Giant Bomb Review

257 Comments

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse Review

1
  • X360

If you are a fundamentally terrible person on every imaginable level, then Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is the video game for you.

Great news, racists, misogynists, homophobes, and generally terrible people! After a year in which your kind spent much of its time being maligned by people with annoying traits like "sensitivity" and "empathy," you now have a video game with which to vent your frustrations toward people with handicaps, women, a wide variety of ethnicities, and homosexuals. Finally, right?

"Finally, a game that understands my unique sense of humor!" -- A terrible person playing Back to the Multiverse.

Sure, you get some of that stuff on the Family Guy TV series, but there, Seth MacFarlane's tendency toward offensive humor is too often slathered in that dicey concept known as "parody." Sometimes you just want to laugh at hateful words being used to demean others without all the bullshit, you know?

This is what makes Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse so perfect for the asshole on the go. If you simply don't have the time or mental capacity for "jokes" with "punchlines," then by all means, engage Back to the Multiverse for its liberal use of insults and offensive words for what I can only assume was a half-cocked attempt at shock value. Then again, shock value would also imply that you could actually be shocked by any of this stuff. If anything, the only shocking aspect of Back to the Multiverse is how haphazardly said offensive terms are doled out over the course of the game's brief adventure.

While there is a story in Back to the Multiverse--which features Family Guy stalwarts Stewie and Brian teaming up to save the world from a dimension-hopping villain baby--it largely plays second fiddle to the simple act of running around an environment filled with some minority or another, shooting everything in sight, while frequently repeating lines from the show.

Yes, there is a lot of recycled dialogue in Back to the Multiverse, most of it unremarkable, barely-remembered one-liners from its main characters. You can tell the difference between what's old and what's new by the fact that the old lines occasionally feel like they were part of a larger joke. The new dialogue doesn't even know what a larger joke is. If it takes more than ten seconds to set up, deliver, and forget about, Back to the Multiverse doesn't even bother.

With that said, I don't know that Back to the Multiverse was so much "written" as it was "hastily slapped together," but no matter, because the most important thing is that you're being horrible to those that are probably different from you. The game literally opens with a rapid-fire assault highlighting the grossness of Greek people and the sluttiness (and requisite daddy issues) of sorority chicks, and then dovetails into a lovely little level-length treatise on handicapped people and their terrifying sense of entitlement.

To be fair, not all of Back to the Multiverse is obsessed with calling things queer and the hilariously slutty antics of women. Later in the game, things move into more decidedly bizarre territory, featuring long stretches where you're killing Secret Service agents tasked with protecting Mayor McCheese, and space chickens that behave similarly to the Xenomorphs from Alien. So there's your referential humor, I guess, if that's what you're after.

Regardless of who you're killing for what reason, you will do it with haphazard shooting mechanics that qualify as functional, if utterly uninvolving. There's no real challenge to Back to the Multiverse. You'll die if you get shot up, but unless you've completely run out of the game's collectible currency, you'll always start right back where you got shot. Well, until the last few levels, which inexplicably have a tendency to start you way further back than seems reasonable. But otherwise, you're just running around, blasting wildly until everything's dead.

Some might think that Back to the Multiverse is just emblematic of its source material, but it's not. The TV series looks nuanced, compared to this garbage.

Keep in mind that Back to the Multiverse's gameplay design isn't really set up for anything more strategic than that. The mechanics function more like a lousy arena shooter than a typical third-person adventure, so there's a lot of running and shooting, and not much else. If we were talking about a game with a challenge level similar to, say, Serious Sam, that might have worked out better. But Back to the Multiverse isn't interested in challenging you so much as it is killing time until its next offensive one-liner.

This all makes a bit more sense when you try out Back to the Multiverse's barely existent multiplayer. Yes, there's two-player co-op in the campaign, but if your desire to force Back to the Multiverse on people requires more sacrifices, there are offline deathmatch and "capture the greased-up deaf guy" modes to play around with. Incidentally, all relevant humor in the "capture the greased-up deaf guy" mode can be found in the title "capture the greased-up deaf guy," so really, you don't even have to play it to get the joke.

