And here we stand, my game of the year. Now, I'll be the first to admit, I wrote off LEGO games after Indiana Jones. As much fun as I had with LEGO Star Wars, and as much as I tolerated the first LEGO Indiana Jones, it seemed like LEGO games were fast reaching a point of pulling out license I didn't care about combined with relying on too many similar gags to get cheap laughs out of small children, who I'm sure loved them. But do not make the mistake of writing off LEGO City Undercover. Do not believe that LEGO and Traveller's Tales have learned nothing over the past five years of solid, if mediocre sequels.
For one thing, LEGO City Undercover is, without question, the absolute funniest game released this year, bar none. Not in the cloying, "here's a joke so laugh" kind of way, but in the sense of going back and watching old episodes of Animaniacs, or Freakazoid, and catching jokes that you never would have realized at six or seven. Sure, the slapstick comedy is still there, but so are so many other jokes and references that would absolutely fly over the head of the intended audience. While yes, a lot of these adult-bonus humor is entirely reference-based comedy, the breadth of it is so wide, from Grand Theft Auto IV to Die Hard, The Green Mile to Dirty Harry, and Titanic to The Shawshank Redemption, that it's almost impossible to be left out.
The winks and nods at the fourth wall extend to the missions, which, sure, if you want to get deconstructive about it, are about "breaking stuff, finding the next thing to build, maybe switch what power you have active, repeat", But with the list of interesting abilities Chase gains, combined with the rogues' gallery of villains, and environments literally ranging from the depths of the ocean to SPACE, LEGO City Undercover never gets old.
From the humor to the fact that TT Fusion actually managed to make LEGO games fun again, there's no question that LEGO City Undercover is my vote for Game of the Year. And probably the only vote LEGO City Undercover will get for Game of the Year. Although that's not to discount too many other games released this year, making a top 10 list was tough.
Here's to 2014. Already looking like a crazy year, with things like Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Persona Q, Persona 5, and Super Smash Bros, to name a few.