After spending 4 years hidden behind Wii U’s exclusivity, Lego City Undercover has finally been given a new lease of life thanks to a re-release on multiple platforms. This remaster serves as the perfect opportunity for those that missed out on the action the first time and beyond the usual graphical upgrade, its developer has also introduced split-screen co-op. Aside from that, everything else remains intact.
Created as an open world game Lego City Undercover takes inspiration from Grand Theft Auto, but instead of playing the role of a criminal you’re instead placed in the shiny shoes of a law-abiding police officer. Chase McCain is a cop on a mission to rid his beloved city of crime and corruption and shortly after arriving into Lego City’s docks, Chase is quickly put to work and tasked with taking down the ultimate bad guy, Rex Fury. It features a genuinely funny script and as a result I ended up having more fun than I expected.
In terms of size Lego City is huge and as you proceed through the story you gradually unlock more sections, including a railway system which can be used for fast travel. There are a ton of tasks to get stuck into and missions involve a mixture of well-crafted puzzles. One of Undercover’s greatest aspects is the ability to don a selection of disguises, each of which grant Chase special abilities: the criminal outfit, for instance, will give Chase the use of a crowbar to pry open doors, whereas a Miner uniform allows him to break open boulders with a pickaxe. You will need to switch between disguises regularly in order to achieve different tasks and when you want to take a break from the story to go your own way and explore, then that’s fun too. Pretty much any vehicle you come across can be hijacked (politely, of course, Chase is one of the good guys after all).
Smashing bricks remains an integral part of the Lego journey and scattered across the map of Lego City are sections called ‘Super Builds’. These are pre-determined constructions that lie at the centre of many levels and require a certain amount of brick parts before they can be built. Brick parts can be collected in small quantities by smashing scenery but your main source will come via the acquisition of Super Bricks. Tracking down and collecting these multi-coloured bricks will rake in thousands of brick parts at once and when a Super Build requires 40,000 pieces for construction, then it’s time to go hunting. Luckily, Chase is equipped with a pair of binoculars that can scan the immediate area for Super Brick locations and they also prove crucial when it comes to Chase playing detective.
In conclusion, Lego City Undercover is a well constructed open-world game that blends together a funny script with varied and entertaining gameplay. My only issue is the lack of online multiplayer, as it would have been fantastic to explore the world with a friend who can’t make it to my house. I love the fact that split-screen co-op is available, but realistically online multiplayer is a lot easier to coordinate.
Overall, I’m grateful that this title managed to make it onto more platforms, because otherwise I would have completely missed this gem of a game.