If you're the sort of person who doesn't inherently find the concepts of greased-up deaf people, Amish people commenting on their sex lives, older women grotesquely demanding group sex from frat boys, people in wheelchairs falling over, or "the gays" completely hilarious, do not get angry at Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse. This is not a game that deserves your anger. If it in any way felt deliberate, focused, or frankly invested in its own sense of humor, then maybe it would be deserving of such ire. As it is, Back to the Multiverse is a game that those with any modicum of taste should simply forget ever happened. To attempt to highlight its existence beyond a mere blunt dismissal is to give it entirely too much credit. Which I suppose I just did. Crap.

Alex Navarro on Google+
258 Comments
Posted by Extreme_Popcorn

Poor Alex having to review this crap

Posted by onegreat20k

Seems about right

Edited by pyromagnestir

Speaking as a fundamentally terrible person on every imaginable level, I disagree. I want nothing to do with this shit.

Posted by Hef

I think that second screenshot literally say it all.

You probably didn't even have to write the review alex.

Posted by chilibean_3

I'm so sorry, Alex.

Posted by smitty86

Now say I hate my life and everyone in it. Is Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse the game for me?

Posted by SeanFoster

I'd buy a second Premium membership to watch an Endurance Run of this game.

Posted by Morningstar

Alex, I feel for you, but someone has to endure so the rest of us dont have to.

Posted by Colourful_Hippie
If you are a fundamentally terrible person on every imaginable level, then Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is the video game for you.

Absolutely perfect. This review was too much fun to read.

Posted by Alex

@SeanFoster: It'd be about a four hour endurance run. Not really worth the price of admission.

Posted by DougCL

i think someone in the SF office should review a garbage game once and a while, give alex a break.

Posted by abdo

@Extreme_Popcorn said:

Poor Alex having to review this crap

Worst game he's done since Big Rigs?

Posted by Colourful_Hippie

@DougCL said:

i think someone in the SF office should review a garbage game once and a while, give alex a break.

Not if Alex continues to churn out gold like this. I had to reread it because it was too good.

Posted by kerse

I at least had fun thinking about you playing this awful game, that's something right?

Posted by Ben_H

Yup, I am not shocked at all. That show is filth so I am not surprised the game is either.

Posted by EnduranceFun

This is the review posted today that I care about.

Much platonic love for you Alex.

Edited by CornBREDX

You know, when this came out with no fan fare and that "DIY" review from OXM I think it was I had a feeling you would be reviewing this, Alex. 
I enjoyed reading this more then I think you enjoyed playing it, if that's any consolation. 
 
@DougCL: Alex chooses to review the games he does. A lot of people seem to forget that haha - Sometimes I suspect he does it out of curiosity and because sometimes... somebody has to.

Posted by iAmJohn

Alex, why would you do this to yourself when you could be doing fun, joyful things like updating Year of the Cage? :(

Posted by gelatinabomination

God bless you, Alex. You have done the lord's work.

Posted by falling_fast

Alex in fine form in this review.

Posted by Penzilneck

Thankfully, I choose to live in a world where quality instead of DVD-sales twist Fox's arm. Unrelated: the 3rd season of Firefly is not half bad.

Posted by matti00

At least this review was fun to read. Hopefully that makes it worth the effort for you dude.

Posted by Alex

@Penzilneck said:

Thankfully, I choose to live in a world where quality instead of DVD-sales twist Fox's arm. Unrelated: the 3rd season of Firefly is not half bad.

I want to go to there.

Posted by NoobSauceG7

This and South Park: Tenorman's Revenge. A year of quality tv show video games.

Posted by civid

@abdo said:

@Extreme_Popcorn said:

Poor Alex having to review this crap

Worst game he's done since Big Rigs?

I don't remember Big Rigs being a quote "warcrime" unquote.

Also Jewish people who vomit are fun because they have funny hats. Joke explained, you're welcome :)

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

That is an excellent quote.

Posted by iAmJohn

@civid said:

Also Jewish people who vomit are fun because they have funny hats. Joke explained, you're welcome :)

I think they're supposed to be Amish.

Posted by awesomeinacan

Family Guy is funny in 15 second YouTube clips. A 22 minute episode is only mildly tolerable. I can't imagine playing a 5 hour game that is somehow on a lower level, humor wise.

Online
Posted by hagridore

I don't know if the show was ever funny or its just now I'm not a 14 year old.

Posted by floofmania

the first two paragraphs are perfect, thank you Alex. this show gets a pass because people associate "edgy" humor with counterculture, i.e. progress. but there's no veil of satire or irony, it's just unapologetic bigotry. shit is disgusting.

