LEGO City Undercover Review

Richard Walker

LEGO City Undercover is, in a nutshell, what you get when TT Games makes Grand Theft Auto using them toy bricks. There's a sprawling city to explore, a plethora of cars, boats, helicopters and other vehicles to commandeer, and as undercover super cop Chase McCain, you've numerous unlawful activities to engage in as you don a range of disguises to track down escaped criminal Rex Fury.

As LEGO games go, it's among the best that TT Games has produced to date, so it's fortunate that LEGO City Undercover has been released from the confines of Nintendo's Wii U, where four years ago it was a console exclusive before being ported to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. And a fine game it continues to be on its new home, with those iconic bricks and minifigures as shiny as they've ever been.

Granted, LEGO City Undercover is relatively basic compared to other open world experiences out there, with no day/night cycle, no dynamic weather to speak of; just a big LEGO sandbox to play around in and a slew of secrets and Easter eggs to uncover. As something that simply provides wall-to-wall fun with relentlessly pun-laden tongue-in-cheek humour, packed with all manner of knowingly daft cultural references, it's unrivalled. Its shortcomings ultimately don't really matter.

As well as the usual level-based LEGO shenanigans you know and love, Undercover's assignments are interconnected with a smattering of open world activity, like car chases, free-running challenges, collecting, building and such. It injects some variety into proceedings, along with Chase's array of disguises that grant him a range of special abilities, from mining with a pickaxe to prising open doors, extinguishing fires and fixing electrical junction boxes.

You'll go from having a grapple gun for climbing and pulling objects to being able to glide using a chicken, jetpack between platforms, shoot switches on and off using a paint gun, dig into water mains to create jets of H20 and loads more. It keeps things varied and feeds into the tried and tested Metroidvania formula of the LEGO games that means you'll have to play through each level twice if you want to attain that elusive 100% completion. Happily, it's all thoroughly enjoyable.

LEGO City Undercover is massive too, with 15 story missions and a sizeable open-world to explore, boasting pigs to rescue, aliens to chase down and capture, super builds to, erm, build, new characters to unlock, challenges specific to each of Chase's eight specialised personas to complete, and loads more. It's proper laugh-out-loud funny at times too, the voice work from the likes of Peter Serafinowicz and Adam Buxton perfectly complementing the game's brilliantly manic energy.

Given the array of things to find and collect, it's hardly surprising then that much of the achievement list revolves around the game's challenges and collectibles. All fifteen missions award an achievement apiece too, so that eats up a lot of the list, not leaving all that much room for more creative stuff, which is where LEGO games typically shine. I counted about a dozen tasks on the list that aren't connected to collecting stuff or completing missions, and would have preferred more. Never mind, eh?

A game that's far too good not to share with other consoles, it's good to see LEGO City Undercover, escape imprisonment on the Wii U. A colourful, fun and relentlessly entertaining crime caper, it's among the finest LEGO games around, as well as the biggest. LEGO City Undercover is genuinely funny and never anything less than a blast to play. Take it into custody now; it'll slap a big old smile on your face.

LEGO City Undercover

Successfully making the leap from the Wii U four years since its original release, LEGO City Undercover is still a fantastically fun and exciting open-world adventure.

Form widget
80%
Audio
70%

The voice acting is superb across the board, while the funky cop show music is right on the money. It's just too bad that the same 5-10 seconds of music is looped continually during some sequences.

Visuals
70%

Shiny LEGO blocks, exuberant, quirky characters and a decent draw distance, albeit with the occasional bit of pop-in here and there. LEGO City Undercover looks very lovely indeed.

Playability
80%

It's a LEGO game, so it plays like a LEGO game. Smashing stuff, collecting bricks for builds, hoovering up studs to unlock stuff, fighting off criminals... You know the score. It's good fun.

Delivery
80%

Not only is LEGO City Undercover bleedin' huge, it's also lovingly put together, not a brick out of place, like a colossal LEGO set. It seems that some freezing and crashing bugs in the game have recently been patched out too, so that's something. You can also play in split-screen co-op, by the way.

Achievements
60%

The usual LEGO fare, most of the achievement list attached to completing the story, collecting all of the many, many, many, many collectibles, and performing a smattering of more creative tasks. We'd have liked more of the latter.

Game navigation