LEGO City: Undercover brings the popular toy set to life, expanding not only on what’s gone before with LEGO Batman, Indiana Jones and Star Wars into a single player experience that’s more of a sandbox experience you’d see in something like GTA. In fact, kids should definitely be playing this instead of pestering their parents for 18 rated titles but that’s another issue – rant over.
The story is simple – you’re a cop called Chase McCain who’s moved to LEGO City to track down an escaped convict called Rex Fury. You’ll visit the police station, get your briefing and then head into the open world to explore and complete missions.
The first thing you’ll notice is that this game is very funny – it’s full of amusing lines and pastiches of characters and movies that you’re going to get if you’re an adult. If you’re a child it will go over your head but that’s a good sign that this game works on many levels. Controls and gameplay are simplistic so this extra level of humour does just enough to make this game enjoyable for all ages.
Because it’s a LEGO game you should know the score. You run about, smash stuff up, build things to access new areas and find new disguises and outfits that give you new abilities, so you can access areas later on in the game you couldn’t get to before. There are also tonnes of studs and bricks to collect which you can use to buy extra outfits and vehicles or to build new vehicles such as cars, helicopters and even ferries.
Missions show that familiar meter at the top of the screen where the object is to collect enough studs to fill it up, and there are secret gold bricks and extras to find while you’re there – you can also replay missions at any time if you’re going for 100% completion.
The Wii U GamePad is also put to good use. You can use it to receive video calls from dispatch, scan the environment and navigate via the map and it all fits seamlessly into the gameplay.
There are some negative points which will annoy seasoned gamers. Loading times can be as long as 30 seconds when changing areas or embarking on missions, the gameplay can seem a little slow in terms of character movement in general and steering vehicles is a bit twitchy resulting in some frustrating crashes. I’ve also encountered the odd bug such as floating above the environment and it’s a shame they didn’t put the city itself to more use. Although you can explore and collect stuff, there isn’t really anything in the way of meaty side missions or interior locations to explore that aren’t part of a mission.
Still, despite these niggles, LEGO City: Undercover is a charming game with a genuine wit and is definitely a game worth checking out on the Wii U whether you’re 7 or 70. Aptly then, it gets a very good 7 out of 10.
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