Sleeping Dogs

Por Author Jose Antonio Herrera el 26 de octubre de 2012.

Sleeping Dogs es una historia de dolor y perseverancia, y resulta especialmente apropiado que tanto el desarrollo como el mismo lanzamiento del juego se viesen imbuidos de ese espíritu. Al ponernos ante el título es difícil ver que en realidad nos encontramos ante el resurgimiento de una antigua franquicia propia de los tiempos de Playstation 2, su nombre original fue True Crime. Y ésta, su considerada tercera parte espiritual, estuvo cerca de ser cancelada, sobrevivió a una compra de derechos por parte de Square Enix, a cambios, tanto de desarrollador (de Luxoflux a United Front Games) como de nombre, pero contra todo pronóstico consiguió finalmente salir a flote como una propuesta violenta, sucia y con ganas de dar mucho que hablar.

Comenzamos en la piel de Wei Shen, un policía que ha regresado recientemente de Estados Unidos a Hong Kong y que no tarda en encontrarse con su nueva misión: infiltrarse en las triadas y conseguir pruebas para desmantelarlas. La tarea principal es altamente peligrosa, sobretodo tratándose de la mafia china, pero la motivación de Shen es doble, es algo más que simplemente hacer cumplir la ley. Lazos profundos y heridas del pasado unen a nuestro protagonista con varios miembros de los bajos fondos que conforman el extenso casting de personajes, lo cual hará que a veces sea difícil discernir con quien está su lealtad.

United Front Games nos presenta un sandbox de libro, aderezado con un sistema de combate que bebe muchísimo del reciente Batman Arkham Asylum, donde con tres simples botones hacíamos verdaderos escarnios durante los combates. Cambiamos de enemigos y de ambientación pero la esencia es la misma, añadiéndole, eso sí, un componente violento extra, muy del estilo del cine de artes marciales de Hong Kong. Las opciones para acabar con la miriada de rivales que nos encontramos en nuestro camino son para todos los gustos (o mal gusto, según se mire). Por poner ejemplos, podremos desde ensartar a un mafioso con un pez espada, o usar una sierra radial para rajarle la cara, a quemar al caco con carbones encendidos. Y no termina aquí, porque siguiendo con el lado oscuro que despiertan estos juegos también es posible robar todo tipo de vehículos para movernos por toda la ciudad. Las carreras, que suceden al ritmo de rap, música oriental, clásica o heavy metal, son un verdadero acierto y uno de los puntos fuertes del juego, uno de esos que logran crear una atmósfera capaz de meternos de lleno en el ambiente de Hong Kong. Sleeping Dogs muestra una versión virtual de la urbe rebosante de personalidad gracias al impresionante trabajo de diseño que han realizado desde United Front Games, reproduciendo a la ex colonia de Inglaterra con una altísima fidelidad. La ciudad, llena de puestos ambulantes, barrios comerciales y discotecas, hoteles y zonas portuarias, está representada como un entorno vivo y creíble.

Libres y al control de Wei nos encontramos con golpes provenientes de todas partes, y no solo en el sentido literal de la palabra. Durante el transcurso del juego tendremos que luchar contra nuestros superiores en el cuerpo y su reticencia a confiar en nuestro plan de acción y decisiones, la razón principal es nuestro pasado. Y por si no fuera, también debemos aguantar acusaciones de nuestros hermanos de la triada que sospechan de nuestra tapadera. La tensión será una constante en todo el desarrollo, que además permite adentrarse mejor en el carácter del personaje. La narrativa se encuentra lo suficientemente bien hilada como para que podamos entender y compartir lo que él sienta, cada traición y cada muerte, hasta escasos momentos dulces.

Además de las misiones enmarcadas en la historia principal del título, ofrece un gran surtido de tareas paralelas donde podemos encontrar una gran riqueza: apuestas en peleas de gallos, karaokes, carreras ilegales de coches, pirateo de cámaras, redadas de traficantes de drogas, por no hablar de ciudadanos que nos pedirán ayuda aprovechándose de nuestro estatus de mafioso. La oferta es abrumadora, e incluye varios casos policiales secundarios que se irán abriendo y que están relacionados con los eventos principales del juego. De las decisiones que vayamos tomando con unos u otros dependerá nuestro nivel como policía o como miembro de la triada. En base a ello podemos desbloquear habilidades o ataques especiales que nos permitirán realizar acciones extra, desde robar más fácilmente coches a desarmar a los enemigos que nos ataquen de manera mas eficiente. Por supuesto tampoco falta otra de las características estándar de los sandbox, y la extensa Hong Kong virtual aparece repleta de coleccionables, entre ellos destacan unos altares que sirven para mejorar nuestra salud, las maletas con dinero y prendas de ropa para nuestro armario, objetos accesorios pero más útiles que simples medallas. Otro de los coleccionables con sentido de los que dispone el título son las doce estatuillas de jade repartidas por todo el mapa de juego, objetos que una vez devueltos a nuestro maestro de artes marciales permiten aprender nuevos movimientos de Kung Fu, a la vez que desbloquear una breve conversación con él. En conjunto son un punto de inmersión destacable que afianza el sabor de película de Hong Kong, revelándonos de paso rasgos adicionales de la personalidad de Shen.

Pero como siempre, no todo van a ser luces. Ocasionales errores endémicos del genero harán que no podamos llegar al objetivo de alguna misión, siendo necesario reiniciarla, lo cual puede significar tener que rejugar secciones relativamente amplias de la misma. Un detalle que cercena parte del excepcional trabajo ambiental. No se encuentra exento de bugs similares a los que algunos vivieron con Red Dead Redemption, personajes idénticos sincronizados en sus gestos y con los mismos objetos en la mano. Y está, como siempre, ese sistema de guardado totalmente anquilosado y lastrante, que no permite guardar el avance de la partida donde uno quiere y que a veces ocasiona, de nuevo, repetir misiones innecesariamente. No es un mal uso de los puntos de control y el flujo temporal pero resulta molesto, y puede ocasionar que, antes o después, pasemos de las misiones paralelas centrándonos más en la historia. Tras mirar atrás al acabar la experiencia se echa de menos una motivación adicional a realizar las tareas opcionales, estas no generan los niveles de hastío del primer Assassins Creed pero no acaban de cuajar en el conjunto.

Así todo, Sleeping Dogs es una gran alternativa a los GTA y Saints Row, que nos lleva a un terreno inexplorado hasta la fecha en un juego de estas características, sobretodo porque GTA Chinatown Wars no dejaba de ser un gueto en una cultura ajena. La obra permite llenar un hueco que todos los aficionados al cine de Hong Kong estaban esperando poder rellenar. Y por si esto no fuera poco se acerca por el horizonte un contenido descargable (saldrá a finales de mes) que en palabras de los desarrolladores, será “una aproximación al cine chino desde otra dirección“: el cine clásico de artes marciales y los fantasmas orientales.

106 Comentarios

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  1. Yaaa ya, en parte no te discuto lo que dices. Pero también ten en cuenta que la aproximación es diferente a esos titulos, este juego en muy muy pelicula de hong kong. Voy a matizarlo, gracias por el comentario.

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