I’m a huge fan of Family Guy so I jumped at the chance to review Back to the Multiverse, the same titled episode also happens to be one of my favourites of all time, naturally I was hoping for a game full of awesome but unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
The wonderful duo of Stewie and Brian are on a mission to stop Bertram (Stewie’s brother from another Mother) who is travelling the multiverse trying to create an army to destroy Stewie, to do this they will need to follow him around and disrupt his plans. At this point you could still have quite a good little game on your hands but it doesn’t quite deliver.
The first world you enter is one run by Jocks, and you’re in one big Fraternity party. Poor Mort and his fellow nerds aren’t having too much fun at their party so he asks for your help. If you are someone who likes collecting things then this could be the game for you, because that is pretty much all you do. There are primary and secondary objectives which are pretty much find a number of the same item 15 times around the map, the only reward being the odd achievement and possibly an unlockable character. You’ll end up visiting a world taken over by Giant Chickens, an Amish planet and a world where disabled people are all in charge. It’s a shame they didn’t use some of the fantastic world they used in the actual episode but this is all part of the reason as to why the game falls down.
There is a combat element to the game too, you are able to swap between Stewie and Brian at any point in the game, (you can also co-op your way through the whole thing if you wish) and make use of the various weapons and powerups that you may find around the level. Stewie starts off with a disintegrating ray gun and golf club and Brian a pistol and a bottle of whisky, there are some quite funny special weapons that include a deployable Joe Swanson who acts like a turret or a deployable chicken that beats up characters to the “bird is the word” music. As you progress through the game more powerful weapons will unlock such as sniper rifles and rocket launchers. Killing enemies nets you cash which can be used towards all sorts of things including new characters and weapons as well as upgrading Stewie & Brian’s health capacity or the amount of grenades they can hold at any time.
The AI in the game can only be described as shambolic, compare it to when 5 year olds first start playing football and imagine Stewie and Brian are the football. You know when every child runs at the ball at exactly the same time? That’s just what the enemy do in this game, they rarely cause you a problem and when they do manage to kill you off you just respawn. It doesn’t help that aiming is rubbish and there is no recoil when shooting, it all feels a bit bland.
It doesn’t really get any better either, in each level all you end up doing is running from one main objective to another and if you are not doing that you are running about picking up pictures of naked college girls or taking down wanted posters of our wonderful duo. There is absolutely no challenge apart from having to look around a bit harder than normal.
Family Guy is famous for it’s close to the mark comedy, some people will find the humour a bit much but if you are a fan of Family Guy it’s no worse than any episode you may have seen, although you will be disappointed to hear that the majority of the one liners are poor quality sound bytes from previous episodes. It’s funny the first few times but you will hear the same jokes often and it wears thin pretty quickly. There was a good opportunity to make this game really funny but for some reason they just didn’t bother.
Away from the main game you can play the game’s multiplayer modes, though why they only decided to make this local co-op rather than over Live baffles me. Again little effort has been made here; there are four different modes to play. You’ve got your Deathmatch, Capture the Greased up Deaf Guy, Infiltration, and Multiverse Madness, which is you typical horde mode.
Capture the Greased up Deaf Guy is only funny because when he appears there is the Benny Hill style music as you comically chase him about. The different maps are pretty uninspiring cut down versions of the different levels you have played in the main game. There is no variation in the weapons either, though you can earn cash towards more unlockable features.
It’s hard writing bad things about a game you had such high hopes for, I wanted this to be much funnier and I wanted to it to have a bit more to it but it came up short, really short. If you are a fan of Family Guy then you will enjoy the humour and you could probably ignore the fact it plays so badly. Even the visuals let the game down; it looks almost as bad as the original series’. Thankfully the voice acting is brilliant and the music is all very familiar to fans of the show, but it doesn’t do enough to help justify the price tag, to be honest this is just about worth a £10 game. If you are not a fan of Family Guy then you probably have stopped reading by now…. Hello? Anyone? Aw….