Lego City Undercover
|Lego City Undercover|
Packaging artwork for western territories.
|Distributor(s)||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
|Distribution||Wii U Optical Disc
Lego City Undercover is a comedic sandbox-style action-adventure video game developed by TT Fusion, a division of TT Games, for the Wii U. The game was released on 18 March 2013 in North America, Europe and Australia on 28 March 2013 and in Japan on 25 July 2013. A prequel was also developed for the Nintendo 3DS. Unlike previous Lego titles developed by TT Games, which have been based on various licenses, the game is based on the Lego City brand and is the first Lego game to be published by Nintendo.
Taking place in the vast Lego City, players control an undercover cop named Chase McCain. Chase goes on the hunt for criminals, with various moves at his disposal, such as swinging across poles and performing wall jumps; he can also gain disguises that give him additional abilities, such as a robber disguise that lets him break locks. Chase can also pilot vehicles, such as cars and helicopters, and use loose bricks to build various objects. The Wii U GamePad can be used as a device including a communicator and as a scanner to locate criminals.
Lego City Undercover's gameplay borrows heavily from the Grand Theft Auto series. However the game is role-reversed with the player taking on the role of a police officer enforcing the law, rather than a criminal committing crime, although the player is required to commit criminal acts on some occasions in order to infiltrate criminal gangs. The game also includes references to notable Nintendo intellectual properties, such as offering the ability to build a Lego Super Mario universe warp pipe.
Chase McCain, a cop sent away from Lego City two years prior to the events of the game, returns under pleading from the mayor, as the city is in the grip of a crime wave, one she believes Rex Fury, who has escaped from Albatross Prison, to be behind, and entrusts Chase to find him and bring him to justice like he had done 2 years prior. He calls Natalia Kowalski, his former girlfriend, to make sure she is okay, but is bitterly met by her, due to Chase having revealed her identity during Rex's trial, forcing her to go under witness protection. Chase arrives at the police station and is given a happy welcome by rookie Frank Honey, but a less nice one from the new Chief of Police, Marion Dunby. Chase receives police equipment, such as a police communicator (similar to a Wii U GamePad) by Ellie Phillips (Frank's crush) and is informed about Rex's escape from prison, and is quickly dispatched to stop several criminals. After arresting bank robbing clowns and dealing with a road block he sees Natalia driving quickly and proceeds to talk to her. Their conservation isn't long and Natalia steals Chase's car to go say goodbye to her father and to permanently leave Lego City. Chase then arrests some robbers after he obtains a grapple gun from Sheriff Duke Huckleberry, Ellie's uncle. Chase visits Rex's prison and discovers an escape tool from Bluebell Mine. Chase encounters Rex at the mine who quickly defeats him. Chase wakes up to find that Natalia's father has gone missing. Chase is then required to train in Kung Fu with a man named Barry Smith.
Chase goes undercover in Chan Chuang's gang, where he becomes a limousine driver for millionaire Forest Blackwell. Chase also encounters Natalia, who was searching Chan's office because her father was last seen getting into a limo, and Chase promises to find her father, but Natalia rejects his offer. Chase performs other various criminal tasks such as thefts and carjackings in order to gain the trust of Chan, and meets several other criminal leaders. Chase eventually learns that Chan is working for Vinnie Pappalardo, another crime boss. To get in with Vinnie, Chase must break out Vinnie's right hand man/cousin Moe de Luca and steal a delivery truck. After being accepted into Vinnie's gang, he is ordered to perform a bank robbery for his "private buyer". Shortly after Chan calls Chase to steal a moon buggy from Apollo Island. After he gets the job done he saves Forrest Blackwell from a gang and finds out that Chan is holding Natalia hostage at his scrapyard.
Chase manages to rescue Natalia, but inadvertently forces Chan into hiding. Angered, Dunby drops Chase from the case temporarily and transfers him to Bluebell National Park with Sheriff Huckleberry, but quickly gets back on the case after accepting another job from Vinnie: a robotic T-Rex from the Lego City museum. After delivering the dinosaur to Vinnie, he accepts another job: stealing a boat from the fire department. Afterwards Chase is forced to rescue Natalia from mysterious men Rex apparently works for. Chase tracks Vinnie and his private buyer, who is in fact Rex, who refuses to pay Vinnie for the work he's done.
Angered, Vinnie calls Chase for a job behind Rex's back, to steal from Forrest Blackwell. Chase learns about how Blackwell was going to build an apartment complex with a shopping mall in Bluebell National Park, but a discovery of a rare squirrel had shut down the project, causing Blackwell to never build anything again. Chase goes inside Blackwell's mansion, although he is attacked by Blackwell's sentinel guards. Chase manages to evade the Sentinels and returns to Vinnie's and finds the ice cream parlor that he owns overrun by Rex's thugs and Vinnie locked in the freezer. Chase manages to save Vinnie and stop the thugs, after interrogating the leader of the thugs, Chase takes his place on a job Rex sent his men to do: steal a crane from the construction yard, which Chase then uses to steal a telescope from an observatory for the "old man".
