On August 14, players will have the chance to step into the virtual shoes of under-cover cop Wei Shen as he works to take down the Sun On Yee Triad in Square Enix’s Sleeping Dogs. As with nearly every high-profile game releasing these days, a number of retailer-specific pre-order bonuses have been announced.

While the upcoming open-word game features all the genre staples — a huge city (Hong Kong), loads of gun-play, fast cars — developer United Front Games is paying particular attention to Sleeping Dogs‘ hand-to-hand combat. So much so, in fact, that they’ve brought in a specialist to collaborate on that aspect of the game’s development: mixed martial arts champion Georges St-Pierre.

The long-in-development Sleeping Dogs was first announced as a new True Crime game way, way back at the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards (the “Hong Kong” suffix surfaced later). Activision Blizzard ultimately abandoned the title after first delaying its release from 2010 to 2011, but Square Enix stepped in to save the day, first purchasing the rights to the game, then announcing its resurrection and new name. It may have been a gamble, but it looks likely to pay off — Sleeping Dogs recently had an excellent showing at PAX East, and made Game Rant’s list of highlights from the show.

Still, the open-world genre is as crowded as they come, and it can be hard to stand out. No game is going to be crazier than Saints Row The Third, and Grand Theft Auto has the market cornered on high-caliber cinematic storytelling — and that’s just for starters. There is everything from The Amazing Spider-Man to PROTOTYPE 2 to Assassin’s Creed 3 on the horizon, but with Georges St-Pierre (GSP) on-board, Sleeping Dogs has a chance to set itself apart. According to the press release announcing his involvement, St-Pierre has been working on “multiple elements,” though it’s pretty clear where his focus lies.

“Working with Square Enix has been an incredible opportunity. I’m really impressed to see how the hand-to-hand combat in the game is shaping up — it’s been a great experience being involved.”

For a good look at that hand-to-hand combat in action, be sure to check out the Sleeping Dogs story trailer.

St-Pierre’s involvement with Sleeping Dogs carries over to the pre-order bonuses on tap for the game. Three separate bonus packs will be available, one each from Best BuyGameStop and Amazon, though GSP fans should probably stick with the first. Check out all the details below.

Best Buy: ‘Georges St. Pierre (GSP)’ Pack:

·         GSP’s signature “flying punch”

·         Exclusive GSP outfit including T-shirts, headband and shorts

·         GSP’s outfit unlocks the “flying punch” and increases grappling and throwing damage

GameStop: ‘Police Protection’ Pack:

·         Exclusive “High Speed” Mission
·         Exclusive HK Police SWAT Outfit
·         Exclusive assault rifle
·         Exclusive SWAT Police Vehicle

Amazon: ‘Martial Arts’ Pack:

·         Shaolin Showdown Mission
·         Shaolin Warrior outfit (with increased striking damage)
·         Bonus Triad XP points
·         Wing Chun decoration for safehouse (with temporary combat buff)

Ranters, what do you think of these Sleeping Dogs pre-order bonuses? How about Georges St-Pierre’s involvement with the game’s development? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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

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