The lights are on
To be completely honest, I could never really get into the previous Lego games based on popular franchises such as Star Wars and Batman. The games looked great and enjoyable enough, but for some reason I could never see myself spending good money on Lego versions of such games. However, when I heard about Lego City Undercover back when it was called Lego City Stories, the idea of an open-world Lego game in a similar style to a suitably toned-down Grand Theft Auto made me interested.
When it released back in March I was too bus waiting for some other game about a floating city in the sky to come out, so I finally got around to picking up Lego City on my birthday. Since then, I've accumulated over 2 million Lego studs, created Lego helicopters, cleared the main story mode, and--get this--I've only completed 19.1% of the game. Wow.
I'm not saying that like it's a bad thing at all. In fact, that's awesome. Even though I've played through the entirety of the hilarious story mode, I still have over 80% of the game left yet to complete. So if you're looking for a Wii U game that'll give you plenty to do, this is definitely one to get.
The game has you taking control of officer Chase McCain, who has returned to Lego City in pursuit of an escaped criminal named Rex Fury. The story plays out like a typical yet satirical cop drama; there's an angry police chief, a bumbling partner, the sweet-talking dispatcher, the former flame, and the list goes on. During missions they'll occasionally call you to ask for advice or to tell you where to go.
Speaking of that, the entirety of the game is played through the Wii U GamePad, and only that. Sadly, this game doesn't offer co-op or any other multiplayer options. However, the GamePad utilization alone is worth it. When your partners call you, you'll see and hear them on your GamePad's screen, which can also be used as a second-screen map, voice scanner, and detection tool. The controls for the game are easy enough for anyone to play, which is expected of a family-friendly game.
However, what I wasn't expecting from such a game is the clever sense of humor that's bursting from the seams. Some gags are simple enough, whether they're retro throwbacks or humorous celebrity impersonations. Some jokes are funny enough that will have the grown-ups laughing harder than the kids that might be playing it. My jaw definitely dropped at one particular line in the game, involving my partner riding a horse backwards and having said horse get mad when he was trying to feed it an apple. Jokes like that by themselves make the game completely worth playing.
It's not without some technical hiccups that could potentially become irritating. Namely, the load times can get pretty ridiculous, whether you play it through a disc or via digital download. Sometimes, it's not so bad--the typical 10 or 15 second wait. However, I've counted quite a few times where I waited over a minute to get started on the next part. If you're a gamer that cannot tolerate load times like that, you might wanna give it a rental first.
I can deal with the load times though. Lego City Undercover is an easy-going platforming title in which its strength lies in the humorous foundation, the open-world attitude that everyone likes, and the ridiculous amount of unlockables and extras to be obtained throughout. Its lack of co-op and Pro Controller support might be unfavorable, but it doesn't change the fact this is a well-made Wii U title that fully utilizes what its unique GamePad controller has to offer.
I'll be revisiting Lego City again and again to break things and rebuild, definitely.
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