Well Played

Fight and commit crimes as an undercover cop in LEGO City

LEGO City Undercover is an underrated action-adventure game where you get to play an undercover cop in a major city.

Chase McCain has fallen into a river
A man has fallen into the river in LEGO City due to clunky controls

Rockstar Games finally dropped the trailer for the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto VI this week. If everything goes according to plan (it probably won’t), the game will be released in 2025. It’s likely that the game will be released on consoles first, so those who play games on PC (like me) will have to be even more patient.

In the meantime, there are plenty of other open-world games to explore, like LEGO City Undercover, which first came out in 2013 for the Wii U and was later re-released for other platforms, like PC.

Reviewed version Windows (via Parallels on an M1 MacBook)
Release date 4 April 2017
Developer Traveller’s Tales
Publisher TT Games

In LEGO City Undercover, players step into the shoes of Chase McCain, a kick-ass cop who has returned home to catch his arch nemesis, Rex Fury, a maniacal villain who broke out of LEGO City's Albatross Prison and is now seemingly terrorising the city. Nothing in this game is subtle or nuanced, but that’s fine. It’s a kid’s game after all.

As McCain, you’ll delve deep into criminal underworlds, master new skills, and unlock a plethora of disguises, all in the quest to restore safety and order to the city. Brimming with slapstick humour and witty references, both the story and gameplay offer a straightforward yet fun experience.

The story begins in LEGO City’s Cherry Tree Hills district, which is clearly based on San Francisco. As the story unfolds, players are taken through a variety of other districts, each uniquely modelled after iconic locations such as New York City, Italy, various Chinatowns, Miami, and serene countryside settings. Each area brings its own flavour and style to the game, making for a diverse and engaging experience similar to those in Super Mario Odyssey and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Speaking of which, LEGO City Undercover plays a lot like a children’s version of Grand Theft Auto with some minor differences. As a cop you can’t steal cars, but you can commandeer them – seemingly without consequences. Moreover, LEGO City’s inhabitants also can’t be killed, but you can arrest bad guys and drive over people if they happen to be in your way – also seemingly without consequences.

Throughout the story, you’ll gain access to various tools like grapple guns, axes, crowbars, , and even ray guns. These can of course be used to shoot people for shits and giggles – you’re the police after all. However, most of the time you’ll be using them to solve mini puzzles that must be completed to progress through missions and gain access to various types of collectibles, like character disguises, vehicles, and red bricks (power ups).

As LEGO City Undercover is intended for players of all ages, the difficulty level is fairly low. The game is very forgiving of mistakes, with automatic checkpoints everywhere and a virtually unlimited amount of health. A casual player can probably get through the main story in about 12 hours. Completionists who want all achievements for this game should be willing to put in at least three times that amount. The achievements don’t require a lot of skill, but you do need a lot of patience as you’ll be solving the same types of puzzles over and over again.

What you’ll also need a lot of patience for is bugs and unintuitive controls. The game crashed on me multiple times, and sometimes it feels like the camera and controls actively work against you. None of these things are bad enough to ruin the experience, but it does make it less enjoyable than it could have been.



LEGO City Undercover is somewhat flawed, but still a fun game to play for people of all ages.