LEGO City Undercover (PC) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 01.05.2017

Review for LEGO City Undercover on PC

LEGO City Undercover originally released in 2013 as a Wii U exclusive title made by TT Fusion and published by Nintendo. It's rare these days to have an unfranchised LEGO game, so it was very nice to see an original LEGO title appear. It received high praise and was considered one of the Wii U's best exclusives. In April 2017 the game was re-released as a multiplatform title by Warner Bros. Games (check out the Switch review here). This port boasts a local co-operative mode as one of its key changes; however, can it hold up as a ported title in 2017?

First up, LEGO City Undercover has issues. It's by no means a beautifully ported experience. It has the works in terms of porting issues, from resolution issues to crushed cut-scenes. Some users reported problems where they couldn't change the resolution as the apply/accept button was off their screen. This wasn't an issue faced during review, however. The game in general runs flawlessly with a smooth frame-rate but occasionally it will bug-out or soft-lock, forcing users to have to restart missions. This is a common issue in LEGO titles due to their short development cycles; for example, in LEGO: Jurassic World, in split-screen co-operative, one player can build the other into a staircase, needing to restart to continue.

Bugs aside, though, this has a cracking and humorous little story that will please people who understand the references and puns on display. It follows Chase McCane who, after a stint away from LEGO City, has been called up to help recapture a devious criminal. It's all very silly and features a huge and colourful, if stereotypical, cast. The dialogue design in the cut-scenes is pretty good and the lines are delivered well, yet the initial entry cut-scene unfortunately suffers from huge artifacting and blurriness as if it has been over compressed, even with the visual setting and resolution maxed out.

Screenshot for LEGO City Undercover on PC

Gameplay is the usual LEGO affair: run, build, and collect while exploring. This time, though, the world is open and very reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto, but a very child-friendly version. The controls are very fluid and responsive, even when there is a lot going on. The open world structure means the team had to be inventive with traversal and pick-up placement, which makes exploring the world super fun - climbing, driving, and even just running around annoying NPCs is verging on cathartic. Story missions introduce a plethora of mechanics that, in other LEGO games, used to be character specific but Chase earns them as he travels through his narrative. These include, but are not limited to: tracing footsteps to find items, moving heavy objects, and so on... The whole adventure relies on a disguise system; Chase can "change costumes" into various other characters in order to use their signature techniques; for example, having Rex Fury lets you move golden blocks with handles as only his character is strong enough.

There is a lot to do but it's not all interesting; after a while there isn't much reason to keep collecting studs and the general gameplay gets a little tired. This, again, is something that every LEGO title suffers from. Luckily, in order to tackle the monotony, TT has added local co-op to all versions of the port, even the PC iteration. This is a surprising thing considering that co-op play on PC is often an afterthought. Even more intriguing is the fact that the Wii U original didn't feature any kind of co-op. This mode, on PC at least, functions incredibly well; it's a hugely fun multiplayer open world title that ought to please even the most discerning of LEGO fans. Linking back into the controls, this is best played with a controller on PC. It doesn't lend itself well to the keyboard and mouse at all, and means co-op really requires two PC enabled controllers, which is a real drawback.

Visually, LEGO City Undercover is very neat during gameplay, with sharp and polished aesthetics and a charming style. Quite a few of the more complex animations rely on distortion of the characters themselves, which gives the interactions a very fluid feeling. When coupled with lovely lighting and reflection work, it can lead to plenty of screenshot-worthy vistas. The music is what helps complete the atmosphere in LEGO City, though, as it's cool and funky, with some licenced and unlicensed tunes that enforces happiness. Voice work also plays a huge part, and the actors do an incredibly good job, giving each character a distinctive personality and really making the humour natural, not forced.

Screenshot for LEGO City Undercover on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

LEGO City Undercover is a fantastic addition to any LEGO fans' Steam library. It's a ball of endearing charm and comes with familiar gameplay that ought to keep people busy well past its monetary value. Co-operative play is a great addition to the game and it really helps to breathe life into the adventure, maybe even for those who played it through on Wii U already several years back. It's a thoroughly entertaining experience that is wholly recommendable.

Developer

TT

Publisher

Warner Bros

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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