Back in 2013, LEGO City Undercover was released exclusively on Wii U, making it inaccessible to many fans of LEGO games. Fortunately, it has now been remastered for PC, PS4, Xbox One and the Switch, opening it up for a much larger audience.
[pullquote_left]Drive around the city and run down civilians or disrupt traffic as it pleases you. So, yes, it’s basically the LEGO version of GTA.[/pullquote_left]If you played LEGO City Undercover on the Wii U, you’ll notice improved graphics and decreased load times, as well as co-op, which is a staple of LEGO games but was somehow absent in the Wii U version. The removal of the the Wii U gamepad is handled smoothly, and you’d never know it was once a part of the game. Everything else – story, gameplay – is largely unchanged from the 2013 version, so don’t go in expecting a brand new game.
Finally off the Wii U
If you didn’t have the chance to play LEGO City Undercover back in 2013, you’re in for a treat. Based on LEGO’s own LEGO City range of toys, you play Chase McCain, a charming – if a bit dense – cop who’s been called in to save LEGO City from criminal Rex Fury and his gang. Expect every cop show cliche under the sun, from the tough superior who hates Chase to doughnut jokes to Starsky & Hutch references. The game never takes itself too seriously, with characters frequently commenting on the rather ridiculous things you encounter or do in the game.
The game takes place in LEGO City, a massive open world playground, where, like other LEGO games, you can follow the story to unlock new characters or abilities, or you can just muck around, ‘commandeering’ vehicles (it’s police business, after all!) to drive around the city and run down civilians or disrupt traffic as it pleases you. So, yes, it’s basically the LEGO version of GTA.
Bashed to bits
LEGO City Undercover introduces a number of unusual mechanics, some of which have found their way into later games, while some are still unique to this title. In addition to collecting studs as currency, you also need to collect actual LEGO bricks (gained mostly from destroying objects and vehicles) in order to complete super builds, which are things like helipads, vehicle call-in points, cranes and swimming pools, some of which will help you for missions, and some that are just cosmetic. Chase has a host of a abilities, like a police scanner to identify criminals, to a whistle to stop traffic, to a phone that lets the police dispatcher contact him while he’s out in the field.
Chase can unlock further abilities by disguising himself as other characters (hence the ‘Undercover’ part of the title), and many of the vehicles in the game have special abilities as well. There are nearly 300 characters to unlock and somewhere around 100 vehicles, as well as 65 super builds and 450 gold bricks to collect, so LEGO City Undercover will keep completionists busy for a good long while.
I love the humour in this game, and all the little references to cop shows and movies. These might fly over kids’ heads, but there’s so much to do and explore in LEGO City Undercover that they probably won’t notice. Considering this game was originally released 4 years ago, it has cleaned up nicely, and its open world is still vast and impressive, even when compared to more recent LEGO games. And if you need more of Chase McCain, he’s coming to LEGO Dimensions in a Fun Pack next month.
Still not convinced? Check out the launch trailer below: