Chase McCain makes his way onto the small screen in his second adventure (which is really his first).
LEGO City – the greatest city in the world. The place where Chase McCain returned to duty at the LEGO City Police force in LEGO City Undercover on the Wii U, and also where his career began and where he ranked up from rookie cop to the fine officer he is today. LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins on 3Ds is set before the Wii U adventure and follows the early days of Chase’s career.
LEGO City is a vast city, perfect for exploration on the 3DS, and Chase will find his adventures taking him from Cherry Tree Hills Police station to the evil criminal masterminds of Albatross Island. Chase McCain is a cop with attitude, and wants to help the people of LEGO City by penetrating the underworld of the Knuckles Gang and ridding them of the criminal Rex Fury.
As chase McCain, police officer and good all round citizen, your call to duty doesn’t come from a desperate plea for help from the people of the city, but rather the police commissioner who wants you to deliver some doughnuts, handily found in a red van with a giant doughnut on top. This is the first vehicle of many that you encounter in LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins and it’s the start of your adventure. As with the WiiU version, Chase McCain enters vehicles via the X button, using A to accelerate and B to reverse. Steering is pretty basic and sometimes haphazard, but driving around this LEGO filled environment is an experience, as you swerve around corners, trying to avoid pedestrians or colliding with the odd traffic light. It’s all part of a day’s job for McCain.
There are a number of objectives to be met from a selection of characters that are scattered around the city. You can choose to free roam the LEGO brick environment or jump straight into a mission. The majority of my time was spent progressing through the missions, which were all quite fun and entertaining.
Chase McCain has a selection of police equipment to aid him in his adventures. For instance, a police officer can use a detective point to search for objects. This involves pulling out an over-sized magnifying glass and following a trail of footprints in your investigation, and resulting in your finding the valuable object essential for the next step in your inquiries. Although the 3DS version of the game follows similar traits of the Wii U version, the storyline is completely different.
As you progress through the game, you’ll meet some interesting characters and criminals, who will do their best to undermine the people of LEGO City and send them into disarray. Wandering around the city, I came across a guy who was crying uncontrollably into hands. He had lost his dog, and it’s at this point you discover that the Knuckles Gang, a trio of thugs, may have taken the canine and you set out to investigate.
There are many scanner multi-coloured circles distributed around LEGO City and this will help you to discover various important buildings and characters, once you’ve stood on them. Across LEGO City, you’ll need to collect many bricks and super bricks to construct a helipad. These helipads transport you to different locations around the city, although the first time you construct one, it’s simply for the LEGO City camera crew, who are doing a feature on the LEGO City police station. It’s a bit weird when you stop and look behind you to find someone with a giant microphone and camera lurking in the distance.
The Knuckles gang cause chaos around the city, such as destroying a generator or stealing parts, to causing mayhem at Albatross Island prison. You will be called out may times throughout the game to investigate strange things happening in the city, from a tearaway lawnmower going berserk, to trying to stop a robbery at a car show room.
The combat within the game felt light and slightly flimsy when faced with enemies or end of level bosses. Engaging in combat allows Chase McCain to perform some hilarious moves – whipping his leg out to force an enemy to fall over, spinning on his head and whacking criminals with his feet, or throwing people into the floor with the X button. Once you’ve defeated an enemy, a simple press on the A button handcuffs them and you’ve made your arrest.
Some of your police work involves chasing enemies down the street on foot, or simply clambering inside a vehicle for a high speed police chase. Once you’ve entered your vehicle, it’s simply a matter of colliding with the criminal’s vehicle and causing as much damage as possible.
During your journey, you’ll also have the opportunity to use your wiretapping skills to overhear conversations behind closed doors, giving you valuable information about the various criminals and their evil misdemeanors.
Chase McCain will spend a lot of time running across rooftops, climbing up drain pipes, sliding under barriers, tightrope walking and zip wiring across the city as he chases criminals. Occasionally he’ll get out his grapple gun to reach higher platforms or wrestle the latest cronies to the ground.
For every situation, a disguise is available from the disguise lockers located throughout the city, changing you from local law enforcement officer to a farmer, for example. If you become the farmer, you can ride the pigs and then catapult them out of cannons later on in the game for laughs. If you’re in the criminal disguise, using the crowbar icon located on the floor, enables you to break people out of jail and break-in to various locations by pressing the A button frantically. There’s also the chance to find the disguise tokens scattered through the game.
Use your safe-breaking skills and you can enter a variety of closed environments. This mini game is performed on the bottom 3DS screen, where a dial will appear. Rotating the dial and matching the combination with the lock, lights them green and gains you entry.
Whilst there is an obvious step down in quality and scope from the Wii U title, LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins looks good on the smaller 3DS screen, and feels quite at home. It is the type of game perfectly suited for handheld play and will keep the player busy for hours as they try to find all of the outfits and vehicles in the game.
LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins is an entertaining title on the 3DS, and one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing. There is so much to do within the city, from the missions to finding all of the collectibles and simply exploring or cruising around in the various vehicles. And there is the trademark LEGO humour to keep your spirits up as you collect a million and one LEGO bricks. LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins on 3DS is LEGOTASTIC and well worth picking up.