While many fans are excited for some of the newly announced mature titles for the Wii U like Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge and ZombiU, my family and many of my friends have their eyes on LEGO City: Undercover. A new adventure into the popular LEGO franchise, the game focuses on an open world experience filled with collectibles and missions in a fashion only the Wii U can deliver.
Playing as Chase McCain, your role as an active duty police officer is to help keep the crime level down in LEGO City. This is quite the challenge considering the evil villain Rex Fury is out to take over the city with his hooligans. Taking down the crime boss promises to offer quite a few hours of game play with the Grand Theft Auto-esque open world experience, including the ability to jack or commandeer cars from honest law-abiding citizens.
I was able to partake in a scenario where clown mini-figures rob a bank. After receiving the call from dispatch on the Wii U controller, Chase rushes to the scene only to have them all scatter. From there it becomes a high speed chase through downtown LEGO City. After catching the first clown I had to resort to the Wii U pad in order to locate hidden criminals using a thermal infrared scan. By moving the pad left or right I could actually see the environment and locate the other bank robbers.
Just as in past LEGO iterations, TT Games takes the helm and creates a city rife with buildings, vehicles, and mini-figures all built out of LEGO pieces. Driving around the city, I also noticed a few vehicles you could actually purchase from nearly any retail store in real life.
There's plenty of opportunity for the LEGO group to capitalize on this concept further by offering exclusive downloadable content in their retail city sets. I can easily picture downloading the set I just purchased at Target, and using it in the game. Whether that is part of their strategy or not is yet to be seen (or heard), but I'm sure every developer and publisher is watching Activision's success with the Skylanders business model very closely.
Regardless of where the marketing campaign goes there's one thing that's for certain; my family will be anxious to pick this up on the release date. The kids will have to fight me for who plays first though.