Anime Reporter keeps the Lego video game coverage moving with a take on Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins for Nintendo 3DS.
Well, some of you may recall I took a quick glance at Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 for Nintendo DS not so long ago and now I’m taking a look at another Lego title, a little bit different. This one, Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins is one of Lego’s own titles, not licensed from another intellectual property and serves as the prequel to the Wii U game, simply called Lego City Undercover.
The story is pretty simple, the newest police rookie, new to Lego City, and aptly named Chase McCain, lands a pretty massive case, setting his sights on a master criminal called Rex, who also happens to be a master of disguise (but not really). In order to take down this nefarious genius, Chase has to… well, chase him all over Lego cCity, adopting a number of undercover personas along the way. These include fireman, farmer, miner, thief and even astronaut. Each identity comes with its own special abilities that grant access to new areas and skills. It’s pretty entertaining to follow the plot and see each of these identities bear fruit, particularly to go back to old areas and rescue stranded cats as a fireman or pinpoint alien criminals for capture as an astronaut.
The plot is fun, simple and packed full of the now famous Lego sense of humour. The gameplay is smooth and hugely enjoyable, offering the chance to build monuments and landmarks in many areas, as well as granting access to a huge variety of vehicles all over the city. Costumes are heavily customizable and unlocking more identities allows you to create your own versions of every persona. It plays a little bit like Grand Theft Auto without the mature overtones and the replay value is stupendous. Plus, there’s a great deal of amusement every time I play in the farmer identity and rediscover that the farmer’s long range weapon is a chicken that fires eggs.
I know that this title initially came under a bit of fire for the size of its overworld, as Lego City was split into various regions, with loading screens in between each one, but I can’t see what the problem is. The portable 3DS does, in my opinion, an incredible job of replicating the Wii U experience and I don’t know why anyone would have expected the handheld device to perform at the same level as a home console in the first place. Perhaps I’m showing my age, but I’m still just amazed by the immersive depth the 3DS can provide, when I think back less than twenty years to what the Gameboy Colour was capable of. The PS2 couldn’t have outperformed the 3DS’s take on this game and I think that the more negative assessments of the game perhaps needed just a touch of perspective.
Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins was, and is, an achievement in portable video gaming. It remains my favourite Lego original title, offering a great gameplay experience, a fun storyline, massive replay value and, of course, the ever satisfying completionist’s dream challenge. If you haven’t gotten around to checking out this Lego beaut, I wouldn’t waste anymore time waiting. It’s available on the Nintendo eshop and it’s well worth picking up.
Thanks for reading,