If youâ€™re a fan of Family Guy, then Activisionâ€™s Back to the Multiverse is what youâ€™ve been waiting for. Stewie and Brian fighting their way through ten alternate dimensions populated by pirates, chickens, and the Amish. While itâ€™s far too simple, itâ€™s a playable shooter with all the showâ€™s favourite characters and plenty of tasteless laughs.
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse follows on from the Family Guy episodes "Road to the Multiverse" and "The Big Bang Theory" where Stewie kills his evil half brother Bertram. In Back to the Multiverse, another Bertram, from an alternate dimension, has built a dimension travelling remote control and uses it to seek revenge on Stewie. He plans to travel across the multiverse, gathering an army to destroy Stewie and his entire world.
While it may sound like a complicated set-up - itâ€™s not. Pretty quickly youâ€™re chasing Bertram across ten different dimensions, fighting frat boys, soldiers, and Santaâ€™s helpers, before knocking off an end of level boss and moving on to the next dimension.
Itâ€™s a simple and familiar set-up. And thatâ€™s one of the gameâ€™s major faults. Everything about Back to the Multiverse is simple and familiar. If it wasnâ€™t for the crass humour youâ€™d assume the game was aimed at 6 â€“ 8 year olds. Itâ€™s as if an old Lilo and Stitch game got a graphics upgrade, and a few more fart jokes.
Most of the levels take place in different dimensions, giving Stewie and Brian a few tasks and the option to hunt down a few collectables. To begin with, you need to help nerds get a party going. So you have to fight frat boys, tap a keg, and steal some stereo speakers so the nerds will fix your multiverse remote. The rest of the levels are the same, substitute a spaceship full of egg shooting chickens, or a world of â€˜handicapableâ€™ people led by Joe Swanson, for partying college kids, and you get the idea.
The levels are small and plain, just like Meg (Megâ€™s special ability is lifting her top and making everyone around her vomit), with the tasks involving finding things, or flipping switches, while bad guys run steadily into your gun sights.
Although developers Heavy Iron Studios got some help from Seth MacFarlane and the rest of the cast to get the game looking and sounding like the television show, they didnâ€™t bother with incidental stuff like enemy AI. The bad guys follow you around sometimes, shoot at you occasionally, but mostly stand there while you reload your shotgun and shoot them in the face.
And that is another thing that separates Back to the Multiverse from Lilo and Stitch. Brian and Stewie, with their shotguns, sniper rifles, railguns, and dirty diapers, are quite happy killing everything in their path - and making humorous sides while they do it. Ultimately the one liners between Stewie and Brian, which occasionally are laugh-out-loud funny, are the highlight of the game.
Once youâ€™ve played through the story, and heard all the jokes, which will take you a couple of nights at the most, you can play the challenge mode and multiplayer. Although Stewie and Brian are the playable characters in the story mode, the rest of the Griffin family, along with a few others like Quagmire, Cleveland, and Mayor Adam West, can be played in the alternative modes.
As with the rest of the game, multiplayer is also very limited. With no online mode all you get is four player split screen and basic games like deathmatch and capture the flag. Although, capture the flag, quite successfully, becomes capture the greased up guy running around holding a flag.
Challenge mode lets you earn stars by completing various challenges, like helping Peter fight off wave after wave of pirates in Sea Men Attack. As with the optional collectables in the story mode, getting stars lets you unlock extra characters and costumes.
Although Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is not all blood and bad language, like the television series, it seriously pushes the boundaries of good taste. And that is its problem. Although itâ€™s simplistic and plays like a little kidâ€™s game, you get plenty of handicap jokes, milf jokes, ugly Meg jokes, and sexual innuendo. And while I like a good sea men joke as much as the next guy, itâ€™s weird getting it in the middle of, what feels like, a childâ€™s video game.
So, while itâ€™s not broken, Back to the Multiverse, is very limited and uninspired. Typical of the sort of thing thatâ€™s given television/movie games a bad reputation. Although itâ€™s a confusing mixture of mature humour and simplistic gameplay, the voice acting is great, and it all looks just like the television programme, down to the showâ€™s usual opening. And, for many fans, Peter Griffin will always be the man. A large, mentally challenged man, who sometimes wears very small cut-off jeans.