Price: £39.99 Platform: Xbox One (version reviewed), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC Available: Now
LEGO CITY Undercover was first released in 2013 exclusively to the Nintendo Wii U, with a similar release on the 3DS platform. This release is a port of the original game across all the latest platforms to a sharper, faster-loading version, which also introduces two player co-operative gameplay.
I’ve played many of the LEGO franchise games across a number of different platforms and LEGO CITY Undercover has a very familiar look and feel to its predecessors, in terms of the gameplay and the cutscenes providing the storyline in between gameplay. The game finds our hero Chase McCain returning to LEGO CITY to capture the notorious Rex Fury while also protecting Natalia Kowalski, who has entered a witness protection programme after providing evidence to put him behind bars before he managed to escape.
The first part of the game is heavily driven by cutscenes as it introduces the characters and gameplay to the player. For those familiar with LEGO games this does feel very laboured, as you’re probably itching to get started. That said, this part of the game does set the familiar humorous tone of the game, which in my opinion hasn’t grown tired at all; the detective briefing scene at the start of the game is great and features characters such as Starsky & Hutch, Sherlock Holmes and Columbo. An early level in the game takes Chase McCain to Albatross Island, which looks remarkably like Alcatraz, and the level centres around a plot line featuring numerous references to the film Shawshank Redemption. While some of the humour may be wasted on younger players, the game wouldn’t be the same without it and as an adult player it does maintain interest and puts a wry smile on your face.
The game may not be challenging to seasoned gamers as it’s not difficult to complete the levels, but there is plenty to explore in the 20 districts of the open-world LEGO CITY, so there’s plenty of longevity. I loved the scanner aspect of the game, which allows Chase to track the bad guys with some pretty neat tech. There are also elements of the city marked with blue and white bricks, which effectively allow our hero to perform some free running and cool slow motion action.
What I love most about the LEGO games is their ability to transcend the age groups – after I’d had chance to review the game I decided to road test it with my two youngest children, both boys aged 11 and almost six. They absolutely loved it and have played it in co-op mode for hours. After the first session, I asked them to write their own review in which they described the game as ‘having amazing graphics’, ‘easy to control’, ‘great story’, ‘good songs’, ‘funny’, and there’s ‘action straight away’. I also asked them what they would improve – my 11-year-old (a seasoned gamer already!) suggested ‘make it harder’ and my almost six-year-old recommended ‘more animals in the farm’.
The game is a delight and the only reason I’ve pulled back slightly on my overall score is simply down to the fact that the gameplay is so familiar for anyone who has played a previous LEGO release. That said, I feel I’m being picky – the game will keep you entertained for hours. The open-world is great to explore and there’s plenty to achieve and unlock outside of the core storyline. There are many great elements to this game, all of which contribute to a great experience, so this comes highly recommended.
This product was provided for review by Warner Bros.
LEGO CITY Undercover is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. You can help support Brick Fanatics’ work by using our affiliate links. Don’t forget that it is triple VIP points on purchases for a limited time only.