An expansive RPG let down by a lack of things to do
Sleeping Dogs Lie is a fairly obscure adventure from the late 1980s and while it does present a few good ideas and combines exploration of a well realised world with exciting real-time combat, some fairly serious flaws ultimately bring it down and render it only of interest to dedicated retro fans. The game is set in a fantasy world where the gods have gone to sleep, thinking their work done, but in their absence an evil Archmage has risen to power and brought fear and corruption to the land. As the humble hero with a destiny, it's your job to venture forth and wake the slumbering gods so they might return peace to the people. This quest takes you through eight kingdoms, offering plenty of opportunity for exploration of the various environments, and which are occupied by the usual foul beasts which must be faced in mortal combat. Of course, there is the occasional puzzle to be solved and item to be collected, but really the game is about battles and adventuring The whole thing plays out in a first-person perspective, with graphics that are somewhat dated and which feature sparse environments and fairly crude characters, although the game's pace is quite good. Sound however, is particularly poor, with only a few basic effects that are largely pointless. Combat is quite exciting and is the game's main draw but unfortunately there is little else going on here. Most areas feel empty and it is simply a case of wandering around looking for the exit to the next area, which does get wearing quite quickly. This is a shame as certain aspects, like the inventive ways you can deal with exit guardians, are quite clever, but it's just a shame there aren't more of them. The game will certainly take you a long time to complete, but the problem is most gamers will give up long before the end as there simply isn't enough to do.