Show and Tell: Sleeping Dogs, Forgotten Thieves, Leaky All-Stars

SHOW AND TELL is where our games writers come together to SHOW things to you and then TELL you why you should be interested about them. It's like news, but without being timely. We felt it was easier if we ignored that.

Hello! Welcome to Monday Show and Tell. Each week, Postdesk’s games writers (Jack Bromley, Grant Howitt, and Mariel Hurd)  will each bring something exciting from the internet for you to look at. And then waffle about it a bit. Got something that we might like to look at next week? Let us know in the comments.

GRANT: This week, I’m gonna show you the new Sleeping Dogs trailer. BEHOLD:

I’m kind of ashamed that I’m so excited about this game. It’s a bit like Saints Row the Third, really – despite being fully aware of how tremendously shallow that game was, I was waiting eagerly for it every day from the first announcement through to release day. I grew up on a diet of bad action movies cut with about twenty-seven repeat viewings of The Matrix, so this is basically like crack to me.

It’s covering all the bases that I need from a game, save a decent story. The story for this probably hit final draft stage when it was sketched out on a torn up fag packet in the the smoking garden of a pub. But I’m not there for that. Nor is anyone else.

I’m there because it’s got slow motion in. You might say slow-motion is overdone in games; I’d counter with that it’s overdone because SLOW-MOTION IS GOOD. There are very few things that aren’t improved by slow motion – maybe dentistry or tax returns, but that’s pretty much it.

Sleeping Dogs trailer still

It also features Aggressive Cover, which even I’ll acknowledge is bullshit. If your cover system features sliding and jumping mechanics, that doesn’t make it Aggressive. If yer man started kicking cars end over end at people or ripping bricks out of chest-high walls and chucking them downrange, that’d be Aggressive. What you have here is Serviceable Cover, which I guess doesn’t sound so good emblazoned all over a trailer.

What surprises me most is that it doesn’t feature dual-wielding, which they will presumably have to put in the final version of this game catered to please the parts of my brain that remain at a teenage level of development. In fact, actually, no, I’m not ashamed I’m excited about this. People should be excited about a game that lets you blow up cars and leap off things and get up-close and personal with gentlemen to liberate them of their guns and, subsequently, lives.

MARIEL: When the Thief 4 ‘trailer’ leaked last month, the internet went mildly enthusiastic. Intrigued individuals and 200-word articles as far as the eye can glance. Bit of forum activity, even.

Less a big splash than a skipping stone, but that was to be expected. It’s a 30-second clip for Thief goddamn 4; the next in a series which most people have never played, and which Eidos Montreal have released Sweet F.A about. Most of the attention it got consisted of ten words and a video link, or a sweet little teaspoon of rampant paranoia about The Creeping Inevitable Doom That Has Fallen Upon This Game.

Me? I was pretty psyched, because look at this motherfucker:

I see water arrows. I see lockpicks. I see a lanky streak of piss in a cloak rummaging through someone’s treasured heirlooms, and I could not be more fucking jazzed if this video had come with a free blowjob.

While there’s no gameplay to be gathered from a 30-second lighting and composition demo, it has given us a nice look at Thief 4’s visual style. Our beloved shadowy steampunk aesthetic is still front and centre, and the new composite bow Garrett’s boasting is both stylish and sensible: the two must-haves for this seasons thieving bastard.

Garrett’s world is made of murky, secretive corners, and the corridors cry out for furtive creeping. Moonlight doesn’t shine, but spills through the fragile window glass. It makes me want to use words like ‘opulent’ and ‘treacherous’. Combined with the storyboards leaked last year, there looks to be some downright beautiful design. This image of Garrett tiptoeing through a room of caged birds borders on the haunting, and could be hinting at a tense, eerie level:

Thief 4 concept art

GRANT: Seems legit.

Would I like more information? Yes. I think every Thief fan out there does; even if only so they can prophesise its reincarnation as a 3rdperson shooter comprised entirely of quick time events. And if that’s how they want to spend their evenings then hey, we all have our hobbies, but I intend to fritter mine away dreaming of rainy rooftops and shooting guards in the face.

JACK: Hey look, it’s the leaked roster for everyone’s second favourite Smash Bros. game, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale!

Smash Brothers leaked rosters
Eight new characters have been prematurely introduced, but I’ve only got 400 words and these greedy sods aren’t getting fifty each. It’s not that I don’t love Sackboy, Ratchet and Sir Daniel with all their cartoony gorgeousness, but when I’ve got Spike, Raiden, and Ninja Theory’s badass Dante vying for my attention, the word limit demands its sacrifices.

Dante, guys. Dante. Not white-haired, red trench-coated, uninteresting Dante, but BADASS, scrawny, cocky, beat-up Dante. Come at me, Fanboys. Dante’s redesign was the best thing to happen to the character, transforming from generic Japanese bishie-boy to an underfed, street brawling, sexy son of a bitch. He’s a mess; deteriorated, scrawny, bruised, and not exactly threatening… yet still thinks he’s God’s bloody Gift to the Universe.

(GRANT: I think you have feelings towards New Dante that need exploring. There’s nothing wrong with what you’re feeling, but I think it’s more honest to admit them to yourself. And then you and Dante can GET A ROOM MAYBE)

Spike’s an unexpected one, ain’t he? The net-wielding, monkey-stopping, Yugi wannabe is a welcome surprise for All-Stars, but what will he do? Aside from his laser sword, Spike isn’t exactly proficient in combat, unless he’s planning to net other brawlers in the same way he’d net a monkey. Are they planning to incorporate his wealth of non-aggressive Gotcha Gadgets? Not that watching Nathan Drake being floored by a hula-hooping pre-pubescent wouldn’t be hilarious.

Raiden, you can still see the sticky residue left by the ‘SALE’ sticker on his chest. He’s the cheaper, knock-off Metal Gear rep who’s twice as bad-ass but half the price. He’s a fucking cyborg ninja. With an electric katana. His more expensive cousin’s just some special forces spy prick with a few guns and no electric katana. He’d just be another Colonel Radec, anyway. Plus, he’s already in That Other Game. You know, the one that very specifically has nothing in common with Playstation All-Stars.

Meanwhile, Playstation icons Spyro and Crash are still being held hostage. What’s the ransom, Activision?