Lego games have become a staple of the past few console generations. Generally they’re tied to a some sort of intellectual property, like Star Wars or Marvel. This one is a bit different and somehow, it also feels better for it. After a week with the game I’m ready to bring you my Lego City Undercover review on the Nintendo Switch.
Lego City Undercover Review – Setting
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Welcome to Lego City. A huge open world themed around the popular range of toys. TT Games have really made the most of not being tied into a restrictive third party licence here too. Rather than playing through familiar scenes from a film, you’ll be playing an original story. Lego City is a popular series of toys in the real world, so you might recognise the style in the multitude of vehicles and buildings in the game.
Our hero is Chase, an officer of the Lego City PD. He finds himself on a mission to expose the criminal underworld by going undercover and infiltrating their ranks. Parodies and pop culture references throughout the story lead to some genuinely laugh out loud moments. I won’t spoil anything. This is the funniest Lego game I’ve ever played. The quality of the voice acting and delivery of the lines goes a long way to achieving that.
Lego City Undercover Review – Mechanics
While undercover Chase gets the opportunity to use a range of disguises, each of which imbue him with various abilities. If you’re familiar with Lego games you’ll know that various characters are able to unlock different paths or secrets using their unique attributes. In Lego City the disguises do the same job. Chase will find himself dressed as a run of the mill villain, using his crowbar to open locked passages. As a miner he can use dynamite to blow open passages and his pickax makes short work of rocks. In a space suit Chase can call down Lego bricks from space and use teleporters too. There’s a huge range of disguises to unlock each with helpful perks that allow you to discover more and more secrets.
Like other Lego games, the pillars of build, smash and collect form the basis of your escapades. You’ll find collectables as rewards for various challenges as well as completing the story missions. There are time trials, platforming puzzles and all manner of other options to while away the time. You’ll also find yourself collecting not only studs, the games currency, but also bricks that are used to build structures throughout the world. These ‘super builds’ serve to make new areas accessible for example, or give you a point to call in a vehicle of your choice.
The world is huge, with vehicles aplenty to find your way around. You’ll travel on land, air and water. There’s even a selection of animals to ride around on! Who doesn’t want to parade around town dressed as an astronaut and riding a pig? Where else can you use a chicken as a weapon and fire eggs from its behind?
Lego City Undercover Review – Performance
As this is a review of the Nintendo Switch edition I feel it’s worth mentioning that performance is better in docked mode. It’s perfectly playable when undocked, but there’s a few areas of stutter in heavy situations on screen that aren’t replicated when you hook up to the TV. There are a few issues with the co-op mode too. Frame rates take a bit of a hit as the game renders the world for each player. Honestly though, the game is so much fun I don’t even think it’s worth consideration. You’ll be having such a good time I highly doubt you’ll notice!
Those situations aside, the game runs well and is reasonable pretty. We are talking about a world where ninety percent of things are supposed to be plastic. Even so, there’s a pleasing sheen to everything and the animations and cut scenes are lovely. The only issue I’ve noticed is a n odd problem with character shadows at times. It’s only really visible during cut scenes and minor enough to forget about anyway.
Lego City Undercover Review – Conclusion
I’ve had an absolute blast with this game. Now I’ve started my journey to 100% having finished the story mode. There’s a hell of a lot more costumes and collectables for me to uncover. Between the genuinely funny campaign and all these extras I think there’s a lot of value to appreciate here. The co-op multiplayer is great to play with the kids too and can be huge fun. I have no reservations in recommending this one especially to fans of Lego games. In fact I featured Lego games in general in my roundup of best titles to play with children.
Lego City Undercover is available on the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and Xbox One at Amazon. There’s a PC edition on Steam too if you’d prefer.
Have you bought the game? Are you enjoying the experience so far? Let me know in the comments below!