LEGO City Undercover on the Nintendo Wii U was an entertaining title that gave the console some life as an exclusive title. With the game having also made its way onto the Nintendo 3DS, it was a good way to get those without a Wii U a taste of what was one of the coolest LEGO titles to date.
On the 3DS, The Chase Begins still manages to entertain, but doesn’t quite live up to the original’s cool-factor, perhaps due in part to the handheld’s hardware limits.
LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins is essentially a prequel to LEGO City Undercover, as Chase McCain takes gamers through his days as a rookie on the police force, and gets to use various of the characters/outfits found in the Wii U game to chase down crooks and save the day.
I was glad to see that much of the humor found on its predecessor was there and I caught myself giggling on more than a few occasions. Despite some of the humor though, developer TT Fusion was forced (due to the hardware) to cut out some of the voice work during cutscenes, which took away from the overall enjoyment of these scenes.
As it relates to gameplay, you’ll find the two games to pretty much mirror each other. Missions in The Chase Begins are, however, a bit shorter but still feature car chases, fights with gangs and strategic uses of outfits. One of my favorite areas in the game included heading over to Alcatraz to infiltrate a gang and ultimately attempt to free the warden from captivity. You also get to use the handheld’s features to the game’s advantage, such as using the gyroscopic sensors to wiretap buildings and listen in on conversations. Additionally, you use the touchscreen to open up locks with combinations.
In fact, I would argue that the smaller chunks of gameplay are a good fit for a handheld, while the game still manages to clock in at somewhere between 12-14 hours, depending on how much exploring you plan to do.
Exploring is perhaps one of the better aspects of the game, as you’ll come across new outfits, collectables and a handful of fun cars to drive around in and simply put, playing the game in 3D works well for the presentation, though loading times can be a tad long. Similarly, the camera works better than expected and I never even thought about the lack of a second analog stick on the 3DS as it didn’t seem necessary at all.
So while I would admit that I liked the Wii version a little bit more, LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins, still manages to remain entertaining and fresh, albeit in small doses.
Final Score: 3.8 out of 5
A downloadable copy of the game was provided by Nintendo for review purposes.