Activision hopes to offend everyone equally with Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse

Family Guy Back to the MultiverseActivision and developer Heavy Iron Studios are taking funny business very seriously with its new Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse game, based on the hit Fox TV show. The game makers are working directly with writers from the show’s production company, Fuzzy Door, as well as creator Seth McFarlane and the rest of the voice cast. A first look at the third-person action game revealed just how funny – in a politically incorrect style, of course – gaming can be.

Family Guy Multiverse

Fans of the show will remember the innovative Season 8 episode that this game spins off from, in which Stewie builds a multidimensional portal device that allowed him and Brian to go into parallel universes. Along the way the unlikely duo stumble through a Flintstones-like world, a slightly racist Disney universe, and even a Robot Chicken-verse.

“In Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse, players are going to be jumping into the multiverse to try and take down Bertram, who has found out a way to create his own multiverse device and is jumping into all these parallel universes, amassing his own armies to kill Stewie,” said Alex Knight, associate producer on the game at Activision. “Stewie and Brian find this out and are not going to have any of it, so they’re jumping in to all of our alternate universes to take down Bertram and his armies.”

For those not familiar with the show’s past, Bertram is Stewie’s half-brother and rival. This story line allows the game developers to explore episodes from throughout the show’s history and will feature several series familiars as Stewie and Brian jump through episodic missions in parallel universes.

Two such episodes were highlighted in the Gamescom 2012 demo. The first game level shown, “Handicappable,” was inspired by the Season 5 episode, “No Meals on Wheels.”

Family Guy game

“That’s a universe where the handicapped people and cripples have been having a little too much special treatment, so they’ve kicked out all the two-legged walking people, put them into isolation, and rule that entire universe now,” said Knight.

As in this level and all the others, gamers can play as either Stewie or Brian. Stewie utilizes his science fiction weapons, which includes some sophisticated laser pistols. He also chugs orange soda to give himself a sugar rush for extra abilities. Brian, on the other hand, utilizes more traditional weapons. He has access to machines guns and pistols, and his melee weapon is a broken whiskey bottle.

“As fans are going to recognize from the TV episode, Joe Swanson formed up a large Transformer-like character that was comprised of people in wheelchairs called Crippletron,” said Knight. “It looks fantastic. It’s one of our bosses, and it’s just a blast to go after him.”

Outside of the aforementioned towering handicapped Transformer, enemies in this level speed to the scene in handicapped vans, only to wait for the ramp to be slowly lowered before they can wheel after Brian and Stewie. The show’s humor is spread throughout every inch of the level, including posters in the hospital from Dr. Hartman. Lady Liberty now sits in a bronze wheelchair with her mouth open and head to the side. Nothing is off-limits, just like in the show, which Fox canceled twice before it catapulted to the top of the ratings.

Family GuyThe other game level shown is set in the Amish universe, which is taken from the “Amish Guy” episode, the seventh episode of the 10th season. The serene countryside setting is splattered with blood as Brian and Stewie attempt to kill all the Amish people before they kill them. But there’s a practical reason for this bloodshed.“The great thing about this brand is that if Family Guy pushes the boundaries, we get to push the boundaries,” said Knight. “That’s the great thing about having the two writers from the show crafting our content; it’s as far as Family Guy goes, and it’s mimicked right in our game.”

“Amish people have all things needing wood, so Bertram has convinced them to go after Stewie and Brian in exchange for special wood pills,” explained Knight. “That’s something that not everybody knows about, but the Amish really have all things wood. They want to create everything based out of wood, so that’s a real incentive for them to go after Stewie and Brian.”

The game is filled with challenge modes. One of these modes in the Amish world challenges players to kill all the Amish people, while refraining from hitting any tourists. Knight said the fiction behind that is the Amish are sick of having tourists around them. They just want to live their lives, so Brian and Stewie are a threat.

While there’s plenty of humor from the show’s long lineage, the new game isn’t going to make fun of video games, per se. In fact, people interested in that take can play the free Family Guy Online game, which does reference games — and gamers — directly. Knight does believe gamers will find “a lot of odes to video game references, just not necessarily to that extent that one might think.”

FG Multiverse

These two levels, which were shown in small segments, are just part of the overall scope of the fall release.

“It’s a huge game,” said Knight. “Right now it’s probably eight hours just in the story alone. Then you’re going to have a lot of challenge missions, as well as four-player and co-op local play that will introduce some very interesting death matches. And there are game modes that we haven’t announced yet that I think fans are really going to love.”

Basically, if you like Family Guy, and judging from the ratings there still are a lot of fans out there, this game will serve up the same type of humor, only with an interactive twist. And if you just can’t wait to get your game on, Family Guy Online is a fun, free alternative available now.

Gaming

PS4 ‘Spider-Man’ game gets ‘The Heist’ DLC, new costumes on October 23

The first downloadable content pack for Marvel's Spider-Man, The Heist, is out October 23. The pack adds three new suits for Spider-Man to wear, and its story focuses on Felicia Hardy.
Gaming

What you should know about 'Red Dead Redemption 2' before it launches

The long-awaited (and long-rumored) sequel to Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption is confirmed. Red Dead Redemption 2 will arrive next spring. Here's everything we've heard about the game so far.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in October, from 'Mindhunter’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Product Review

'Black Ops 4' outshines the games it copies with that Call of Duty polish

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s omission of a campaign could have been a deal breaker, but multiplayer, Zombies, and the new Blackout mode make it one of the best shooters of the year.
Gaming

Tired of waiting for the PlayStation Classic? Try one of these PS1 emulators

It's not always easy to get ahold of original PlayStation titles due to pricing and general availability. Emulators can solve that problem. Here are the top five PlayStation emulators.
Gaming

Epic Games sues ‘Fortnite’ YouTuber creators over cheating software

Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against two YouTube users for their role in promoting cheating and hacking tools for Fortnite via a YouTube channel and personal website. As of now, the channel is still live.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Gaming

Terrifying clowns try to kill you in this teaser for ‘PUBG’ Halloween event

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds seems to be getting a frightening Halloween event. In a brief teaser, we get a glimpse of two masked assailants, creepy nurses, and an utterly terrifying clown that looks something like Pennywise.
Gaming

Huawei thinks its Mate 20 X is better than the Nintendo Switch

Huawei positioned its Mate 20 X, a gaming-centric smartphone, as a Nintendo Switch killer, calling it "the best portable gaming machine." The Mate 20 X has better design specs than the Switch, but it also comes with a steep price.
Gaming

Eat your way to a limited-edition Xbox One X in new Taco Bell contest

If you like the idea of a limited-edition Xbox One X that makes Taco Bell's famous "bong" sound every time it starts up, then you need to enter a new contest launched by the fast-food chain and Microsoft without delay.
Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.