LEGO City Undercover Review

LEGO City Undercover is by far one of the best LEGO games that I’ve played to date. That’s a tall order especially when titles such as LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Lord of the Rings are backed by massive movie franchises.  LEGO City Undercover is the first LEGO title that’s not emulating a movie and is entirely fresh, and works darn well. 

Gameplay

The story begins with your character known as Chase McCain who is essentially a cop that’s returning to town. There’s of course a new badass in town known as Rex Fury and your job is to investigate his recent escape and bring Rex to justice.  If there is one thing that you’ll love with LEGO City it’s the character’s design.  They are all so funny and resemble characters such as Axel Foley from Beverly Hills cop the movie.  Even the bad guys resemble the mobsters from films such as Donnie Brasco.  It’s truly humorous and I loved the characters introduced in the game.  LEGO City undercover is a fun experience that’s not too serious and always keeps a healthy level of tongue-in-cheek humour. 

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As with other LEGO titles, the basic formula remains unchanged which in my opinion is critical. Get ready for a wealth of brick smashing and assembly, stud collecting and more.  What’s different this time with LEGO City is you essentially have an entire city to explore, which remarkably looks like Grand Theft Auto 5, except vehicles, characters, parts of buildings are constructed with LEGO bricks.  The game begins by sending you on a short mission say from point A to point B with an objective at hand.  You don’t simply begin to wander around at will, you must take your time with a few story missions first before the city begins to open up.  As with previous LEGO titles which introduced a hub world, such as Hogwarts for example where you would buy clothing, red bricks and assemble gold bricks and more you can expect the same in LEGO city, and it’s all housed within the central Police Station.

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As with previous LEGO titles the city is covered with secrets and areas that are only accessible if you have certain characters, for example, you need the robber who can open areas that require a crow bar for example, or the miner who has the ability to detonate dynamite. You can expect there to be hundreds of secret red bricks and characters to find across the massive and expansive city.

The main story line or quests will consume around 10 or so hours for the novice gamer. However, the fun really begins once you open up free roam and have the ability to explore the entire city at your own leisure.  You’ll be able to spend a wealth of time exploring and trying to get your hands on every single collectable, which is something I’ve been guilty of with every other LEGO title, so this will be no exception.  There are over 20 different districts/areas to explore in LEGO city which are inspired by real cities such as San Francisco, New York City and the United states capital and more.  And getting around the city can be done on foot, via automobile, boats, trains and even helicopters!

LEGO City does have some drawbacks, in particular are the loading times when you commence the game or perhaps enter or exit the police station, it takes a solid 40 seconds which in today’s games is totally unacceptable and I am not sure if it’s a hardware limitation or developer laziness, however it’s annoying and can be frustrating at times. The other drawback is the lack of multiplayer.  How fun would it be to share an open world experience with a friend?  Instead your limited to a single player adventure only.

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Graphics and Sound

LEGO City undercover is bright, colourful and gorgeous. The draw distance of the city is large and the game ran at a great speed and never suffered from slow down or frame rate issues.  Building such an open and expansive city is always a challenge, yet the Xbox One version reviewed here handles it flawlessly.  In terms of sound, the game’s biggest strength is its voice acting and characters personality that’s a true hoot.  You’ll be laughing out loud at the characters as you meet them and it’s certainly evident that Travellers’ Tales have put some serious time and effort into the characters design.

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Overall

LEGO City Undercover is a true breath of fresh air that doesn’t follow the traditional movie based scripts of its predecessors. LEGO City’s world is truly large and expansive, and the way the game has been structured will see you explore all parts and towns in due course.  Once you complete the game, you have even more to explore that’s to the sheer size of LEGO City.  There is a tremendous amount of value here, that’s backed by a huge city and an entertaining line up of characters that are funny and charming to boot.  LEGO City is a must buy for open world fans and absolutely mandatory for anyone who even remotely enjoyed any previous LEGO titles in the past.  Well done Travellers’ tales, you’ve done it again!

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Written by

Paul Barbara

I'm 40, been an avid gamer since I was 5 (1981) and owned almost all systems possible in that time. I love podcasting, having produced over 230 episodes over the last 6 years and I get a real buzz out of discussing all this gaming news with other gamers. So tune in!

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