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= Welcome to the world of Family Guy =
This is a review of the PS3 video game 'Family Guy: Back to the multiverse' but before we look at the game, let me just provide a little background information about Family Guy.
Family Guy is an adult animated comedy created by Seth MacFarlane. Family Guy ran for three seasons between 1998 and 2001 and then the TV company, Fox, pulled the programme due to falling numbers. Right about this time however, the programme was attracting something of a cult following elsewhere in the world, including the United Kingdom. Reruns on TV were driving DVD sales and it wasn't long until Fox realised that this cash cow still had milk to give and so in 2004 the franchise returned for season four. Despite criticisms for a similarity in writing with The Simpsons there are even plans for a combination show that brings the characters from The Family Guy into the same show as the characters from The Simpsons. With rumours that this will be ready for September 2014, fans are waiting expectantly.
Family Guy focuses on the life of a dysnfunctional family, the Griffins. The parents, Peter and Lois, have three children: Meg, Chris and Stewie. Their household is made more chaotic by the addition of the family pet, a dog called Brian.
Some of the comedy travels extremely well and is accurate observation comedy of the family life. Oth elements of the comedy are a satirical look at things stateside and this doesn't travel quite so well. However, the success of the series is incredible and stores are full of Family Guy merchandise with the show going from strength to strength.
= The Game =
Firstly, let me provide the first shock. Although this is a spin-off from a television series it isn't dreadful. In fact, the game stands on its own as a decent video game. To those unfamiliar with the world of Family Guy there is still plenty to enjoy. Those that know the series well may even rate this game as excellent as much of the humour crosses of into the video game.
Graphically, animation from what is visually a fairly simple series is always going to be fairly easy to emulate in a game and this has worked well. This really does feel like a playable version of the television programme.
The game itself follows on from an episode in series eight of the programme and therefore those that have stuck with the television series will feel immediately at home here. In essence this is a third person shooter but to call it such is to try and pigeon hole what in fact is a far more creative game. There isn't really another third person shooter on the market to compare it to and therefore the game perhaps has created its own niche. This is going to help this game succeed tool of any loyalty purchases that Family Guy fans will make.
The name of the game 'multiverse' hints at the action where the player is hopping from universe to universe. Each one is a crazy place with a theme that entertains and also at times visually surprises the player.
Multiplayer is covered by an excellent drop-in and out co-operative experience. This enables you to play sections of the game dropping in next to somebody else playing. This tends to add to the mayhem and fun and is an excellent way of incorporating multiplayer into the game. Perhaps other third person shooters could take note here as the multiplayer feels far more integrated in the game than a bolt on team deathwatch experience for example.
Family Guy is a funny game. The quality of the cut-scenes is excellent and equals any production for the television series. Add to this a ridiculous but fast and fun gameplay with a multiplayer experience that works and entertains and overall you have a game that really has been well thought out and delightfully executed.