Meet Chase McCain. This small, yellow cop lives to fight crime. Sadly he has more charm than brains, which forced him to leave Lego City after his last big case. Now he is back, looking for forgiveness and to work out how the villainous Rex Fury got out of prison. Now, with Lego City suffering its worst crime wave ever, it is up to Chase to get to the bottom of the case, with the help of his one-liners and his useless sidekick, Honey.
Welcome to Lego City, the biggest Lego world you have ever seen. With 450 gold bricks out there, Lego Middle Earth looks pretty small and spartan in comparison. The city is a mishmash of several American cities, featuring landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Alcatraz and the Kennedy Space Centre. This is just the beginning of the tongue-in-cheek references that completely infuse the game. Studsky and Clutch, Sherlock Holmes, the Matrix and more crime show and movie references than I care to list will keep you chuckling throughout the game.
After a few missions, Chase will get the communicator, an in-game version of the Wii U gamepad. This device is a map, scanner, cellphone, camera and objective tracker all rolled into one. You can even use it to hunt down those pesky collectibles and to set waypoints to help you navigate the massive city.
Chase is also able to wear disguises. These give him new abilities, like safecracking, lock picking or being able to extinguish fires. This disguise system really makes up for the lack of any co-operative play. Instead of needing to find tools in the level, or having a specific character along, Chase can switch to an outfit that helps him get further in his investigations.
Lego City draws influence on titles like Sleeping Dogs, GTA and the quirky Saints Row. Kung Fu, hidden objectives and a few zany missions make the city come alive. Hunt down gangs of thugs, capture aliens, return mountain pigs (they are rare and rather… special) to their owner by using cannons, build new structures in town and much more.
Besides collecting studs, Lego City Undercover introduces the collection of bricks as well. The bricks are then used in Super Builds, which range from stunt ramps to vehicle depots to finishing monuments and buildings in the city. This nets you studs, gold bricks and a few new disguises. Cars with nitro boosts, construction trucks, boats, helicopters and several uh different modes of transport help you to get around Lego City. Be careful for sharks though!
Everything you do, except for Special Assignments, is done in the world. Special Assignments take place inside buildings and unreachable areas, and here is where Lego staples like collecting studs to be a Lego City Hero and collectable Police Badge pieces lurk. For the most part, you spend time on the streets of Lego City, often spotting objects and doodads that you can’t use yet, making you want to continue the story to get more disguises and abilities.
Can you get to the bottom of the crime wave? Chase needs your help, because despite being really charming (that chin!) he is quite dense at times .This is the best Lego game so far, with TT Fusion pushing away from licensed franchise tomfoolery into completely new territory.
LEGO City Undercover was reviewed by Garth Holden on a Wii U