7 Great Video Games Playing Watch Dogs Will Remind You Of

7. Sleeping Dogs

At some point open-world games will stop being referred to as "GTA Clones" but that day is not today. Watch_Dogs wears it Grand Theft Auto DNA on its sleeve, and is better for it. But the game it may remind you of first is another Grand Theft Auto 'clone' - Sleeping Dogs. See, both Sleeping Dogs and Watch_Dogs are confident enough in their setting and gameplay that they rarely feel like they live in the shadow of the most notorious gaming franchise ever. While the tropes are common among them - cars, an open world, side missions, shooting, it's the little things they do different that make them worthwhile experiences. Sleeping Dogs took the GTA formula to the far east, setting the game in Hong Kong, and de-emphasizing gunplay in favor of kung-fu fighting action and a surprisingly well told homage to the movie Infernal Affairs (which was remade in the USA as The Departed). There were also several culture-specific mini-games and side missions, including a bizarre karaoke bar with licensed music that boosted your health. Because Sleeping Dogs was content delivering a good story and some unique ideas within the GTA framework, gamers were happy to do the same old 'GTA-style' things in new and interesting ways. Watch_Dogs ditches GTA's focus on building a crime empire and instead highlights how frightening our technology can be when used against us. You gain the ability to hack traffic lights to cause six-car pileups, explode steam pipes under roads to incapacitate cars, and most of the side mission content has a strong focus on strategically thinking your way through a situation instead of simply blowing everyone away, GTA-style. So, while Grand Theft Auto may still be the king of all things interactive media, when it's done well the likes of Watch_Dogs and Sleeping Dogs deliver experiences that are great fun, even if they do result in the occasional bout of deja-vu.
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Paul is a writer, video producer, gamer, lover, and tie-fighter. E-mail him at MeekinOnMovies@gmail.com.