Lego City Undercover Review
Cart: Lego City Undercover
Cab: Wii U
Coin: TT Fusion
Lego City Undercover is the latest in the series of Lego games from Traveller’s Tales, but is the first one not based on an existing franchise, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter. It is instead based on Lego’s very own ‘City’ series.
It is also the first radical departure in terms of gameplay for TT Lego. In place of the usual Streets of Rage Lite collectathon, Lego City Undercover is a sandbox game that feels like a Grand Theft Auto game for kids. Except this is actually far more fun and interesting than GTA, and has a superior script that is full of wit and pop references.
This is a game that knows it’s a game, and finds joy and substance in that fact. It fits more silly jokes and references into every minute than a Tim Vine show, and you can’t help but be swept along by the knockabout humour and farcical cut-scenes.
Now, imagine it was ALL made of Lego
It does, however, suffer from the same major issue that I feel all the Lego games have suffered from: the characters and many items are made from Lego, yet the worlds are not. It looks wrong to my eyes. These Lego people walking around realistic environments, and it just feels like a bit of a cop-out and a missed opportunity to create something really special looking with these Lego games.
Aside from that criticism, which really applies to all the games in the series anyway, this is really good fun. The city is bigger than I expected, and there are plenty of vehicles to drive, side missions to complete and hundreds of things to build or destroy. Just a shame TT didn’t create the entire city of out Lego so we could build or destroy whole buildings…
There is quite a bit of city to explore
The game uses the Wii U controller well, alternating between a map, a scanner and other functions. This being a sandbox game, it is surprising how useful it is to be able to place waypoints on a map without having to exit the main screen in any way, but the rest of the features are a little gimmicky, and this game commits the cardinal sin of not supporting second screen play. I would have swapped every single function for this alone.
The graphics are sharp and smooth, and Undercover is probably the best looking Lego game so far. I never noticed any performance issues while playing.
For fans of the previous Lego games, this is going to be an essential title, although be warned that there is a total lack of any kind of cooperative play – a truly bizarre decision. Surely TT could have added a second player that could just follow, fight and do little else?
For everyone else, this does still come recommended as a funny and engaging title that is far better than the previous Lego game, and will warm Wii U gamers as they suffer a release-barren winter and spring.
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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.