After following Rex's men to their hideout, Chase listens through a vent and hears Natalia's father, Henrik Kowalski, who is being interrogated by Rex. Chase navigates through the base and discovers that Forrest Blackwell himself is behind the crime wave. Chase also discovers that Blackwell had kidnapped Natalia in order to threaten her father into co-operating. Chase then rescues him and they both escape on a UFO. Chase then calls Ellie and tells her about Blackwell's plan. Chase is informed by Ellie that Blackwell was on TV not long ago, and the he will be holding a press conference outside of Blackwell Tower later that afternoon with news that would 'change Lego City forever'. Chase proceeds to Blackwell's mansion in hopes of finding evidence and Natalia. Chase doesn't find Natalia but he discovers a small model of a colony on the moon. Chase, realizing Blackwell Tower itself is a rocket to the moon, and that its launch would vaporize Lego City, ventures there with the police department to protect the citizens and apprehend Blackwell. Although the citizens are safe, using force field devices Henrik created for Blackwell, the rocket launches with Natalia on board.
Chase catches a space shuttle to the moon, and encounters Rex Fury and Forrest Blackwell. Chase battles Rex who uses the T-Rex Chase stole, but Rex failed to finish off Chase. Angered, Blackwell fires Rex and destroys the shuttle but Chase and Rex survive the blast and engage in a final battle, with Chase emerging the victor. Blackwell smashes them off the platform with an escape pod, sending them into a free fall towards before fleeing, swearing vengeance, until he gets hit by a cow and flies away, and Chase then skydives towards the Command module that Natalia is being held in and triggers the parachute release, saving the command module. Back on earth, Lego City celebrates Chase's victory, Natalia tightly embraces Chase and is congratulated by the Mayor, but Chase believes Rex got away. Dunby then reveals to Chase that Rex is in police custody and offers him the honor of his arrest, but Chase turns it down, realizing Natalia is more important. The game ends as the characters laugh when Frank thinks Chase was talking about video games, while one of Blackwell's sentinels is still very slowly chasing after Chase on bicycle before the screen cuts to black.
Lego City Undercover was first announced during Nintendo's press conference at E3 2011 on 7 June 2011 with the tentative name Lego City Stories. At Nintendo's press conference at E3 2012 on 5 June 2012, the game was revealed to have had a name change to Lego City Undercover. The game's debut trailer was shown during that event, revealing game footage for the first time. During Nintendo's 13 September events, some new trailers detailing the story were shown, along with the announcement that a Chase McCain minifigure would come with the game as a pre-order bonus in North America and Australia while stocks last, and be included in the first copies of the game in Europe. A police high speed chase toy was also released and includes a code for additional in-game content. Nintendo also published the game in Japan on 25 July 2013. The game's music was composed by Simon Withenshaw and Suddi Ravall, while the game's voice cast consists of Adam Buxton, David Yip, Eric Meyers, Jaimi Barbakoff, James Goode, Jo Wyatt, John Guerrasio, John Schwab, Joseph May, Josh Robert Thompson, Jules Du Jongh, Kerry Shale, Larissa Murray, Martin McDougall, Nathan Osgood, Nigel Whitmey, Pepe Balderrama, Peter Serafinowicz, Tim Beckmann, Tom Clarke Hill, Trevor White and Adam Gott.
With a Metacritic score of 80, reviews were largely positive, praising the humour and design, but generally criticizing lengthy loading times and a lack of co-operative multiplayer, which was a staple in previous Lego titles. Official Nintendo Magazine awarded the game 90%, making it the magazine's third highest rated Wii U game at the time. IGN gave the game 8/10, praising its huge open world while criticising its generic gameplay. Eurogamer gave the game a score of 9/10, saying the game features "a mixture of great writing, twinkling level design and laudable values that keep you coming back". GamesRadar gave the game 4 out of 5 stars, praising the inventive use of occupations and rewarding puzzles but criticising the lack of co-operative multiplayer. GameTrailers gave the game a score of 8.4, calling it "the best game in the series so far." Nintendo Insider awarded the game a score of 85%, writing that it "signals a bold new direction for TT Fusion’s creativity."
According to NPD figures, the game sold more than 100,000 units in the United States in its debut month, debuting outside the top 10 and tying with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. In the UK, the game debuted at number 12 in the all-formats chart, however, it debuted at number 8 in the individual-format chart and at number 1 in the Wii U chart. In Japan, the game sold more than 18,000 copies on it first week, entering all the charts at number 9.
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