World View With its open-world interpretation of Gotham City, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes was the first opportunity for Traveller’s Tales to melt down the linear template of the Lego games and mould it back into something innovative. Lego City Undercover continues the open-world theme, lifting inspiration for its municipality mostly from San Francisco – prison island Albatross is a barely disguised riff on Alcatraz – and imbuing the setting with a genuine sense of wonder. With a massive city to explore, TT Fusion has made sure there are plenty of ways to get around…
YELLOW BRICK ROAD
A GAGGLE of air, sea and land vehicles offer the player various means to explore the world around them, but these conventional modes of transport are exactly that: traditional. To see the city in style, you need look no further than the grapple gun. Players can launch themselves across the city at great height and speed, covering a massive amount of distance in a short space of time. It’s the sort of unpretentious embellishment appropriate to the simplistic thrills that the Lego franchise delivers so majestically.
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
WHILE NO longer tethered to the linearity of a popular licence, the allure of nostalgia has not escaped developer TT Fusion. Lego City Undercover’s yellow-faced star is Chase McCain, a police officer on the trail of the nefarious Rex Fury. All cocksure attitude and cheesy zingers, Chase is born from Eighties cop show swagger – among a plethora of homages and clichés ripped from decades of pop culture. It may no longer be tethered to a familiar brand, but don’t expect Undercover to abandon the lampooning altogether.
EACH OF the Lego games has had a playful approach to the inherent violence – guns, swords and explosive have all had a place among the collectable trinkets and studs. So it’s surprising that Undercover tones down the intensity of its action: civilians walking along the pavement can’t be run over and firearms have been outlawed. Still, a mix of parkour and melee combat unite to create a satisfyingly dynamic range of action, not to mention a range of costumes that endow Chase with unique abilities.