In general I am a big fan of the Lego games; I nearly own them all and I always look forward to how they will improve their next title. With the Wii U starving for new games, there is no risk buying Lego City Undercover, especially at the $49.99 price point, but let me tell you why you shouldn’t pass this game up.
The opening cinematic immediately grabs your attention, panning around various parts of Lego City and as always is dabbled with what I call “Lego Humor” (this time the humor is puns and pop culture references). The player is introduced to Chase McCain and his fellow workmates against a 70s inspired police satire setting. The main story is about tracking down and arresting criminal Rex Fury, again, and that is all you need to know.
The very first task you have to do is drive somewhere, which happens to be where the first con appears. The turn mechanics are overly responsive, making it a very wobbly experience that eventually can be mastered, but this could have been better from the start. The other con is the loading screens, which don’t happen too frequent but when they do it is oddly enjoyable because of the funky cop drama-esque music playing in the background. I still would have liked the loading times to be shorter, but it isn’t a deal breaker.
It seems like every reviewer has been making the Grand Theft Auto comparison, and honestly it can’t be helped. The open-world filled with missions for Italian gangsters and car thefts do exist in Lego City Undercover, but it really is done in a unique way. Lego has been selling their Lego City sets for over 30 years, and you get to see them come alive from someone’s imagination. I really feel that Lego has stayed true to its younger audience by omitting death/overly violent themes, but has still made it extremely fun and logical to how kids play with Lego’s (i.e. beat up the bad guys). On the plus side there are many references to pop culture and over-the-top puns for the older audience; this truly is a game for all ages.
There is the familiar foundation from previous titles, such as unlocking characters, unique skills, studs, red bricks, and repayable missions. One thing that is new is the ability to collect regular bricks to purchase “Super Build” spots for cars, stunts, and other things; however I wish the object destroyed for bricks would disappear quicker because it makes the obtaining the bricks more difficult. The best new concept introduced is the scanning ability with the Wii U Game Pad. Throughout missions and the open world there are certain spots that activate your audio scanner that utilizes the gyroscope in the Game Pad by looking around the buildings for the person of interest. I hope to see this feature in future games!
Lego City Undercover has few flaws and I really enjoyed my first play through in their stand alone series. The story of Chase McCain and Rex Fury wasn’t as childish as I was preparing for, and all the missions were a blast. When I finished the story, I only had 23% completion, leaving a lot of stuff to explore and replay. At $49.99, you really can’t go wrong..seriously, go pick up a copy!