In just two weeks, United Front Games’ long gestating Sleeping Dogs will finally see the light of day. In development since 2009, and originally announced as True Crime: Hong Kong before being killed by Activision and resurrected by Square Enix, Sleeping Dogs is a hyper-violent take on the open-world genre, set in picturesque Hong Kong.

A brand new trailer, “Hard-Boiled Gunplay,” shows off exactly that. If you caught the John Woo reference in the trailer’s title, or you’re any kind of Hong Kong action cinema fan, Sleeping Dogs could be just the game for you.

Under-cover cop Wei Shen is certain to have his hands full as he works to take down the Sun On Yee Triad. Fortunately for him, those hand happen to double as deadly weapons. United Front Games brought in MMA champion Georges St-Pierre to help fine tune Sleeping Dogs’ brutal hand-to-hand combat — combat that looks to be more varied and visceral than in any other open-world game (look no further than the cranial trauma on display in the Sleeping Dogs 101″ trailer for proof). Still, it’s going to take more than Shen’s fists to topple the Triad. Needless to say, that’s where the guns come in.

Sleeping Dogs Hard-Boiled Gunplay Trailer

The “Hard-Boiled Gunplay” trailer touts Sleeping Dogs’ “aggressive cover system,” its “explosive and destructible environments” and its “high speed shootouts,” but mostly, it shows scene after scene of Shen shooting up stuff, but good: bad guys, aquariums, cars and more. Unfortunately, the trailer doesn’t elaborate much on Sleeping Dogs’ Max Payne-esque “slow motion” feature, nor does it give a clear picture of how gunplay is handled mechanically — there is, for instance, no targeting reticle on display. Then again, the lack of user interface elements certainly makes for a good looking trailer, so who’s complaining?

August is probably not the month most players head to their local games retailer looking for a marquee title, and the verdict is still out on Sleeping Dogs. That said, kudos to Square Enix for giving the game a chance to find an audience before the holiday onslaught begins in earnest little more than a month from now.

Ranters, what do you think of Sleeping Dogs’ serious, and seriously violent, take on the open-world genre? Are you looking forward to the game? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Sleeping Dogs releases August 14, 2012, for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

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