Exactly What You Would Expect
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is a bit of a continuation of one of the show's most popular episodes, "Road to the Multiverse", wherein series stalwarts Stewie and Brian traverse through parallel universes. Back to the Multiverse has the intrepid duo once again universe-hopping, but this time, in order to take on Stewie's nemesis and half-brother, Bertram.
Featuring more universes than that episode detailed, some taking inspiration from other episodes entirely, the game will have you travel through 10 stages in total. One of the levels of Back to the Multiverse demoed at Comic-Con had the city of Quahog run by the handicapped. It concludes with a boss fight against the Voltron-like Crippletron from the episode "Meals on Wheels."
It is a simple-looking game, as cel-shading attempts to recreate the show's art direction. As such, the environment has little detail and a limited level of interaction. However, certain elements, like beehives, are deliberately placed so as to add a layer of diverse strategy to how you approach your enemies.
Stewie and Brian each have abilities specific to their characters. Stewie's weapons have more of a scientific bent, with laser guns and the like, while Brian's repertoire is composed of your basic modern warfare firearms. Stewie can chug a bit of soda, while Brian can take a swig of beer, but the effect is roughly the same in that they get a temporary boost of adrenaline. The latter can even use a broken bottle as a close-ranged weapon.
In addition to being a high-paced third-person shooter, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is also a fairly basic platformer. As such, items are scattered throughout the level to aid you in your mission. The pair shares whatever items you collect, so both can activate things like wavy flailing-armed inflatable men to serve as decoys or send out Peter Griffin's longtime rival, the giant chicken, to attack enemies. Collect the money that is haphazardly strewn throughout each stage, and you can gain access to other weapons and upgrades at each level's portal, which acts as a sort of armory.
While you can only control one Family Guy character at a time, the pair can switch off on the fly. If you have a buddy at your house and an extra controller, you can activate cooperative play instantly. A woefully underused feature in modern era games, the screen will split automatically and the two of you can play through the game simultaneously. Four multiplayer modes have been promised, but unfortunately, there are no current plans for any of them taking place online.
Fans of the cartoon's signature irreverent humor should find plenty to like. In order to keep with the dark humored tone of the series, the developers have enlisted the aid of the show's writing talent and have employed full voice acting from the original cast. The gameplay in Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse looks decent enough, if unpolished, so far. At the very least, it is evident that the developers are fans of the show, and that great care is being put into the project.
Writes for a few media outlets, does graphic design work for a few clients, as well as production work for a few studios (all poorly). Believes the best correlation between the words "twilight" and "sparkle" has less to do with vampires and more to do with a sarcastic pony.
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