Hopefully it's better than Grand Theft Auto IV...

 

Lego City Undercover is a game I had been excited for since Nintendo announced the Wii U about a year ago.  While always vaguely revealed to be released in the “launch window” for the Wii U, Lego City Undercover finally hit store shelves last month.  I have now completed the game and can tell you whether or not this one is for you.

 

While never being a particular fan of the block toys growing up, the Lego franchise of video games is something I’m very familiar with.  I’ve passed over the Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter iterations, but I have both Lego Indiana Jones games, both Lego Batman games, as well as Lego Pirates of the Caribbean.  Basically, the people at TellTale Games take these popular movie franchises, “Lego” them up, make them family friendly, and then rake in a boatload of cash.  “Family friendly” doesn’t mean only children will like the game; adults will, too…  Think more Mario than Spongebob.

 

Lego City Undercover is the first game to completely buck the movie franchise factor, opting actually for a completely unique story with brand new yellow, Lego-shaped characters.  While not associating with any particular movie, Lego City Undercover crams a lot of pop-culture references that mom and dad will enjoy that will likely float over young gamers’ heads.  If anything, I would actually think it’s more like a Lego Grand Theft Auto than anything else…  Although it’s legitimately better than any GTA game I’ve ever played.

 

Like in GTA, players will be stealing cars, driving erratically with disregard for human- er, Lego safety, and taking jobs for criminal head-honchos…  However it’s all done undercover as a police officer, so your kids won’t be doing anything “naughty” or illegal.  There’s no references to drugs, sex, or foul language at all.  The game features fully-voiced cutscenes (a rarity for Lego games) and content that I’ve been playing with for a month now.  While you could fly through the story mode in a dozen hours or so, there is an unearthly amount of bonus quests and side missions that will keep you scratching your head for as long as you are having fun, which for me has already been north of 40 hours…  Yes, 40.

 

While I’ve gone on and on about how much I love New Super Mario Bros. U, I have to say Lego City Undercover is the best experience I’ve ever had on my Wii U.  The game fluidly and intuitively incorporates the gamepad in a way that other systems simply could not do right now, which is why Lego City Undercover is currently a Nintendo exclusive.  The cartoony action, endearing characters, and a story with some genuine LOL moments make Lego City an ideal locale for you and your family.  Or if you’re a twenty-something retro gamer like me, you’d be remiss to pass this one over, trust me on this!