Scanners disguises and jumping cars - the tools of the LEGO City police
WiiU
Feature
Friday 22nd March, 2013

Scanners, disguises, and jumping cars - the tools of the LEGO City police

Learn the ropes of being a policeman on the LEGO City beat

LEGO City Undercover Boxart

LEGO City Undercover


Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Traveller's Tales
PEGI Rating: 7+
Players Offline: 1
Genre(s): Platform (3D)

Supported Controllers

This game can be played using a Wii Gamepad on its own.

Required

Day three - that difficult third album. You’ve learnt the basics of LEGO City, you’ve learnt a little bit more about the city we like to call home, but now this is where the real work begins – the work of being a police officer. Back in my day, things weren’t as fancy as there are now. If old Bill Ding wanted to find a crook, I had to rely on my luck, and my police intuition. Which might explain why I never caught anyone. Either way – things are different now. Times have a-changed, and now you’ve got all manner of tools and gadgets at your fingertips – even though you don’t technically have fingers. This is how you use them.

Infrared


LEGO City Undercover Screenshot

See that thing with all them sticks, buttons, and doo-hickeys on it? They tell me that’s called a ‘GamePad’. It may have a daft name - after all, police work is anything but a game - but you'll soon find the GamePad essential to your work. Along with acting as a map, so we don’t have to rely on your terrible orienteering skills, your GamePad also functions as an infra-red scanner. All you’ve got to do is get to a vantage point, hold it up, and press the button in the top left of the screen to have a look around the area, where all sorts of important stuff will be highlighted – power bricks, bad guys, collectibles - and pigeons. You keep an eye on those pigeons, rookie. I’m sure they’re up to something.

Grappling Hook


LEGO City Undercover Screenshot

One of the biggest problems for any police officer is upwards mobility. I ain’t talking in terms of promotions, though – there ain’t no glass ceiling here. For starters, it’d be made of plastic. What I’m talking about is reaching high places. Chases won’t always stay down on the ground, so you need to be able to follow. And while you may not be as tall as one of them fancy LEGO Technic fellers, we’ve got something that more than makes up for your shortcomings – the grappling hook. All you have to do is find something it can hook onto – specifically, a handily placed blue hook – target it, and let her go. Letting you pull yourself up to high up platforms, or pull other things down, the grappling hook helps level the playing field between you and the bad guys – especially as you can fire it at them to tie them up!

Finding the trail


LEGO City Undercover Screenshot

But it ain’t no good if you arrive at the scene of a crime to find the bad guy’s already legged it. Back in my day, if the crook had scarpered, we just had to let them go – but nowadays you can stay hot on their heels. Head to one of these points, handily represented by these glowing blue hexagons and press the A button to turn your GamePad into a scanner, which highlights the bad guy’s footprints, and lets you follow their trail. Better yet, it works with seagulls, too, letting you track their every move. And you'll want to. They’re almost as bad as those pigeons.

You know Kung Fu


LEGO City Undercover Screenshot

Of course, you can’t always rely on your gadgets. Technology fails everyone from time to time, and there will always be situations where you have to fall back on your fists. Or at least, the closest to fists you can turn your little LEGO hands into. Luckily for you, you know kung fu. Literally. Running around, you can hammer Y to punch enemies, or even better, press X to reverse their moves, and use their weight against them. It may not be much – after all, they’re made from lightweight plastic – but it can turn any contest to your advantage. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, you can even press A to grab an enemy in a hold, before throwing them back into their friends.

The power to break a tree in half


LEGO City Undercover Screenshot

A wise man once said “the bigger they are, the harder they are to take to pieces - 'specially without one of them special brick removers”, but obviously he’d never met you. Along with knowing kung fu, you’re a rookie that can punch well above your weight. See a car? You can smash it to pieces with the palm of your hand. How about a dustbin? Gone in a second. You’re a veritable wrecking machine, rookie, with the power to carve a tree in half with your bare hands. Criminals won’t want to get on the wrong side of you – if they do, you’ll be turning them to swarf before they can blink.

Boing


LEGO City Undercover Screenshot

But here’s where things get a little weirder. Everything we’ve seen so far kind of makes sense. Sure, it’s not everyday you find a cop who can punch a tree in two without breaking his hand, but at least that’s slightly plausible. This, however, is just weird. While your car has all the usual mod cons – doors that open, wheels that spin, and a horn and/or siren on the L Button, there are a few things they can do that you may not be expecting. Like jumping. That’s right – you can make your car leap up into the air, for no apparent reason at all. I have no idea how it works, but all you have to do is flick your GamePad and – pow – you’re airborne. Sadly, it won’t stop you flipping your car, landing upside down on top of poor Mrs. Goggins from next door and promptly exploding in a shower of molten plastic – but it sure is fun!

Disguises


LEGO City Undercover Screenshot

But now it's time to get back to normality. Or at least, a normality you can choose. Going undercover is an essential part of police work - trailing gangs, blending in with no-good bums, and generally making yourself fit in with an unsavoury crowd. But in LEGO City, your disguises give you special powers, too. The construction worker disguise lets you use dynamite - the robber lets you crack safes. With over 290 disguises for you to discover, there's practically a disguise for every day of the year. Even if you want to pay homage to a great detective of yesteryear!

And that, rookie, is your lot for today! If I were you, I’d head back to your little LEGO house, put your LEGO feet up in front of your LEGO fire and have a good think about what I’ve just said. Those there are the tools a policeman uses to get the job done. Scanners, grappling hooks, and leaping vehicles, oh my. Tomorrow, I’ll be letting you know what you can do in something called “down time”. I have no idea what that means, but it doesn’t sound like police work to me. Report back here tomorrow, rookie.

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