can use to engage in combat.

2) Focus on a single character


Players in Sleeping Dogs can only control one single character, who is also the main protagonist in the story, Wei Shen.

Grand Theft Auto 5's multiple character perspective stories are not present in Sleeping Dogs because it provides much more of a linear story.

As a result, the scale of the story is much smaller compared to Grand Theft Auto 5. But it also provides an advantage as playing with just a single character allows the players to connect with that character much more deeply, than simultaneously playing three different characters.

3) Setting


Unlike Grand Theft Auto 5, Sleeping Dogs takes place in the city of Hong Kong. Many of the real locations from the city are present in the game which players can visit.

Los Santos from Grand Theft Auto 5 is also based on Los Angeles, but the Sleeping Dogs' setting has more in common with the real place than Grand Theft Auto 5. Because of this, Sleeping Dogs feels more realistic and grounded in reality.

Moreover, Hong Kong creates a way different atmosphere than Grand Theft Auto 5's Los Santos. Players are more connected to the surroundings with its colorful streets and neon lights than they are with Los Santos, which is more of a playground where players can do whatever they want.

The similarities between GTA 5 and Sleeping Dogs

1) Open World


Both of these games offer players an open world to explore and players are free to roam wherever they want. The environment in both of these games is also responsive to the player's actions and provides players with considerable freedom to do anything they want.

Even though Grand Theft Auto 5's world is bigger than Sleeping Dogs, they still have many things in common such as players can destroy properties and drive any vehicle they want. Players can also do different side activities that are spread throughout the world.

2) Engaging narrative


Both Sleeping Dogs and Grand Theft Auto 5 tell an action-adventure crime story be it with different goals in mind. Sleeping Dogs' story is much more serious and emotional than Grand Theft Auto 5's, which is more cynical and satirical.

Players can easily see the contrast between the two stories. They can see how Michael and Wei Shen are very similar, as both of them don't want to do anything unlawful and morally wrong. However, they get roped into doing such acts because of uncontrollable circumstances.

Primarily, the narrative is really important for both of these games and both of them are trying to present a cinematic story that players can experience.

Note: This article reflects the writer's subjective opinion.

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Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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