Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse Review

For the Die Hard Fan Only:
When it comes to the television show Family Guy, some of the best
episodes out there are the ones in which Brian and Stewie travel
together and actually don’t feature the rest of the cast. One of the
better episodes was an episode in which Brian and Stewie traveled
through the Multiverse. Apparently the creators know how popular the
episode is because they made a video game that was a sequel to it. Back
to Multiverse can be considered fan service in just about every respect.
If you really love the show and its humor you’ll really love this game
to a certain extent. And while it’s packed full of references it’s hard
to say this is a game worth forking over sixty dollars for. If anything
it would’ve easily sufficed as a downloadable game on Steam, PSN or XBOX Live
Arcade. There isn’t really enough content to justify the price tag
(though it’s sure to go down eventually).

Back to the Multiverse
begins in typical Family Guy fashion. It’s as though you’re playing
through an actual episode of the show. It plays the opening of the
show- credits and all – as though this really is going to be a typical
episode. It then shows Brian and Stewie. Their banter is quickly
interrupted when Bertrum shows up from a different universe. He wants
revenge on Stewie and is about the travel the multiverse to amass an
army. It’s up to Stewie and Brian to stop him by following him through
the multiverse. As far as Family Guy goes, the actual synopsis for this
episode is definitely pretty cool. And it’s got some great humor in many
respects. The cutscenes themselves are full of some nice witty banter
between Brian and Stewie but once you get into the actual game only your
fan devotion is likely to hold you. And you’ll need to be a die hard
fan of the show for it more so than just someone who watches it every
now and then.

There are ten levels in Back to the Multiverse.
Each complete with objectives. You’ll never get lost as there is a
marker that will always show you where to go and where you should be.
Each level seems to have its own theme. There’s one level where it’s all
filled with Amish. Another where everyone is crippled and you must
battle through their fortress and a few more surprises I won’t spoil.
Although there isn’t much to spoil. Any die-hard fan of the show will
have seen this all before. You don’t get the sense there was much
created from scratch for the game.

You’ll play as Brian and
Stewie and be able to switch between them on the fly. Each of them have
their own set of weapons at their disposal. Stewie has his trademark ray
guns and inventions while Brian has the standard stuff like pistols,
shotguns and rifles. Characters also have secondary weapons and items
they can use. You can throw diaper bombs with Stewie or molotov
cocktails with Brian. It seems like there is a lot of variety but Back
to Multiverse puts an emphasis on shooting your way through. And hordes
of enemies will come at you from everywhere. The difficulty spikes seem a
little unbalanced. One minute everything seems manageable, the next
you’re overrun and barely able to survive. It’s okay though, because a
lot of health packs and ammo are plentiful throughout each level. There
isn’t really too much variety in the objectives, though. Many times it’s
usually finding something to open passage so you can move forward, or
it’s something along the lines of killing a certain enemy to move on.

As
you kill enemies you’ll also collect cash. You’ll be able to use this
to buy more weapons and costumes, as well as increase your health or the
amount of ammo you can carry.

Every level is filled with
references to the show. But this is actually part of the problem. You’ll
find characters in levels and hear your enemies and people close by
spouting off their lines. The thing is… you’ve heard nearly all of it
before. Many of the lines are lifted directly from the show. Every now
and then there is something original but for the most part, if you’re
that familiar with the show you’ve heard all these lines before. This
brings about another small issue with the game in and of itself… you
will hear them constantly. These lines pop up again and again. In the
very first level you’ll constantly hear a frat boy saying, “I’m angry,
but not because I’m gay.” It gets old really fast. Whenever Stewie picks
up ammo he’ll say the “This is my rifle/this is my gun…” line from
the episode where he and Brian went into the army. It’s constant, though
and after a while it’s just annoying. At first you’ll probably enjoy
this. Then again, with so many lines throughout the entire history of
the show you’re apt to wonder why they didn’t lift a bigger variety of
them.

The biggest drawback is that the game is relatively short
with little replay value. The game can easily be completed in 3 to 5
hours. It’s brief, just like an episode of the show. And while some of
it is funny and witty, it’s really only the cutscenes that are really
that fun or engaging to watch.

At the very least fans of the show
will be happy to know that the writers and voice actors did step up to
the plate to help out with the story and characters. The cast is here to
deliver their lines and it’s done rather well. The graphical
presentation is a little jarring at first. It’s cartoon like, which is a
good thing. On the other hand, some animations seem a little stilted.
Mostly the cutscenes and the lip movements from time to time. Likewise,
the game being in 3D makes certain aspects look just a tad… strange.
Such as looking at Stewie’s hair or Brian up close. Nevertheless those
are small nitpicks. There are also moments in which you might feel the
game could use a couple more details. A lot of environments strangely
feel scarce or empty. I like that it looks like the cartoon, but you
sometimes get the sense that they could’ve done a little more.

Back
to the Multiverse isn’t a bad game at all. It is a little steep to pay
the full sixty dollar price tag for a game that’s this short and doesn’t
offer nearly as much replay value. There are a few extra things to do
outside of the main story, but it’s really nothing special. It’s a great
amount of fan service at least and if you’re a die hard fan you may
like it.    

Verdict: 60/100

Details:
Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: Heavy Iron Studios
Publisher: Activision
Release Date: 20 Nov 2012

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