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Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse Preview

Delighting in its impropriety.

Lets just get this out of the way, I’m really not a big fan of Family Guy. I tried to watch it a few years back, but found it could barely raise a smile on my face, let alone make me laugh out loud. Then again, I think I somehow managed to watch the same episode two or three times, so that won’t have helped.

What I’m trying to say is that I went into this game thinking that perhaps I wasn’t the best person to sit down and play a few levels of it for a preview. As it turns out, I actually quite enjoyed it.

The plot is fairly simple, in that Bertram is back from an alternate dimension in the multiverse, as a follow on to the cartoon’s episode a few years back. Being Stewie’s nemesis, he plans to raise an army from across the multiverse to get revenge on Stewie for killing him before. Luckily Stewie still has his own multiverse remote, so he and Brian set off from one dimension to another in order to foil Bertram’s plans.


Stewie's always been one devious looking blighter.

One of the first things that grabbed me was the art style. It’s very faithful to the source and I found it particularly reminiscent of Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People. Quite often it manages to look almost exactly like shots from the TV show, but there are also occasions where you really notice that it’s not 1080p and doesn’t have Anti-Aliasing applied to all the edges. I think you could safely blame that on the old console hardware.

So the first stop is a world run by fraternities, where Stewie and Brian have to do favours for the geek fraternity to set up a kicking party with music, booze and girls in exchange for getting their multiverse remote fixed. It’s a self-knowing and fairly basic set of fetch quests in a nicely open level, which sees you take part in a bunch of running battles with groups from rival fraternities, and quite nicely eases you into the game mechanics.

There’s a lot of this in the game, and it’s basically very, very shooty, so the weaponry needs to be right. Initially Stewie has a little plasma gun, whilst Brian has a more conventional pistol, and in single player you can switch between these two characters at will. Before long you’re unlocking shotguns, sniper rifles, flame throwers, used nappy grenades and acid gloop guns, and by the end of the game you’ll have a huge arsenal of crazy weaponry.

On the other side of things you’ll also have a variety of enemies with loads of different kinds of weapons coming at you. These are always themed to the universe you’re visiting, and in true Family Guy style nothing is really off limits – there’s a world where the disabled came to rule through too much preferential treatment. Prepare yourself to go up against enemies who use AK-47s as crutches, or ram you with their wheel chairs, and suicide bombing elves.

Each level is then capped off with a pretty big boss battle. I don’t think I need to explain any further than to say that one is Joe Swanson atop a giant living construct known as the “Crippletron”, revisiting the joke from the show.


Clearly it's a kill or be killed situation. Don't feel for these Amish!

A big part of the charm for all of the Family Guy fans out there will be seeing how all of the characters from the TV show re-appear in these various alternate universes. From Meg having no limbs to Lois being utterly sex crazed in the frat world there’s a lot of jokes to be made via the settings. This extends all the way down to the supporting characters too, with Quagmire and Mayor West cropping up, and Death making several appearances, as well as a whole host of little side-jokes and gags everywhere you look within the levels. Some of the one liners even had me chuckling.

I think my only real worry is with longevity. I noticed that there was a little bit of dialogue repetition creeping in at times, and this was on top of a fair bit of grinding through all those gun battles. Several large areas of the few levels I played were based around what seemed like endlessly spawning enemies until you manage to complete some form of objective, like switching off alarms. It can get pretty tricky if you’re backed into a corner, though the entire story mode can be played in co-op, which should lighten the load a little.

Speaking of co-op, there’s a gem hidden away in the multiplayer section. It’s quite an oddity these days, but the multiplayer is an offline, splitscreen only affair. Up to 4 players face off in 2v2 games of Deathmatch, Capture the Greased Up Deaf Guy (CTF) and Multiverse Madness (Objectives), where you can pick from a selection of the expanded cast, each with slightly different weaponry to start with and unlock.

That’s all well and good, but I think the real highlight will be Infiltration’s four-player co-op arenas. It drops you into any of the 10 arenas and throws waves of enemies taken from across the game at you, but it’s fun and really rather challenging. If one of you dies, there’s no reviving and the rest of you have to soldier on, trying to get to the end of the wave, so your friends can respawn.

Even so, four of us sat down and, with a little player rotation as necessary, kept battling through each round for almost a full hour! It still seems odd that there’s no online play, but nothing beats sitting down with friends for some splitscreen.

For Family Guy fans, there’s a quite a bit on offer here. The crazy plot, lots of inappropriate humour, and some good on-the-couch multiplayer. That’s really where the game seems to have been aimed at, and I think how it should be played, because on your own there’s nobody else to laugh with.

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8 Comments
  1. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    It sounds interesting but i think it will only last 7-8 hours and be just above average. If there are no giant chicken fights then what on earth are the developers on? As those fights are suited for a game and gives them more freedom to go over the top. Of course, they will have to outdo the last one. Am a bit concerned it’s going to be a shooter with a family guy skin. Am hoping i am wrong and it turns out to be excellent.

    As for the show, tis going downhill since they went hd and tend to drag out some gags. Such as the music video that they played for 5 minutes. WHAT THE EFF!? Plus there are rarely any jokes that make me laugh but i just watch it to be entertained. Also, i wish Stewie would go back to plotting to taking over the world, killing lois, having sexual thoughts about his toy bear(not sure if he still does that) instead of him being as he is now.

    Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 13:08.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Yeah, I still watch the show but I rarely really burst out laughing. I much prefer American Dad these days.
      Anyways, I will definitely get this game just for the coop aspect. My friend and I are huge Seth McFarlane fans so this is a no brainer.

      Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 13:24.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        American Dad is excellent and is better then FG imo. May pick the game up for £20 if it’s any good. If FG keeps going downhill, i think they should either take a break or end it. I really hope they won’t do what the Simpsons did and keep pumping out episodes that are said to be average to rubbish as people will just lose interest.

        Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 13:34.
    • Megamoppy
      Member
      Since: Apr 2012

      See i’m probably gonna sound like a tit but i think Family Guy has been going downhill since season 4, the first 3 seasons mainly took the piss out of the family (Well Peter) and Stewie was a homocidal psychopath. Ever since 4 its kinda devolved into pop culture and celebrity digs.

      This game looks good though, that last screenshot reminds me alot of South Park N64

      Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 18:16.
  2. Origami Killer
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    This sounds great! Would love to get this, strangely it reminds me of Simpson’s Hit and Run. Hope it’s just as good.

    Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 13:52.
    • cam_manutd
      Member
      Since: May 2010

      Strangely enough was having a bash at that yesterday..ahh sweet nostalgia :’)

      Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 14:27.
  3. Cheng
    Member
    Since: Nov 2012

    i just want to see some gameplay!

    Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 14:19.
  4. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    i was hoping for something like Telltale games titles, a far better option for a comedy show in my opinion.

    still, let’s hope it’s better than the last Family Guy game.
    i’ve got it on ps2, it’s not very good.

    i tried playing the Family Guy online game, but the graphics are messed up, i’ve got polygons that are all stretched across the screen so all i see is a jumbled mess.
    maybe the unity player doesn’t like my graphics card.

    Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 16:03.

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