LEGO City Undercover is back for a whole new audience to enjoy
LEGO City Undercover has long been one of my favourite LEGO games. It was originally released on the Wii U back in 2013 just four months after the Wii U launched. Unfortunately, the Wii U never really lived up to its potential and thus many gamers never got to experience the games witty humour and huge open world design.
Fast forward to 2017 and Warner Bros. has brought LEGO City Undercover to a whole new generation and audience to enjoy. In addition, LEGO City Undercover now has a two-player co-op mode that makes tracking down the bad guy twice as fun.
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
It’s time to end the city-wide crime wave
One of the reasons why I love LEGO City Undercover so much is its hilarious storyline and witty one-liners. They always kept me laughing the whole way through the game. You play as Chase McCain, an undercover police officer, who has just returned to LEGO City after an embarrassing blunder forced him to leave in disgrace.
McCain’s arch nemesis, Rex Fury, is on the loose again and along with his henchmen are terrorizing the people of LEGO City. With a rich supporting cast of characters such as officer Frank Honey, Chief of Police Dunby, and Chase’s girl friend Natalia—they all work together to put the crime boss back behind bars.
Signature LEGO humour
LEGO City Undercover shines with its signature LEGO humour that all ages can enjoy. The game is filled with pop-culture references and satirical jokes much in the same vein as Shrek. The best part about it is that it’s all done without ever losing its daft kid-friendly charm.
For example, there’s a cutscene that riffs on Goodfellas with spot-on accuracy, while the Albatross Island Prison is chock full of Shawshank Redemption humour. Then you have the LEGO City police station, it has LEGO versions of Dirty Harry, Starsky and Hutch, Sherlock Holmes and even Columbo among its employees.
Needless to say, TT Games did an amazing job in creating a storyline that gamers of all ages will enjoy and can relate to in some way or another.
Unlike other LEGO games, LEGO City Undercover is an open-world metropolis. There is a lot to do including exploring the game’s more than 20 unique districts. They are filled with hundreds of collectibles, over 100 vehicles to drive, and mischievous aliens to capture. Although the game will guide you where to go and what to do, you are free to explore on your own.
As Chase McCain, you have eight disguises you can choose from—each with their own unique skills and abilities. There is over 300 unlockable and playable characters that you will meet and 15 special assignments to complete. When LEGO City Undercover was first released it introduced Super Builds, large structures that perform specific functions in LEGO City, into the gameplay mix. Even today I still have fun saving up bricks to construct these master pieces.
There are 65 Super Builds contained in the game, some of which are necessary to complete the game while others are simply cosmetic. My favourite Super Build is the Dragon Statue at Barry Smith’s Dojo. By building the Dragon Statue, you get a key to enter the Dojo so you can learn King Fu and plumbing.
Multiplayer fun and unique collectibles
New to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions is a two player couch co-op mode. While I certainly did enjoy playing LEGO City Undercover by myself. I liked having a second player to play with and help collect the loot and take out the bad guys made it that much more enjoyable.
If you’re playing the Nintendo Switch version, there are exclusive Nintendo items to collect and Nintendo franchise references though out the game. Nintendo specific items range from Cheep Cheeps from the Super Mario series while fishing at the Crescent Park Wharf to Piranha Plants behind the Dojo.
At first glance, LEGO City Undercover looks just how I remembered it on the Wii U. However, after playing for a few minutes I started to notice some improvements in the game engine. The first thing I noticed was the upgraded lighting system, there are now subtler depths to the game’s environment.
Even the game’s art assets have been enhanced. The PlayStation 4 runs the game at 1080p, and while the Switch is docked it matches the same 1080p resolution. On the other hand, the Xbox One release appears to be not as sharp as the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch versions. While overall the PlayStation 4 version looks the best, I was quite surprised to see just how well the Nintendo Switch version held up.
LEGO City Undercover is every bit as fun to play as I remember. The addition of two player couch co-op is a welcomed, and makes a great game even better. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any additional content added. I would have loved to see PlayStation and Xbox exclusive content for their respective versions.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with LEGO City Undercover. It’s a game that really never takes anything seriously. It’s full of things to see and do—all while making you laugh along the way.
+ An amusing story with a goofy cast of characters
+ Big open-world to explore
+ Fun for all ages
+ One of the best LEGO games
– Driving vehicles can be hard to control
– Minor framerate issues
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5