It's quite unusual in the world of video games, for a series to fill you in with the background story for a game after it releases. Nonetheless, that's exactly what LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins is. Whilst the game initially looks to exist because of it's bigger and meatier Wii U brother, we soon discovered that LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins is pretty much an awesome game in it's own right.
We'll set a few things straight from the offset, LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins was developed along side and takes place in the same world with the same characters as the recently released Wii U title, LEGO City Undercover. For that reason, throughout our review, it's going to be pretty difficult not to compare the two games, however, we appreciate that it's extremely important to look at LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins as a stand-alone game, as that is how alot of users will experience it.
The premise and setting for The Chase Begins is ever so simple, you're back in LEGO City. Well, you're not really back, as the story here takes place before the Wii U title, which was strangely released before the 3DS title. Confusing eh? Anyway, you'll be taking direction of "Chase McCain" and completing a variety of missions, as with the Wii U title.
It's great to see a brand new storyline put into action here, this will truly make the game worth playing for gamers who have already completed the Wii U counterpart. There's a new selection of missions to complete and new characters to meet, but it's surprisingly familiar, as we've already learnt our way around the gorgeously expanding LEGO City.
We did find that gameplay was a little less open and slightly more linear in The Chase Begins, but we think that this style of play is alot more suited to the handheld console. The city is still yours to explore, however, you'll likely find yourself more tied to missions, with less of an opportunity to go off and gander.
After completing various missions and tasks, you'll be reporting back to the Police Station, which is now slightly stripped down (we were told it was budget cuts). Don't be worrying about a lack of missions, as ever, there is a whole heap of them to be completed here. You'll be playing this particular LEGO game for quite some time to come.
As to be expected, graphics weren't quite on par here with the Wii U title, in fact, we'd say that they're quite far off. That's not too much of an issue mind. Aside from graphics being slightly scaled down in detail, a strange foggy mist covers areas of the view that have not yet been rendered. It's a little distracting when you're on a hot-pursuit, but it shouldn't cause too many players much trouble. Besides, you've also got the added functionality of 3D graphics remember.
We'd really like to ignore the issues with loading times, however, they're just so prominent that it's almost impossible. Loading times between various points in the game are horrendous, which is a real shame. You'll be waiting for anywhere up to 2 minutes for the game to progress. Furthermore, we experienced a few difficulties with the Frame Rate, it wasn't anything too game ruining, but it's a shame to see that TT Fusion weren't able to iron them out.
In conclusion, if you enjoyed LEGO City Undercover on the Wii U, then you're most likely going to love this title. It's packed full of content and charm and it's truly no shoddy handheld port. However, a few prominent technical issues trip this title up at the final hurdle. + Josh Moorcroft-Jones
7/10 - LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins extends what we loved about the Wii U title, however, it also brings with it a heap of technical issues.
Review copy provided by Nintendo