Review: LEGO City Undercover (Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC)
Originally released for the WiiU and 3DS, LEGO City Undercover has finally made its way PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. The game follows exiled cop, Chase McCain, as he returns to once again save his city from the actions of the dastardly Rex Fury.
This game surprised me in a lot of ways. I wasn’t expecting much from a WiiU port, but it plays just as any other LEGO game, except this game seems to have more. It’s a very fun stand-alone, game with a fairly large open world. LEGO City Undercover is not based on a specific property such as Star Wars or Harry Potter like the usual LEGO games, so this meant that the writers had to come up with an unique totally new narrative, and I’d say they hit that nail right on the head. The story is fun and actually interesting
Like I mentioned before, this game being a WiiU/3DS port, I didn’t have any high expectations. One of the biggest things I was worried about was the animation. I’ve played LEGO games on the 3DS and the WiiU, and they’re not that pretty compared to the more powerful consoles…but LEGO City Undercover looks incredible on the Xbox One. The animation is different than the normal LEGO games but definitely in a good way, and it’s surprisingly smooth.
Sticking with the topic of animation. A LEGO game’s cinematography isn’t something I ever thought I’d talk about in a review, like ever, but alas here I am. LEGO City Undercover has a lot of very interesting angles and shots in the game. A lot of exaggerated angles to showcase over-the-top cop show tropes, like real “dun dun duuuuun” moments. It was all pretty impressive. The cinematography definitely has a lot to do with my next topic, humor. We all know TT Games is notorious for that style of humor found in all its games. More times than not it’s definitely a hit, and LEGO City Undercover is no exception. With the use of exaggerated angles to highlight those certain law show tropes along with the witty jokes, background physical comedy, as well as some very tropey supporting characters, this game is definitely a riot.
A really cool feature that seems new to me is while driving when you hit other cars, they actually break up and if you hit them enough they’ll completely fall apart. That’s pretty awesome. If I were to compare this game to another video game, I would actually liken it more to a LA Noire type game than any of the other LEGO games. The traffic mechanics as well as the cop stuff and mechanics involved with that really sets it apart from any of the other LEGO games.
LEGO City Undercover has a very enjoyable voice cast. Not a lot of heavy hitters on the roster, but everyone did an excellent job with their characters, even some of the one liners/background characters. Also this is a perfect length for a LEGO video game. Most LEGO games are about 10-15 levels and a whole whack of extra stuff. LEGO City Undercover has 15 levels as well as a ton of minigames and extra stuff to do and collect.
There’s not a lot wrong with this game that I haven’t already mentioned in other LEGO game reviews. Pretty much this game has the occasional bug/glitch/graphical freakout and maybe, just maybe, I’ve gotten stuck in a couple things. Things like this are expected with a LEGO game, and although they’re not fun (well some of the glitches are) they’re usually something I can just ignore and get past. One thing though that bugged me was the driving. Driving on the streets of LEGO City felt really sloppy. Something akin to driving on ice. This made the driving portion of the game less than desirable, which is disappointing because usually driving mechanics are my favorite.
All and all, LEGO City Undercover is an extremely successful and surprising WiiU port for the newer more powerful consoles. The game is a lot of fun and it’s definitely one I’ll pump hours upon hours into making sure I finish everything, collect everything and of course, get all those achievements. If it weren’t for the expected bugs and the disappointing driving mechanics, this game probably would have been perfect. Now I must go, Rex Fury won’t catch himself!