We built this city.
LEGO City Undercover is a re-release of an older game; nothing too out of the ordinary for this generation. What is different this time around is that the original game was exclusive to a console that not a lot of gamers owned. Being limited to the Wii U meant a lot of people missed out on what is possibly the best LEGO game currently on the market. That has now been remedied, as LEGO City Undercover finally comes to XB1, PS4, PC, and of course Switch.
This entry in the gigantic LEGO-verse brings plenty of familiar tropes, while also carving out its own identity along the way. Players still break blocks, collect studs, and build items to progress. What is wholly different is that unlike other games, Undercover comes with no pre-existing license, giving developers a chance to craft a world with their own unique characters and stories. The results are outstanding. While it does reference plenty of movies and the like, this world feels more robust and interesting than almost any other LEGO game to date.
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, Switch, Wii U, PC, 3DS
Price I’d Pay: $49.99
Undercover stars Chase McCain, and follows his exploits as a cop returning to LEGO City. The references are in full effect, and the writing is actually pretty good. It is light-hearted and never serious, but it works. The voice acting is also surprisingly good, with plenty of cliché characters.
Two of the biggest issues of the Wii U release were the lack of co-op and the horrendous load times. One of those has actually been remedied here. Co-op is now part of the package, and while it is only local, it does add to the game. Sadly, the second player is just a palette swap of Chase, and there are no specific puzzles that take advantage of having a partner. Still it is a nice addition. As for the loading times, they are still criminally long. I love 70s cop themes as much as the next person, but even I get tired of them while waiting on the game to load.
Some of the remnants of the Wii U version remain intact. For example, the scanner that Chase uses to uncover things still looks just like the system’s gamepad. While that functionality originally resided only on that screen and used motion controls, it is now just a thumb stick movement. Also, all communication has just been moved to the main screen, which is perfectly fine.
These new versions also now run at 1080p with a more stable frame rate. While LEGO City Undercover isn’t the most next generation-looking game out there, it is impressive the size and scope of the world. Also it is always nice to have a game with some real color out there. The frame rate is also certainly improved, making it a much more streamlined experience. This is by far the better version of the game. Sadly, the Nintendo exclusive Easter Eggs are only found on the Switch version, which of course makes perfect sense.
LEGO City Undercover is a great game, and one many players likely missed on its first go-around. This is a prime example of a smart re-release. It also helps that each version is improved, and co-op is now an option. For anyone that missed this game on Wii U, there is no longer any excuse. Check out what I think is TT Games best effort in the LEGO genre.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.