Surprisingly LEGO City: Undercover, wasn’t on the E3 show floor, but I was lucky enough to spend some time with the game behind closed doors. The game puts the player in the role of an undercover LEGO man cop in an open LEGO world.
My time with the game was short, but it started out with protagonist Chase McCain being told to track down three criminals hidden within the City. The TV screen displayed the action while the Wii U GamePad had an overhead map view on its screen. The GamePad also displayed a recommended path to get to the first criminal.
To get to the location the player can hop into a cop car and drive there, which is what I did. The open world was cool, and I wasn’t forced to go to the specific location, however for the sake of the demo I didn’t waste too much time and went for the wanted man. Once I found this clown (for real, he was a clown) he tried to escape in his own vehicle. To stop him, I had to ram his LEGO getaway vehicle with my car three times before he fell out and I was able to track him down on foot.
At this point in the demo, my objective was to find another criminal. The Wii U GamePad was used as a scanning device to help me find the location of the next thief. It was possible to hold the GamePad up and look in a full 360 degree radius around myself to find this character hiding, and he ended up being right behind me (though much further away).
Hunting down this criminal was similar, but this guy kept trying to get away on foot instead of using a vehicle. I had to hop on trampolines to get over fences, climb over other areas, and then solve a puzzle. To continue it was necessary to rebuild a LEGO hose and remove debris from it so that I could use the water stream to blast my character up to a higher location. Rebuilding was done by simply pressing a button, so the action didn’t really slow down as I assembled the play set. It wasn’t long after this that I was able to capture my man.
My biggest problem with LEGO City: Undercover is that the steering controls were really awful when driving. The vehicle was going all over the road as hitting left or right seemed way to sensitive. The demonstrator actually told me he’s seen worse, and that it’s likely an issue the team behind the game will address. For the sake of the people living in LEGO City I really do hope the controls are fixed, because I probably ran over 100 pedestrians by mistake.
LEGO City: Undercover has potential to be a fun game. The trailer makes it look like a title that will offer the occasional chuckle, and I really like the open world concept. I used to play with LEGO as a kid (who didn’t?) and seeing how a world works that’s built entirely from the popular toy is cool. Hopefully the kinks are worked out by the time this title releases, because it could end up being a fun addition to the Wii U library.
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