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LEGO City Undercover (Wii U) artwork

LEGO City Undercover (Wii U) review

"Lego City: Undercover is a game I recommend for all the Wii U owners that have been waiting for a new game since launch. The game is hilarious and is fun to play for all ages, for both the casual and hardcore. "

Lego City: Undercover is often primed as GTA in Lego form. I, enjoying the game as much as I did, can attest to this fact. Travelerís Tales has created a giant open world; one which is filled with massive amounts of humor, charm, and care. Whether running over a bunch of criminally-minded clowns, or shooting pigs through cannons, Travelerís Tales has proven that Lego City is a game put together for anyone to enjoy, for both the casual and hardcore players.

Undercover has you playing as Chase McCain, a cop that has returned to Lego City in order to reclaim his lost love. When he arrives, Chase finds out that one of Lego Cityís worst criminals has escaped from jail and needs to be stopped. Chase travels to all corners of Lego City in order to put a stop to the criminal. Throughout the adventure, you will experience varying locales representing different real-life cities. Cities like San Francisco and New York are reconstructed into the Lego world incredibly well, and it is fun to guess what each area represents.

Travelerís Tales has packed in tons of hilarious cutscenes to accompany you through your journey. I was constantly laughing out loud at the humor that the developers employed. Furthermore, whereas most games drop off of a cliff in terms of comedic effect as the game draws on; Lego City continued to make me laugh for the duration of the twelve hour adventure. The writers were consistently introducing new characters, missions, and dialogue that would put a giant grin on my face; if not make me burst out into laughter.

Unfortunately, there are three problems that plague the game. First of all, the loading times are god-awful. Fortunately, they donít appear very often, but when they do appear (approximately every half hour) youíll be waiting for one to two minutes in order to move on. This is an unwarranted amount of time. If it wasnít for the fact that they were spread out, the loading screens could have ruined the whole experience.

Another problem is that the gameplay itself isnít very deep. Honestly, I donít mind it due to the fact that the game is constantly throwing something new or funny at you, but some can be turned off by the gameplay. The combat consists of just spamming the Y button on the Gamepad, or pressing the X button to counter an attack. Now that I think about it, the combat reminds me a lot of Assassinís Creed. Itís not very deep, but itís passable.
Most of the time is spent changing costumes in order to activate an item in the environment. For example, you would have to change to the farmer to water a plant, or change to the robber to break into a door. This gameplay isnít very deep either, as the player is pretty much just changing the appearance of the character to match the icon on the screen.

The worst part about the gameplay is the gamepad implementation. This game makes me wish that Nintendo didnít have such a large focus on the gamepad when releasing and making games for the Wii U. Players will be using the gamepad as a scanner to find things in the environment. Unfortunately, this means moving the gamepad around you, often making you turn all the way around. This is very annoying, especially when Iím a sitting or lying position on my couch. I donít want to be forced to make circles in order to find items in the environment. This is a nuisance, but one which isnít used very much, so it can be ignored most of the time.
Speaking of items, Lego City has tons of them. You canít walk around for more than a minute without finding a collectable in the environment. To give you an example of where I stood; after putting 12 hours into beating the game, I was at 25 percent completion, with only 10 percent of the possible gold bricks collected. Thereís an incredibly amount of replayability in the game, and players can continue coming back to the game long after it was originally beaten. Players will constantly be finding new things to collect, and there are even a few Nintendo-themed Easter Eggs hidden around to find.

The final problem to note is the lack of a co-op mode. Previous Lego games nearly always included a cooperative mode. Although I almost never play local co-op anyway, many families may be disappointed to learn that they cannot play the game together at the same time. So, for the families interested in the game, make sure to keep that in mind.

Overall, Lego City: Undercover is a game I recommend for all the Wii U owners that have been waiting for a new game since launch. The game is hilarious and is fun to play for all ages, for both the casual and hardcore. The incredible amount of content, characters (now with voice acting), and replayability ensures that players keep coming back. Unfortunately, the loading screens, lack of co-op, and non-deep gameplay can be a turn off for some players. Nevertheless, I still recommend Lego City: Undercover for everyone to play.


paleselan's avatar
Community review by paleselan (June 24, 2013)

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