Yet again TT Games have released a game onto PC that isn’t nearly good enough. Lego City Undercover [official site] has launched in such a state that you can’t change the resolution from the main menu settings. The “Accept” button is entirely impossible to select, and the default is a teeny 1280×1024. And for goodness sakes, don’t Alt-Tab.
That’s the case for everyone playing, not just an unlucky few. However, the individual issues then start piling up.
This is nothing new for TT Games. PC releases of their Lego games have frequently been completely derisory, for many years not offering the most basic of options for the platform. Resolutions were locked in incredibly low, windowed modes were impossible, alt-tabbing crashed everything, and mouse support wasn’t even considered. Then in 2016 something changed, and we saw a couple of titles appear that seemed to know they weren’t being played on a Megadrive! Hurrah! Finally, TT had noticed that people paying for their games on PC didn’t deserve to be so rudely dismissed.
Except oh, it’s all fallen apart again.
Every PC launch has issues, and no matter how much a developer/publisher does, there will always be some who face technical problems. That’s the nature of a platform as complex and multifarious as ours. When you’re the affected one, it’s easy to decry the game creators as monsters for taking your money, etc etc. But there are certain things you simply should not miss, like your game’s main menu not being able to make display changes.
For Nvidia users, like my handsome self, even the other method isn’t an option. It’s possible to change display settings once inside the game, but if you’re using an Nvidia card this will result an entirely black screen – or if you’re very lucky, a black screen with some of the HUD overlaid. Oh, at one point it went a bit blue! Progress! Alt-tabbing out of this saw my screen obscured by the immovable game, overlaying even the Task Manager window, meaning the only option was a very unwelcome full reboot.
And mouse controls are gone again, and it somehow remains the only game series on Earth that isn’t able to switch on the fly between keyboard and controller. Instead you have to use its ever-unfathomable controls screen. (Game for kids, everyone!)
It’s important to remember this is a four-year-old Wii U game. While it’ll have taken some doing to update it for non-double-screened devices, I think we can perhaps have expected better in nearly half a decade.
Oh, and even if it were all working fine, you’d still be forced to sit through an absolutely bewildering opening where before the game shows its main menu, you’re forced to look at some static faux-postcards while nothing loads in the background, making for an incredible 58 second unskippable opening. Just the tonic when you’re having to restart so frequently to try to get it working!
Warner Bros., owners of Traveller’s Tales, have a history of not providing pre-release PC review code, leaving us unable to warn you about issues like this before launch. But their approach finds new levels of “Huh?” when it comes to the response on Steam. In the game’s message boards the closest there is to any response from the devs is,
“You may know me from the LEGO Worlds forums, but the team behind LEGO City have asked me to pass on a message that we are aware of alt-tab functionality and windowed mode issues on LEGO City Undercover. We are working on fixing these asap.”
That’s quite the thing. It’s… I’m really lost for words. And no mention of the graphics and menu issues, even more strangely.
I’m going to do everything I can to speak to TT about this, who are peculiarly mute when it comes to the press. I would love to know how this keeps on happening with their games, and why PC so frequently gets such short shrift. I’m sure their games sell much better on console, but PC sales can’t be insignificant or surely they’d stop porting altogether? I really hope to find out.