Lego City Undercover and Missing Multiplayer

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I’m picturing a family right now, the type that “plays together, stays together.” PSA’s aside, this family is hammering away on one of Telltale’s inspired Lego titles. Friends and family are gathered, playing co-op and in some cases, solving puzzles that need additional help. Maybe a little one is just hammering buttons; whatever the cause, the kids are playing.

Then, this family buys Lego City Undercover and… they stop playing. The open world adventures of Chase McCain are just that: Adventures dealing with Chase McCain.

Despite being unlicensed, the game plays into the hands of the ’80s cop movie. Buddies, in-jokes, Clint Eastwood gags, etc., but McCain takes on his adventure entirely solo. What a shame.

Lego City Undercover is a solid game, a great one even. Without the needs of a license, this becomes the work of a developer, not a licensor, and guess what? Telltale are awesome at what they do. They have created a playland of Lego kookiness, exaggerating the fun of the bricks with colorful landscapes and wild sense of humor.

There is so much to do in this expansive world, yet it all feels entirely isolating. McCain has his sidekicks in the Lego City PD. They occasionally make calls to inform McCain about missions or story progression. However, they never jump into the action, potentially giving a second person a chance to make their own mark.

I could see a secondary version of the game that slices out the open world segments, leaving the base missions and possibly adding objectives suited towards co-op behavior. Sure, that is limiting the experience, but at least someone else could join in, which is the heart of this series. It has been from the outset. Undercover did not need to be rewritten to include a multiplayer feature, just tweaked at certain junction points.

Why they chose to cut cop-op out now, with all eyes on Telltale, is anyone’s guess.