The lights are on
When Jeff Cork and I visited Traveller's Tales for our Lego Marvel Super Heroes cover, Warner Bros. also gave us a thorough demo of what their other studio TT Fusion was working on. I shot a quick video interview about the game amidst the chaos of E3, but this was my first opportunity to give the game my undivided attention. The developer playing the game for us had grown numb to the comedy, but Jeff and I were impressed by what we saw. In the first year of its release, the Wii U was in desperate need of exclusive and new experiences and Lego City: Undercover was a great addition to its library and one of my favorite experiences of the year.
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The writing in Lego City: Undercover is what separates it from the average entry in the series. I enjoyed parts of Lego Batman 2, but I think that Lego City: Undercover is the funniest Lego game and one of the funniest games I've ever played. Right out of the gate, the game strikes a delightful tone that fits right alongside the best kid-friendly cartoons. Maybe it's the yellow Lego figures, but the game's sense of humor reminded me of the early years of The Simpsons. A lot of the jokes are spun through the rapid-fire parodies within the game. Everything from Goodfellas to Aliens, the parodies were unpredictable and must have confused so many kids. Obviously it's not all comedic gold, but the game keeps the absurdity going throughout and made me laugh out loud much more than I expected.
The story of Chase McCain trying to bring Rex Fury to justice brings players across the open world of Lego City and beyond. You can speed a Lego wheelchair down the highway or float down from the tallest skyscraper holding a panicked chicken. While the capabilities of the helicopter were disappointing since certain altitudes and areas are restricted, I really enjoyed driving half-destroyed Lego vehicles across the countryside and downtown areas in the game on the hunt for collectibles. When not exploring the open world, a majority of the missions take place in separate areas that are laced with the traditional Lego not-quite-a-puzzle puzzles that slowly gate your progress. Throughout the game Chase acquires new outfits that open up new areas and allow for new abilities. Switching between your astronaut suit and your farmer clothes so that you can grow a plant to climb can be a hassle by the end of the game, but the variety and customization options in the potential outfits makes up for the hassle of switching between them during missions.
You can watch Joe Juba and Andrew Reiner play Lego City: Undercover in the Test Chamber above.
The Top 50 ChallengeGod bless Matt Miller. The office expert on all lore and the deepest caverns of nerd culture also has a soft spot for light-hearted entertainment. He mentioned that he was hoping to play Lego City: Undercover at some point, so I was more than happy to toss the game his way. I recently forced Tim Turi to play through the beginning of the game and I was reminded of how comedically strong it starts, so I'm looking forward to hearing somebody as articulate and thoughtful as Matt Miller write about the game tomorrow. His thoughts will be posted at 8pm on Thursday. I'm hoping this delightful Wii U exclusive will make the cut for Game Informer's Top 50 games of 2013.
Matt Miller was given one day to play Lego City: Undercover. Come back tomorrow at 8 PM CT to read his impressions and see if it’ll get his support for Game Informer’s Top 50 Games of the Year.
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