The trailers are coming fast and furious in the final weeks before United Front Games’ Sleeping Dogs lands on store shelves. Following up on yesterday’s quick look at the game’s hard-boiled gunplay, Square Enix has issued an epic chunk game play footage showing off an as yet unexplored facet of Sleeping Dogs: police investigations. At more than eleven minutes, be prepared to spend some time with this one — it’s worth it.

A serial killer is at work in Hong Kong, and Triad members are his prey. Undercover-cop Wei Shen, already busy infiltrating the Sun On Yee Triad, is tasked with tracking him down. Narrated by United Front Games Producer Dan Sochan, the latest Sleeping Dogs trailer completely breaks with the high-octane violence we’ve come to expect from the game, focusing instead on much more measured, methodical gameplay. In the course of his investigation, Shen will need to examine the crime scene (and the bodies), don a disguise, hack computers, crack safes and more — all without blowing his cover.

Sleeping Dogs Investigation Trailer

Along the way, viewers are treated to an extensive look at virtual Hong Kong, which (screen tearing issues aside) positively shines. The game’s lengthy development appears to be paying visual dividends — from rain slicked streets to sunny interiors looking out at the city, Sleeping Dogs’ graphics impress again and again.

If the game’s hand-to-hand combat is as good as promised, and United Front Games can leverage its work on racing games (ModNation Racers and the upcoming LittleBigPlanet Karting, if you can believe it) to deliver an open-world game with driving missions that you don’t want to skip, Sleeping Dogs could end up being more than good enough to compete with the Grand Theft Autos and Saints Rows of the world. It’s a tall order, and there’s no guarantee that the final game will live up to the promise of its trailers, but here’s hoping.

What do you think, Ranters? Could Sleeping Dogs be the sleeper hit of the Summer? Let us know in the comments below.

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

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