Hong Kong is back on the map at Vancouver's United Front Games as PC game "Triad Wars" lifts elements from 2012 hit "Sleeping Dogs."
Conceptually, online PC game "Triad Wars" sounds a bit like a Facebook title with its dependence on territorial acquisition and interaction with other players, but like "Sleeping Dogs" it takes place within an open world Hong Kong and features a whole lot of driving, punching and kicking.
Players take on the role of a Triad enforcer looking to rise up the ranks by expanding their influence and control.
"It's about going out, raiding real rivals, taking their stuff. It's about building up your empire," said Justin Bullard, producer, in the game's first trailer. "To get to the top, you've gotta be strong, and you've got to be smart."
Players can build their empires through physical force or through strategic engagement in dubious but marketable activities -- hacking, money laundering, extortion.
And while the singleplayer-focused narrative of "Sleeping Dogs" had players bounding about Hong Kong as undercover police officer Wei Shen, "Triad Wars" is all about the gangs that he would have tried to take down.
The expectation is that "Triad Wars," which is accepting sign-ups for its open beta, will soon reveal itself to be a free-to-play title with optional cash purchases and an eventual console release; whenever it arrives, it'll have to compete with "Grand Theft Auto Online," which currently ships as part of "Grand Theft Auto V," available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4, and due on PS4, Xbox One and PC this November.