TT Games Buit a Worthy Open World
There have been previous Lego games that have claimed that they contain an open world for the player to explore. I beg to differ. Those previous versions contained a "bare-bones" open world. You could only do so much in these so called "worlds" and the main missions of the game still launched through a hub. You couldn't do anything in these open worlds besides fly around an collect a few items here and there. Yes Lego Batman, I am looking at you.
As for the newest Lego game, Lego City Undercover, an open world is truly realized. You can now access the main missions from the city, talk to new people, participate in side missions, explore new areas, and collect multitudes of items. It actually feels like TT Fusion knew what they were doing even though this was their first attempt at a true open world game.
You take the role of a cop who seems to be great at everything. His name is Chase McCain. He is overly sarcastic and he tends to break a lot of things in order to accomplish his goal. He is a renegade cop that follows no rules. Alright, maybe that's too much but he is a cool character. He is the first character in a Lego game that I left feeling good about.
His mission: take out Rex Fury, a villain who has been causing Lego City a lo of trouble. Along the way, you discover new bad guys that are helping Rex with his plans and by the end you realize who the actual villain is, the one that is the main problem.
The missions in the game are just like any other Lego game. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!", right? The only difference this time is that you can now access them from different locations among the city. This was the coolest part of the game. Gone are the days of a hub area, now you can easily get into each level. There are 15 in all which may seem a bit odd. Most of the past Lego games have featured more levels but this game makes up for the lack of levels with different side missions and other missions that are part of the main story, but don't take part in the actual levels. These include vehicle chases, gang takedowns, and vehicle robberies. That last sentence may not have made sense to you. Why would a cop stop a vehicle from being robbed and then turn around to snatch another vehicle. Let me explain.
Unlike past Lego games where you could control numerous characters that pertained to that Lego game's brand, in this game you play as Chase McCain throughout the whole story. The difference is, he has a bunch of different disguises that he can use to accomplish his goals. He is an undercover cop for a reason. You can be your regular own self, a crook, an astronaut, a farmer, a fire fighter, a miner, a construction worker, and a random civilian. Each of these disguises give Chase different powers that he can use in levels and in the city. For instance, the crook can open up locked doors and safes while the farmer can grow plants. In order to fully complete the game, you will need to utilize every single power that you own.
Throughout the game, you can also collect lots of different versions of these disguises just like you would in any other Lego game. You can unlock them in levels and you can also find them scattered throughout the environments. You can also collect cars that you can drive all around the city. This was one of the more interesting parts of the game. Let me tell you, it is really fun to hook up some nitrous to an ice cream truck. Smart cars are very fun to crash into big semi trucks. You can do it all in this game. There is a wide variety of different vehicles including air vehicles like helicopters that you can use to fly to different areas of the city via helipads.
Red bricks return to this game once again and they give you lots of cool extras. Some of them are extremely useful when you are trying to 100% complete the game. Why? Because some of the tasks that are required to complete the game become a bit tedious after a while. They require lots of work and can sometimes be frustrating, but in the end, it tends to be worth it. You can buy all of these different types of collectibles at the Police Station, which acts as home base.
Some other cool things about the game include super builds. Along the way, you can find glowing spots on the ground that indicate the spot of a super build. In order to build these creations, you have to collect bricks, a secondary currency alongside your good ol' studs. You can collect these bricks from destroying things in the environment like benches and trash cans to name a few. You can also get a bunch of bricks by finding Super Bricks throughout the environment that give you a lot of bricks. When you finally get enough bricks to build these super builds, you can build lots of unique structures and ramps that enhance the environment around you.
The game has a fast travel element in the form of a metro system. In the city, you can find metro stations that need built. Once you build them and unlock them for use, you can fast travel to that section of the city. They are very useful when you are at the police station and need to get to the other side of the city. Although, driving is a lot of fun in the game.
Now you are probably wondering how well the game utilizes the power of the gamepad. Well the answer is, pretty well. I was actually surprised how often the gamepad was used in the course of the game. It didn't just feel like a tacked-on feature. You can use the gamepad to view a map of the city, access your vehicles at the vehicle call-in points, scan for vehicle robberies, and scan for audio signals. All of those features work pretty well and they are used often. You can also take pictures of the city using the gamepad and then you can upload those pictures to the MiiVerse if that fits your fancy. The gamepad is used in pretty unique ways and I am glad to see that this is one of the first Wii U games that actually makes the gamepad feel like it is a vital part of the experience.
Lastly, if I had to knock this game down a little bit, I would have to say that I experience a lot of issues on the technical side. There would be points where my character would glitch out on certain objects and would get stuck. There would also be times where the vehicle chases would just be plain unfair. By unfair, I mean that the robber would speed away very quickly and escape before I could even access my car. This problem would be fixed when I clicked "retry" but it was still frustrating at times. The game would also randomly crash at certain points, causing me to have to turn off my Wii U. Part of these problems are probably present because this is TT Games' first attempt at creating a true open world game. I applaud them for the effort because they succeeded, but it was a rough road to success.
I would consider this game the best so far for the Wii U. Nintendo Land was fun and offered some good times but it does not rival the fun that came along with Lego City Undercover. There may be a few rough parts in the city but your a cop so nothing should phase you, right? Your the law...the fucking law! Now go take care of those bad guys.