Lego City Undercover review for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One, Switch, PC
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Developer: TT Games
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Considering only, like, a dozen people played Lego City Undercover when it was initially released on the Wii U, I’m glad to see the game get re-released on systems people actually own. Don’t take that the wrong way — I was one of those dozen people who bought, played, and enjoyed it on the Wii U, I’m not trying to disparage the game or Nintendo’s most lacklustre console. I just mean that given how much fun Lego City Undercover is, it’s nice to see it get a chance at the kind of audience it deserved in the first place.

It’s one of those games where the hook is instantly obvious: it’s Grand Theft Auto, as told through a Lego filter. Sure, you’re playing as a cop instead of a criminal, but beyond that, it’s not all that different. You get to explore a wide open world that’s full of secrets waiting for you to discover. You can hijack every single car you see, and thanks to the fact you’re a cop, you can do so with zero repercussions. You even get to arrest clowns and rescue pigs.

Okay, that last part is different from GTA. But that’s where the Lego filter comes in. Even as it borrows a lot of the language and beats you’d associate with Grand Theft Auto or one of its lesser imitators, Lego City Undercover is still undeniably a Lego game. Destroying parts of your environment isn’t just an option, it’s necessary if you want to build ferries and trains that will open up new parts of the world for you. Similarly, Lego City is packed with the kind of visual gags and jokes you’d associate with Lego games, and it’s all delivered in a way that’s consistent with the franchise’s usual approach to humour. Best of all, Lego City Undercover packages everything up via easily-digestible chapters, meaning that if you want an open world game that doesn’t feel unmanageably huge, you’ll be gently nudged here and there towards what you need to do next.

Actually, that’s not the best thing about Lego City Undercover. No, what stands out most for me is that it looks so, so, so much better than it did on Wii U. Given the differences between PS4 and Wii U, that should almost go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. It’s nice to play a game as bright and visually appealing as this, and not have it look muddy or indistinct.

If I had any complaint about Lego City Undercover, it’d be that it doesn’t diverge too much (or, possibly, at all) from its original version on the Wii U. As I said up top, though, that means there are only about a dozen or so people who’ll actually notice that. For everyone else, for whom this will be an entirely new, go out and grab this game ASAP, because it’s well worth your time and money.

Grade: A