The lights are on
Forget a certain place that starts with “D”; Lego City is the happiest place on Earth. It’s always sunny out. The citizens roam around the world with constant grins on their faces, even when they’re forced to dodge out-of-control drivers. Heck, even the criminals seem agreeable.
Even though the citizens are friendly, players who aren’t familiar with TT Games’ Lego games might need a little direction. I’ve compiled a few tips from the experiences I had while playing the game for review. Lego City is a fairly large chunk of real estate, and hopefully I can help make your stay even a little more enjoyable.
Smash everythingYou’re going to want to break everything you can when you play Lego City Undercover; this is a Lego game after all. Broken objects shower you with Lego studs, the game’s main currency, as well as the new brick elements – more on those in a bit. Smashing stuff is ultimately one of the best parts of the Lego series, and if you aren’t on board with that component you may want to leave town.
Follow the trail…Lego City Undercover is A) an open-world game and B) a video game, so the fact that it’s loosely structured around missions shouldn’t be terribly surprising. When you first start the game, you’re limited to Chase McCain’s basic detective outfit, which allows him to track down hidden objects. Additional suits are awarded for progressing through the larger storyline, so be sure to answer incoming calls on your GamePad to find where to go next.
…But not alwaysWhen you are heading toward a mission-starting area (or a location of your own that you’ve put into the GamePad’s virtual GPS), you’ll notice a ghostly trail that leads you to the objective. That breadcrumb trail is generally a great way to get where you’re going, though it does occasionally have a tough time reorienting itself if you miss a turn. The trail is a bit of a goody-goody, too. Who wants to drive in the appropriate lane? Rather than follow the line like it’s a binding contract, drive on the sidewalks while keeping a close eye on the route. You’ll smash up lampposts, bus stops, benches, and just about everything in your path, collecting studs and bricks along the way. Better yet, when you’re in a car you can rack up a bonus multiplier for collecting those items consecutively. You’re going to be driving a lot in the game – you may as well get rewarded for doing so.
Be frugalLego City Undercover introduces a new buildable object, the Super Build. These sets are either connected to story missions or they provide Chase with structures that make his life easier. The one thing they share in common is their scale (they are large) and their price (they ain’t cheap). The game generally does a good job of putting enough special bricks in your path so you can afford story-related bricks such as bridges that lead to mission objectives. You could still squander your newfound wealth on installing a helipad in the middle of nowhere if you didn’t know any better. Now you know better. As tempting as they might be, don’t waste your bricks on the big builds unless you’re prompted to do so in the story. You don’t want to be stuck swiveling around the room with your GamePad, trying to detect hidden bricks with your scanner.
New Game +Along those same lines, you’ll soon discover that a lot of the game’s collectibles are gated off when you begin. Once you’re finished with the game, you’ll be able to explore the world with the full wardrobe of power-infused outfits. Don’t get hung up when you see a sparkly silver object or flaming obstacle. They won’t be going anywhere, and you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city after the credits roll.
Don’t use the wheelYou’ve got a couple of different ways to change Chase’s outfits. You can pull up a radial menu and move a cursor on the outfit you want, or you can cycle through them with the shoulder buttons. Don’t ever use the radial menu. It’s slower and clunky.
Don’t skip cutscenesChase McCain may technically be the star, but Frank Honey steals the show. These characters deserve a movie.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Ah, I was hoping this was for other consoles. I'm not a fan of Nintendo or Lego, but this looks like it could be a fun distraction.
I have this pre-ordered and I'm excited for it. I just picked up SimCity and I think it kind of sucks (it has little to do with the DRM). I'm hoping Lego City can give me something great to play for a few weeks.
I just hope that this game doesn't suffer a delay. We need WiiU games. An awesome exclusive on top of that.
Really looking forward to this, from what I've seen its going to be hilarious.
I really can't wait to pick this up, though it seems weird to destroy everything as a cop.
I wont be getting a Wii U until April (I'll have enough cash by then), but this and New Super Mario Bros. U are going to be some of the games I'll be picking up for it.
I'm looking forward to eventually playing this, I should probably get started on these other games I need to finish first!
Good. We need good Wii U games. Bring any and all games to the console, us early adopters are starving for content. Don't forget peeps, MH3 Ultimate, Need For Speed, Pandoras Tower also come out this month ;)
Can't wait to play this already!
I can't wait to buy this game for 3DS!
The only Lego games I have played are the Star Wars ones.. but this looks pretty cool!
I really want to pick this game up. Like Sleeping Dogs... with Legos.