LEGO City Undercover Rerelease Is Too Fun to Pass On
When we first looked at LEGO City Undercover in 2013, we called it one of LEGO’s best games ever, especially since, unlike other LEGO franchises – it didn’t actually have any source material. It couldn’t bank on the Harry Potter or Star Wars names; it had to stand on it’s own, really only using the LEGO City licence to attract potential players. With a limited release – on the now proven failed Wii U experiment by Nintendo – LEGO City Undercover was a game that not a lot of people got to play, which is incredibly unfortunate. The game, while spectacular at the time – and still so today – wasn’t enough to drive someone to retail to purchase a Wii U.
Reason for the Release
Fast forward 4 years, and LEGO City Undercover is now available on all platforms, meaning anyone now has access to the greatest LEGO game of all time, with all due respect to LEGO Dimensions (which comes in at number 2 for me). The early reviews have been fairly disappointing, using variations of the following points,
LEGO didn’t do enough to make LEGO City Undercover better and / or different from the original.
The load times are only marginally better than before, but 45 seconds or more to get into the game is unacceptable.
LEGO City Undercover’s rerelease was not a “make money quick” move by the company, nor was it suppose to be a wildly different than the Wii U original. I would strongly argue that this rerelease of LEGO City Undercover was simply to bring a fantastic game to a wider audience. And yes, some of the load times are long, and perhaps this can be patched in the future, but it’s not game breaking. I believe people are looking at this release all wrong: this game isn’t marketed to people who played it on Wii U. It is for those that never got the chance. And I think this game still holds up great in 2017.
LEGO City Undercover Basics
You play as Chase McCain, an exiled cop asked to return to LEGO City to bring Rex Furry back to justice…again. Through a roughly 10 hour campaign, you will travel around the wonderfully detailed open world, grabbing new costumes that give Chase new abilities. As a robber, Chase can use crowbars to open various locked doors around LEGO City, and as the Spaceman, Chase gets a hover ability. Usually, I’m a fan of knocking out each area of the map completely before moving on, but if you have played a LEGO Game before, you know getting through the campaign, and unlocking all the abilities, is priority one, as you will need these abilities to 100% the levels, and find all the collectibles in LEGO City.
The voice acting in the game is top notch, and that coupled with the classic LEGO humor makes LEGO City enjoyable for all ages. The awkward relationships that Chase has – both newly foraged and decades old – all play out differently, giving the game a good sense of variety within the story. Their are characters that idolize Chase, those that hate him, those that need him, and those that loath, but love, him.
The music in LEGO City is also incredibly well done. Unlike other games that inundate you with sounds 24/7, I always felt like LEGO City understands when music should be played, and when you as the player just want to enjoy the sights and sounds of LEGO City. This is a huge improvement over other LEGO titles which hit you with famous themes at all times.
Visually, LEGO City Undercover doesn’t make many improvements over the original release, although in comparison videos you will notice subtle background visuals are greatly improved. Walls in the background have more detail, and more of LEGO City can be seen in the background when wandering around parts of this massive world. That being said, we all know what to expect form a LEGO title, and generally, whether you are playing on the Nintendo Switch or the more powerful PS4 or Xbox One, the look of LEGO bricks isn’t going to change a whole lot.
LEGO City is GTA V for Everyone
What’s amazing about LEGO City Undercover is that it’s Grand Theft Auto for kids. A lot of what you can do in GTA – scale buildings, steal cars, and go on joy rides – are things you can do in LEGO City, but in a friendly, “nice to see you” kind of way. That is the appeal of this game. It’s so much fun driving around the 4 islands that make up LEGO City, uncovering the numerous secrets, finding the gold bricks, and eventually brining Rex Furry to justice.
That’s the appeal, and that is why you buy LEGO City Undercover.
LEGO City Undercover is now available on the Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch and Wii U. We did this review with a Nintendo Switch copy provided to us by Warner Bros. Entertainment Canada.