Saturday, January 12, 2013

S&S Review: Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse

Title: Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse
Format: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: November 20th, 2012
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Heavy Iron Studios
Price: $49.99
ESRB Rating: M

I'm possibly one of the biggest Family Guy fans out there, and I had to give the game a try.  Even with all the negative reviews and remarks I've seen about the game, I still needed to get my hands on it.  Back to the Multiverse gives us some new time with Brian and Stewie, and I don't know anyone who would turn that down.  

Presentation and Story:
If you haven't learned about the game's story by now, then you obviously haven't seen one of the best episodes in the series.  The game serves as a sequel to the opening episode of Season 8, "Road to the Multiverse," where Stewie and Brian explore tons of different alternate universes.  Bertram serves as the bad guy in the game, he intends on growing an army and destroying Stewie's universe.  The game really does a great job in recreating the TV show experience, it starts off with the opening catchy theme song just like in any of the episodes.  The story is good, it seems that when Brian and Stewie take center stage, the performances are always memorable.  Before and after the 10 levels, you're greeted with some pretty hilarious scenes with the two stars.  You'll even see some short amusing cameos from the always funny Adam West.  In terms of the game's visuals, the town of Quahog and it's inhabitants are all detailed pretty well.  Just like with the recent Simpsons' game, you can't really make the game look like a triple A title from Crytek.  The developers did a great job with the source material, and not making the classic characters look hyper realistic.  Even though there's a lot of new material, the game features a lot of old sound bytes from previous episodes.  These sound bytes will play when you pick up ammo, health, or any other simple task.  It would have been nice to hear some new material from Seth McFarlane, but you really can't complain with some of the series most classic lines.  The music is just as good in the game as it is in the show and movies, we've all come to expect some great music from Family Guy, and Back to the Multiverse doesn't disappoint in that department.  
Core Gameplay and Multiplayer:
This is where the game takes a turn for the worst, it's basically a third person shooter. It's pretty wild to see Brian and Stewie mow down a bunch of frat boys and amish people with real guns. You can even use some of Stewie's futuristic weaponry as well. Each level really plays out in a simple pattern, you start off with seeing a cutscene, then you just blast your way through that level. The third person mechanics aren't that great, especially the enemy A.I. There's nothing more annoying than having a bunch of mindless amish guys aggressively rushing you. It's a good thing that the shooting feels solid enough to help make the gameplay enjoyable. Stewie's laser gun and flamethrower aren't just for show, some scenarios will require the use of certain weapons. You can freely switch between both characters in an instant, to help alleviate any problem the amish will give. You probably keep wondering why I keep bringing up the amish, I just love Family Guy's representation of their culture. You can also have a buddy drop in and help you out, the game fully supports local drop in drop out co-op. This is a feature that most games are abandoning, and I'm glad there are games that'll still use the feature. Back to the shooting though, when you kill people, you earn cash. There are tons of cash scattered throughout a level, which can go to upgrading your characters' health and ammo capacity. There are also new weapons and costumes to unlock as well. Besides from the main objectives, there are a number of secondary challenges in each level. These secondary challenges will grant you more trophies or achievements.
Final Thoughts:Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is a good game, it just doesn't break any new ground in terms of gameplay.  If you're looking for more Family Guy content, this game could easily satiate your appetite.  Although I don't believe the game is worth the full price tag, if you find it discounted, you should pick it up. 
S&S Rating: 7/10
@whatsPlay


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