Lego City Undercover
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.
You’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 always
When 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.
Lego 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 wheel
You’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 cutscenes
Chase McCain may technically be the star, but Frank Honey steals the show. These characters deserve a movie.