‘Lego City Undercover’ Review: A Great Port with Familiar Flaws

Samantha Loveridge
of 5
Review Essentials
  • Still the best Lego title ever
  • A vast and impressive world to explore and discover over time
  • So many collectibles to nab
  • Co-op is a long awaited feature
  • Loading times are still an issue
  • Gameplay can get incredibly repetitive
Reviewed on Switch

Lego City Undercover isn’t a new game. It was first released back in March 2013 as a Wii U exclusive. It’s gone down as one of the best Lego titles of all time and now TT Games is giving everyone else a chance to see why by re-releasing Lego City Undercover on PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.

Because we’re loving our Nintendo Switch right now, we decided to take Undercover on the road with us and discovered that it’s a brilliant port that everyone would enjoy. It’s still not perfect, by any means, but it’s still a must-play if you’ve enjoyed other Lego titles.

A fantastic urban adventure

It’s been said before, but we’ll say it again. Lego City Undercover is basically Grand Theft Auto Lego, apart from the fact you’re playing as a cop rather than a guy with a shady past and a strange sense of morality. You play as Chase McCain, who actually isn’t your average cop. He’s great at the wisecracks, yes, but he’s tasked with taking down the villain Rex Fury… again. And unlike GTA, you won’t be taking part in drive-bys, but more like wrestling bank robbers to the group before slapping some cuffs on them.

All the events take place within a huge city landscape, complete with more rural edges and hilarious citizens that Chase can bounce his wit off. There are so many great homages to TV shows and movies that you’ll lose track, with one of the opening missions actually riffing off The Shawshank Redemption, complete with a Morgan Freeman impersonator that the game actually points out to you.

Lego City Undercover
Lego City Undercover is basically GTA Lego

The fact that it isn’t based on any kind of movie franchise – as most of the Lego games are – means that Lego City Undercover has its own style of comedy and this allows the story to resonate. It regularly breaks the fourth wall, bringing you straight into the game and making you feel truly part of the story. And seeing as this is a game primarily aimed at families, it’s a great way to make kids (or kids at heart) feel involved. The references, however, may be more for the parents watching the goings on.

It’s just a shame that Lego City Undercover is let down by some repetitive gameplay. It’s a fault of many a Lego title, but it’s a shame that such a great game is let down by missions following the same old structure. Thankfully, the open world and the amount of content there is in the game detracts from the fact that it’s using the same Lego gameplay tropes underneath.

Lego City Undercover
Wherever you go, whatever you do, the collectables will find you

Prepare for a collectable addiction

When we say that there’s loads of content, we’re not joking either. The main campaign takes about 10 hours to complete if you do the tiniest bit of collectable hunting. But, there’s a wealth of stuff to discover and find outside of the main missions. Once you unlock the various abilities in the game, you’ll be able to reach areas of the map that were previously inaccessible, allowing you to get at those shiny collectables within.

And boy, will you be busy. There are super bricks, which you need for construction; gold bricks; over 100 vehicles; over 300 costumes and more. Lego City Undercover has replayability on a scale that’s almost unbelievable.

What’s new for PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch?

What’s great about Lego City Undercover now is that you don’t have to explore the city on your lonesome. The new PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch editions comes with support for local two-player co-op. A second player can drop in and out at will, but will just play as a slightly different version of Chase, rather than any other character from the game. There are no specific story missions that require co-op teamwork, it’s just a case of playing through the single-player content with a buddy. However, with the world being such a vast and fun sandbox to explore, it’s still great fun.

It also looks much better than the original Wii U version. Each re-release runs at full 1080p HD (including the Nintendo Switch, but only when docked) and at a more stable framerate. Running in tablet mode on the Nintendo Switch, the graphics aren’t as good and the framerates can be quite choppy, but it doesn’t make a huge difference because it’s not aiming for photorealism.

There’s still an overhanging issue from the Wii U version, though, and that’s loading times. It was a major issue with the Wii U version, especially as you regularly had to sit watching a loading screen for over a minute while travelling between different areas. They seem a little better on these new editions – especially between Switch and Wii U – but you’re still looking at over 30 seconds of load time from an interior area to the main open world. It’s definitely a problem and something we thought would have been addressed after the outrage over the same issues in the original version.

Lego City Undercover
Less run and gun, more rough and tumble

Is Lego City Undercover any good?

Despite issues with load times and repetitive gameplay, Lego City Undercover is still an absolutely fantastic game. It sets itself apart from other Lego titles by forging its own story path and creates an incredibly compelling playground to explore the adventure. Co-op brings the family feel into the game more too, even if it isn’t essential.

Basically, if you missed out on Lego City Undercover the first time around, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not playing it now.

Lego City Undercover is available now for PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, along with the original Wii U version.

Samantha Loveridge
Sam is the UK Gaming Editor at Fandom. She's been addicted to games since she first got her paws on a GameBoy and hasn't looked back.
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