Lego City Undercover Review
Lego City Undercover is a unique take on the old Lego game formula. The game places you inside of a large open city, with various missions and collectables and tells you to have fun. And that’s what you get with Lego City Undercover, Fun. Lots of fun.
The gameplay in LCU has not changed a great deal from previous Lego games, which means it’s just right for your little ones to pick up and play. You have an attack button, a jump button and a build button. And in Lego games, that’s all you really need. Here however, the jump button also acts as a nice context sensitive button. This changes how you move about, but not much else.
The Wii U Gamepad has been incorporated into the very game itself, with it acting as your police toolkit. At anytime you might get notice that you have a video call, Chase will pull out the Gamepad in game, and you look at yours. The video stream and audio that is sent to Chase, is shown to you there. This little thought, of placing that on the Gamepad screen takes you further into the Lego City world.
Driving around is fun as all the cars like to handle a little differently from others, and while its fun to drive a police car, nothing beats blowing your police whistle and checking out the other rides in Lego City. And driving around the world is half the fun, because as you drive around you will find super builds. While some of them are important to the main story missions, others are simply there to help you out, by allowing you to request a new car, or adding something awesome to the city scape.
The graphics in LCU look like you would expect them too. The citizens of Lego City look like the Lego we all grew up playing with. The cars, trains, busses, boats and planes all look like the real like Lego models you find in your local toy store. The big letdown is that the rest of the world is half and half. While you’re driving along, you will see lots of trees, and every now and again you will find the old plastic green Lego tree, mixed in with the rest. It is so jarring to see such a transition from an amazing world to that; that the immersion factor takes a bit of a hit.
That’s not to say the world as a whole is bad to look at, it is quite stunning getting up to the top of a mountain, and looking at the city as it spreads out before you. It’s just a shame that they could not decide to go one way or the other.
Chase McCain as a hero is quite agile, able to pick up new talents well, simply finding one of the undercover costumes will grant you new abilities, and each of those comes with a new set of animations. And this is a strong point for LCU, the fact that weather you’re a robber or a miner, Chase moves about like he was that his whole life.
The sound in LCU is another area that struggles to define itself, but the moments when it knows what it wants to be, well they really do shine. The opening cinematic showcases the city, and puts a great upbeat song along with it. That is really the only time that you get any real world music. The rest of the game is filled with the score from the developers, and while it’s not a bad score, it’s just a shame that there is no local Lego City radio to rock out to while you’re driving about.
The characters of Lego City are what makes this game great, each one has their own great lines that I found myself more than once just walking up to all the people I could see just so I could hear them talk. Chase himself has some great one liners, right up there with cheesy action here territory, but if I had to pick a star with the lines, it would have to be Frank Honey.
The entire audio package does make you feel like you are in a true city, it’s just a shame that radio is banned there.
Lego City Undercover is a game that will provide you with loads of entertainment value for your dollar, assuming you can overlook its exceptionally long load times. Be prepared for a great game, which will bring more than the occasional smile to your face.