NIGHTMARE IN NORTH POINT
Version reviewed: Playstation 3

Just in time for Halloween, Square Enix has released the first mission-based downloadable content pack for Sleeping Dogs, the kyonsi (aka "hopping vampire") themed Nightmare in North Point. Is this DLC worthy of your hard-earned bucks, or is it yet another lame cash grab, as has been the case far too often in this console generation?

Some good points right off the bat about Nightmare is that it is only five bucks, and the download is an easy 175 MB. However, in order to access the content, you'll have to also download a hefty 950 MB patch, which also fixes some bugs in the main game, including adding in the Police Protection Pack pre-order content for use in free roam mode.

Once you have everything saved to your hard drive, you'll be able to select Nightmare as a separate option from the main menu. The story has an old 18K member, Smiley Cat, coming back from the dead and bringing an army of kyonsi along with him to get his revenge on the Sun On Yee. There are five story missions, which will take around two hours to go through, as well as a couple of different side missions and a new set of collectables. When you factor in the new trophies to be gotten, there's probably around five hours of gameplay here, which is not a bad deal at all for five dollars.

The gameplay on the new missions is fairly simple, mostly favoring melee combat against the kyonsi, with a few short chase and shooting elements thrown in. Vehicles are almost never used, except to get from one mission to another. You'll also notice fewer things like shops, high caliber weapons, and exotic cars about, so you won't really be able to create as much chaos while in free roam as in the main game.

Overall, though -- besides the forced download of a large patch -- Nightmare is an example of what DLC should be. Most of the DLC for Sleeping Dogs has been underwhelming so far, but if this is the direction the developers are going, please bring out more.

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