‘Lego City’ delivers fun, smashing gameplay

by RILEY GOLDEN//Entertainment Editor

lego city opening screen

Fast cars, pretty women, and beautiful views that have one thing in common. They’re all built out of Legos.

“Lego City Undercover” is a third-person action/adventure game in which the player takes control of Officer Chase McCain to chase down the criminal known as Rex Fury.

The city is in the grips of a crime wave, and it’s up to Chase McCain to bring it to a halt. To do so, he’s going to need to take advantage of all of his undercover outfits.

The player starts out in Chase’s civilian clothes but shortly gains access to a police uniform. It’s really a blast to hop behind the wheel of a police car, chase down a bad guy, and slap some cuffs on them.

Next, the player gets a very typical-looking robber outfit, wearing a black beanie, black eye mask, and a black-and-grey shirt. This is under the criminal disguises. While wearing one of the criminal disguises, the player has access to a crow bar and a color gun. The crowbar is used to break open doors, lockers, or hatches, and the color gun can be equipped with different colors that will help the player complete certain objectives.

The player then unlocks the Miner disguise. This disguise gives Chase access to dynamite vending machines which can be found all over the city, as well as a pickaxe that allows Chase to break up piles of rock that could be blocking an entrance or hiding something valuable.

Next is the Astronaut disguise, which gives Chase access to these little white cubes that open up to reveal a satellite dish that beams down an object, broken legos that need to be assembled, or even an alien for the player to chase down and cuff. The astronaut disguise also gives Chase a fun laser pistol. Later on in the game, Chase also acquires a jet pack that can only be used with one of the astronaut disguises.

Chase is then sent to assist an old farmer, and he tells Chase to put on some overalls before he can get to work. This unlocks the Farmer disguise. With the farmer disguise, Chase can water flower pots that will grow into a giant sunflower that works as a platform, or one that grows vines up a building that the player can climb. The farmer disguise also gives Chase a chicken that the player can use to shoot eggs at people or glide from one spot to the next.

Next, Chase is sent to a fire station to acquire something . To do so, he has to don a fire fighter disguise. This disguise gives Chase a handheld water-sprayer that the player can use to put out fires, and an axe that can be used to chop down wood that is nailed across a door.

Lastly, the player gains access to a construction worker disguise. This disguise gives Chase a jackhammer and the ability to fix electrical breakers that will open gates or turn the power on to something.

With all of the tools that Chase gains with each disguise, there will be a circle on the ground indicating which tool can be used where. There will be parts of the game and story mode that can only be accessed later on, once the player unlocks the disguise.

With all other Lego games that I have played, the player is accompanied by one or more companions that all have different abilities, so I like that the player is able to flip through the different disguises, instead of having four other companions, which makes for a much less cluttered experience.

Although there aren’t usually any extra characters hanging around, a friend can still seamlessly drop into your game via splitscreen coop at pretty much anytime.

My least favorite part about the game is how short the story is. There are a lot of ways to get distracted in “Lego City Undercover.” But even then, it only takes about 15 hours to run through the story once. I would’ve really appreciated a 20 to 25-hour-long story mode. But I digress, because there is still a lot of fun to be had in the game.

There are a lot of real-world and pop culture references in the game that play on the typical goofy comedy that accompanies the Lego games. The player can visit The Fusileani Tower, an obvious reference to the Leaning Tower of Piza, and the post card hilariously points out that it’s, “A real pizza history and an experience that’s worth every penne.”

There’s a reference to Liberty Island on which the Statue of Liberty is a giant green Lego woman. There is also Albatross Island, a reference to Alcatraz Island, and hilariously labeled a “federal correctional retreat.”

The most noticeable and most hilarious pop culture reference in the game is when Lego versions of Starsky and Hutch fly onto the scene in their classic red-and-white car that’s made out of Legos.

My favorite part of “Lego City Undercover” is all of the different Lego vehicles the player can drive. There are cute little smart cars, awesome race cars, a Lamborghini-esque car called the Drakonas, and one similar to an old school Corvette called the Cetan. There are dirt bikes, lifted trucks, utility vehicles, and a wide range of cop cars. I really love that they’re all made out of Legos.    

“Lego City Undercover” is “Grand Theft Auto” meets Legos, and it makes for a great mashup. The game is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and I played it on the Nintendo Switch, which made pulling out both sets of my Joy Con controllers and playing anywhere with a friend even better.

I give “Lego City Undercover” 4.5 out of 5 stars.

[Photo illustration by RILEY GOLDEN/PLAINSMAN PRESS]

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