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Grand Theft Auto Legos. Well not quite. Instead of being a bad guy, you are Chase McCain. Chase is a cliché police officer who is returning to the force after a mishap had him leave. I was not quite sure what to expect when picking up this title, but, my gosh, this is the best open world game I have played since Spider-Man 2 on GameCube. I can have fun, do whatever, and not feel like trash for doing things I shouldn’t even be thinking about (Grand Theft Auto).
Content Warning: The violence ranges from breaking random objects to doing silly fighting moves that reek of cliché action movies. For comparison sake, it is more tame than any Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode.
Where to begin… Well, actually I kind of gave this part away in the opening. Long story short, the storyline is a typical 80s action movie cliché and, by the holy grail made of Legos, is it awesome. The cliché action movies are parodied so well here that I found myself laughing at nearly every story scene. Heck, even the phone calls to HQ had me smirking. You have the dumb buddy, the hot dispatch lady, the always-mad-at-you police chief, the hot lady to save, and of course the angry bad guy who is bad… because of reasons.
The cast is well-rounded and combined with the vast array of side characters you meet, it is one of the better band of characters I have seen in a game. In fact, it is the best cast of characters in any Lego video game I’ve played.
This game could have been The Lego Movie, and I would have been one hundred percent okay with that. The story is well told and ends with a humongous bang I quite enjoyed. There is no need for a sequel, but you won’t see me arguing otherwise.
Imagine a Lego video game you have played. Now imagine an open world video game (such as Watch Dogs or Grand Theft Auto). Combine the two and bam you have Lego City Undercover! All of the fun of open world action games combined with Lego goodness and all the while being clean.
You are Chase McCain, and he is a man of many disguises. In fact, all of the disguises you unlock each have a unique skill and replace the need for that pesky second character that you always have in other Lego games. Being a police officer grants you a grappling hook while being a farmer gives you a chicken who can help carry you distances…
I am not kidding.
It is fun and always keeps the gameplay fresh. Chase is also a man who can do parkour and this adds the extra boost to on-foot police chases I have always dreamed of in a video game. It is a simple mechanic done right. There are many vehicles you can use which includes cars, boats, and helicopters. There are Lego studs everywhere in this game! It is an OCD nightmare. They respawn if you travel a little bit and then return to that location.
The world is fairly massive too. You can easily drive for twenty minutes and still not see everything. The campaign took me about 16 hours to complete and that was with ignoring side quests and such. After 16 hours I only had 19.8% of the game complete… Also, the final level goes from predictable to OH MY GOSH THIS IS AMAZING.
Graphics and Sound
Considering how large the game is, the graphics are on par for any other Wii U Lego game. The only downside is the frame rate sticks to 20–30 frames per second depending on what is going on. Not super noticeable, but when I came from a 60 frames per second game, I noticed.
The voice work here is well done and could easily be in a Lego movie. Another downfall is the draw distance on the Lego studs. It is minor, but while driving you won’t know where they are unless you just decide to drive on the sidewalk all the time.
Overall, Lego City Undercover is a must-own Wii U exclusive title. I can recommend this for adults and kids as it is clean yet hugely entertaining in terms of gameplay and story. I can only hope that Telltale makes a sequel, even if it isn’t a Wii U exclusive.
The Bottom Line