Lego City: Undercover is a very fun, very family-friendly game with lighthearted dialogue, vivid graphics, straight forward missions with clear objectives, simple controls, very subdued “violence”, and plenty of “eye-candy” to look at.
The controls are simple and responsive, and most significant actions require only a single button press or series of repeated taps to perform. The Lego world is bright, colorful, well rendered, and impressively expansive. There is plenty of variety so that you don’t feel like you’re constantly looking at the same recycled objects and buildings, and frankly, you could easily kill a few hours just walking or driving around to look at stuff. There are also a lot of vehicles (100+), as well as characters with distinctive personalities and smooth cut-scene animations with cute, clean dialogue and cheesy jokes that are sure to make you smile, if not laugh out loud. Clearly, someone had fun making this game and it was clearly made by a movie buff, since there is several obvious references to movies.
Essentially, this is a kid-friendly version of Grand Theft Auto (GTA) that doesn’t take itself so seriously–an idea that works surprisingly well and that feels fun rather than obnoxiously childish. It is obviously set in the Lego universe and in place of GTA’s vulgarity and abundance of adult content, this game is completely sanitized to make it family friendly. (The “E” for Everyone rating is certainly appropriate.) I especially like that you play a proper good guy (Chase McCain, a police officer) instead of a crook, and the dialogue is slapstick but never offensive. The action is also non-violent. You smash some Lego objects to pieces in order to build new ones, but it feels more like puzzle solving than vandalism. And when you’re fighting or arresting crooks, you simply tackle or throw them (in a gentle-looking animation) to the ground with a slow-motion effect for heightened drama. Then you toss handcuffs on them for the arrest. In short, feel free to let even very young children listen and watch while you play.
If you play steadily through the story, the load screens occur every 5 to 15 minutes, and occasionally there are sequences where you go from one load screen almost immediately to another. I timed them, and they vary from 25 to 70 seconds in length, with the average somewhere around 40 seconds. When you’re opening up another whole part of the world (like going from the city to the countryside), you might have one of the longer load times (the longest I’ve come across so far was 1 minute 9 seconds). If you’re just loading a new mission or objective in any already-loaded part of the open world, the load times tend to be much shorter (about 25 – 45 seconds).
All in all, I think this is the best “compromise” I’ve found between a game with acceptable depth to please fairly avid gamers, as well as parents who need to be mindful of small children and thus, want to confine themselves to safe, family-friendly content. If you like open-world games, have a soft spot for Lego humor, and want a game that is family friendly, I highly recommend it!
A second opinion as a Trophy Hunter has found the Lego games over the past few years including this one very annoying when it comes to the amount of characters you need to collect majority of them having nothing to do with the plot of the particular game. Red Bricks & objectives you need to complete in the open world a lot of them are very tedious and annoying like multiple red bricks just to change your ringtone or getting cats out of trees as a firefighter. I feel like they have added so much of this “extra” stuff to do only to slow down us trophy hunters I kill hours trying to complete just these minor things. I found I was just spinning my wheels trying to finish this game & burning myself out from playing video games in general as I just want to 100% a game but its taking me an extra 30 hours just to finish the small little errands they have spread out across the city.
Article written by Torey.
I’m a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama.