Lego City Undercover Review

Written by Jake Tucker

April 12, 2017 | 11:04

Tags: #crime #open-world #tt

Companies: #lego #warner-brothers #wb-games

Lego City Undercover Review
The strongest aspect of the game for me, though, is its internal sense of logic. Lego City as a world is entirely at ease with the fact that it's made of Lego and uses it both for comic effect and enjoyable puzzles. While arresting a tough criminal, McCain pulls his hands off while interrogating him. Solving many problems is, canonically, as easy as breaking something you don't need — like a dumpster — and rebuilding it into what would be useful, like a ladder to climb over a fence or a switch to get into a locked door. Combined with the game's humour and the complete lack of violence — you toss criminals to the floor to cuff them, but no more — it's just nice to play an open-world game where I haven't had to kill more people than a natural disaster to see the credits.

Of course, despite how joyous I found the core experience, the core mechanical loop is simple, with the only real difficulty coming from a wonky camera angle. A couple of times I clambered up a tall structure only to miss the final jump due to the camera, and there wasn't much I could do but dust myself off and start climbing again.

Lego City Undercover Review

The visuals look the part, gleaming and shining as well as you might expect, but performance on the Switch isn't great and is the reason you don't see a glowing Recommended badge at the bottom of the page. If you're playing your Switch in docked mode, in single-player, then you might not notice any issues beyond the fact your Switch is hotter than the sun. Playing it in handheld mode though, and it's a noticeable performance downgrade, with McCain moving sluggishly across the choppy city as the frame rate tanks.

Frame rate is halved in co-op, too, as rendering the city twice in split-screen seems to be a bit more than the Switch can handle, even in docked mode. I noticed that when one player looked at the map, the frame rate for the remaining player headed back to normal levels. It's annoying enough that co-op isn't worth your time here, nor is playing it undocked, even in single-player.

Lego City Undercover Review

These issues lock off two of the big Switch selling points, which makes it a relatively disappointing Switch port. Lego City Undercover is a good game, and I'd be interested in giving it a bash on a different console to see how it handles, but on the Switch it's a flawed gem, a genuinely enjoyable platformer that is let down by a raft of technical issues.

It still has plenty to offer the game-starved Switch, and I had a blast with the easy-going open-world platformer, but I can't give it the award I'd like to with these technical problems so apparent.

Lego City Undercover Review
Discuss this in the forums
YouTube logo
MSI MPG Velox 100R Chassis Review

October 14 2021 | 15:04