Lego City Undercover
Developed by TT Fusion
Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
*This Review is of the PlayStation 4 Version*
Lego City Undercover follows the story of Chase McCain; A slick Lego City Cop who was sent away from the city two years prior to the game. Chase is called back to Lego City when he finds out the dangerous criminal he arrested two years ago; Rex Fury has escaped prison and is wreaking havoc on the streets of Lego City once more. As Chase starts policing the streets of Lego City again; He realizes that their are multiple crime syndicates involved in Rex’s ultimate plan and so to his new chief’s reluctance goes undercover to solve the case and arrest Rex Fury once and for all.
For a new title based on an existing Lego brand yet a completely original concept to the video game world (Unlike most Lego Video Games). Lego City Undercover has an excellent story that blends the usual comedy you come to expect from Lego titles with that of many existing police & prison shows and movies such as The Shawshank Redemption, Miami Vice and Brooklyn Nine Nine to name a few.
The gameplay in Lego City Undercover is very interesting to me because it not only brings back the fun Lego gameplay that most gamers are probably used to but it also adds a lot more elements which make it feel like a brand new experience entirely. So for those who have not previously played a Lego game; the usual gameplay elements of these games involve using your different characters to progress through each linear level to progress the story while smashing anything and everything in your way to gain studs (Lego Currency) and solving little puzzles to also progress. In addition to this like most recent Lego games; Lego City Undercover has a huge open world hub full of puzzles, mini-games and side quests to complete in order to earn many goodies such as gold bricks, characters, vehicles and more. So now that the usual features to lego games are out of the way; I will go into detail about the interesting features that this game has.
So for new features in Lego City Undercover; probably the most interesting one was the usage of the bricks that you smash along your adventure. Instead of just getting studs for smashing all the items in your wake; this game also collects some of the fragments of the bricks that you smash so you can use them towards building large structures in the open world to either progress the story or just to simply achieve 100%. This is a feature I really enjoyed since it actually gives you as a player; a reason to continue smashing everything in the levels after achieving the amount of money needed to get the 100% meter filled. In addition to this; Chase has a multitude of gadgets at his disposal including a scanner which can be used to identify different collectibles throughout the open world hub aswell as spotting potential criminals from a far distance. In addition to this; the multiple characters return in this game in the form of disguises which Chase can take on in order to progress through the world and acquire multiple collectibles with disguises each having their own distinct abilities such as the Criminal disguise which gives Chase a crowbar to break into different locations, The Engineer disguise which gives Chase access to explosives which can destroy silver objects and many more different disguises. Another interesting thing with this game in particular is that it takes a lot of inspiration from the Grand Theft Auto series however in this case the roles are reversed and apart from the times when you have to commit criminal acts undercover (Similar to Sleeping Dogs); You mainly take the form of a Police Officer.
All in all, the gameplay in Lego City Undercover is highly enjoyable and honestly because of the new features added in this game; it might even be my favorite Lego game made.
Lego City Undercover is very interesting in terms of it’s sound section. In terms of music; the score for Lego City Undercover quite a bit of the time really captures the essence of old cop shows like Miami Vice or Starsky & Hutch however it does get quite mediocre and repetitive after a while of playing the game. One thing I will easily praise this game for however is the use of an actual licensed song in the form of “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves which happens to be one of my all-time favorite 80’s songs (A decade responsible for phenomenal music). The real positive thing to take from the sound section of this game is the voice acting which features some fantastic voice work from a relatively unknown cast with a few of the big names including Jaimi Barbakoff (Triss in The Witcher 2 & 3) & Jules de Jongh (Faith in Mirror’s Edge) aswell as British Actor; Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy). In addition to the fantastic voice work in the game; this is accompanied by a very funny script which made me laugh on multiple occasions; especially the whole section which was a complete parody of The Shawshank Redemption complete with a character called Blue Whitaker who sounds like Morgan Freeman (Who played Red in The Shawshank Redemption).
All in all, the music is pretty mediocre at times however I loved the voice cast, the jokes and especially Walking on Sunshine as the game opened up.
In terms of visuals; Lego City Undercover is very similar to the previous lego titles looking like an interactive lego playset and much like recent entries in the Lego series like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers; this game looks a lot more slick and realistic than it’s predecessors. The world hub of Lego City Undercover is huge and extremely well detailed by taking many well known traits and elements from different real world locations such as New York City, San Francisco and London. The water also looks incredible in this game and looks as though it has almost a dynamic water effect.
All in all, I feel like Lego City Undercover may have taken the visuals for the Lego series as far as they can possibly go with some beautiful colors, well designed elements from real world locations and the dynamic water effect. This along with Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be the best that Lego games will ever get visually and honestly to me; that is not a bad thing in the slightest.
Like all of the previous Lego titles; Lego City Undercover is loaded with plenty of content to keep gamers busy for hours on end. There is multiple collectibles for the player to gather such as characters, vehicles, gold bricks, red bricks and buildable structures to name a few. The game also features free play mode similarly to the previous games where you can revisit story levels with new characters you may have unlocked in order to gain brand new collectibles. In addition to all of these; the open world hub as I mentioned earlier features multiple mini-games and activities to keep you occupied such as shooting some hoops in a Basketball court or doing stunt jumps in vehicles. Like every game of this generation aswell; the game comes loaded with trophies/achievements for the hunters out there aiming to get the platinum trophy or full gamerscore.
All in all, the lasting appeal in Lego City Undercover is extremely satisfying and really fun with endless hours of content to keep players amused.
All in all, I feel that Lego City Undercover might just be the best Lego game ever made for me (Yes, even better than Lego Star Wars) with it’s fun story that takes on a parody of police shows and movies, the new features to the gameplay (along with the classic gameplay), the really funny voice cast/script and much much more including replay value. This game is easily a must own for any fan of the Lego series to date and every family with small children who own a games console.
Score = 8.5/10
- Very fun story that parodies the police genre
- Fresh new concept for a Lego game
- Classic Lego gameplay returns
- New gameplay features (Smashed Lego Fragments, Scanner, Etc…)
- Brilliant Voice Work from an unknown cast
- Hilarious Script with loads of great references and jokes
- Use of Walking on Sunshine for the opening
- Fantastic visuals (Dynamic Water Effects, Real world elements, etc…)
- Plenty of Replay Value
- Collectibles can be tedious to get
- Classic Lego gameplay can get repetitive after a while
- Music Score is mediocre and gets repetitive after a while of playing
Lego City Undercover is available now from all good retailers for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo Switch & PC. Thanks go out to Warner Bros. Interactive for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matthew McNamee