Posted by Alexandru

Ok, so I'm buying this instead of Far Cry 3. I mean, 1st is better than fifth, am I right?

Posted by civid

@iAmJohn said:

@civid said:

Also Jewish people who vomit are fun because they have funny hats. Joke explained, you're welcome :)

I think they're supposed to be Amish.

Well fuck... Then I don't get it at all :/

Also, this game is full priced? Are these people fucking insane!(?)!

Posted by SoothsayerGB

Kinda wanna buy this just to see how bad it is...

Posted by TooWalrus

There's no way in Hell I was going to play this game in the first place- but at least some good came of it's existence This review made me laugh, and that's more than I've ever gotten from Family Guy, frankly.

Posted by BigChief

Alex suffers, that we might be spared.

Posted by anotherfluke

I didn't expect this game to be good, but I also didn't expect 7 of the 11 paragraphs in this review to be a diatribe against Family Guy. 1 paragraph decrying the game's ethics maybe, but as written it does a disservice to any Family Guy fans who just want to know if the game is any good mechanically. The reviewer so clearly enjoys railing against the premise and content, I think it would be difficult to take his comments on the gameplay, mechanics, or execution seriously. Next time, please put the rant on your blog, and link to it from the review.

Posted by evanbower

Only just now do I appreciate that The Simpsons Game was a kind of funny, well-written, decent couch co-op game.

Posted by Aegon

I can't believe Jeff made you review this.

Posted by Johnnybombazini

Worst thing about this is that it'll probably sell okay

Posted by Alex

@anotherfluke: Actually, if you read carefully, you'd note that I specifically say this game is horrendous completely outside the normal bounds of Family Guy. I don't even have a problem with Family Guy or MacFarlane. I think he is capable of being clever at times. This game exudes absolutely none of that cleverness, and just goes for the cheap giggle from every douchebag who thinks calling things 'gay' is hilarity incarnate. And I specifically said as much up front and in one of the captions.

So, hey, maybe read closer next time before commenting.

Posted by Chumm

@anotherfluke said:

I didn't expect this game to be good, but I also didn't expect 7 of the 11 paragraphs in this review to be a diatribe against Family Guy. 1 paragraph decrying the game's ethics maybe, but as written it does a disservice to any Family Guy fans who just want to know if the game is any good mechanically. The reviewer so clearly enjoys railing against the premise and content, I think it would be difficult to take his comments on the gameplay, mechanics, or execution seriously. Next time, please put the rant on your blog, and link to it from the review.

That is exactly not the content of the review... All those points are to highlight how the game peddles this nonsense without any of the parody or comedy of the show, and that the game totally misses the point of what people find funny about the show. The crux of the review is essentially "If you like Family Guy, you probably won't like this. If you're a piece of shit, you might." Sounds pretty accurate to me.

Posted by heatDrive88

The Burning Question:

What is the level of dismay that Alex endures when he realizes that he can't give a zero-star review score, and forcibly has to give at least a one-star review?

Sure, a review score is merely a visual representation to an overall and out-of-context glance, but what must one person endure when this person doesn't even want give a game's related review the satisfaction, nor the good graces that is so undeserved.

Alas, poor Alex - and I shall quote:

James Gordon: Because he's the hero Giant Bomb deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So he'll play terrible video games because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a snarky guardian, a watchful pessimist. A dark knight.
Posted by nickux

That's a hell of an opening line!

Posted by Animasta

You are hands down the best writer on the site alex. This review EXUDES anger and frustration in a way that no one else on the site can.

Edited by Crushed

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is actually funny (at times). The cutscenes read like they could be part of the show, with the exception that they look bizarre in 3D, and the sight gags in the levels are good for a chuckle. Packing a Mature rating, the game even gets crasser than the TV show in a few sections, notably in the frat boy level where a drunken Lois asks “Any of you boys ever finish on a C-section scar?” and follows up with “I can’t have babies anymore, so fill me up, fellas!”

There’s a lot to enjoy, but none of it will knock your socks off.

Back to the Multiverse is a pretty average third-person shooter, but the Family Guy humor and callbacks make for a fun title.

-IGN.com, pinnacles of professional criticism

Edited by WinterSnowblind

@anotherfluke: Everything in the review seemed relevant to the game, the few mentions of the TV show were simply stating that the jokes in that are usually better written or obvious attempts at parody. In a game based on a TV show, a few references to said show and its style were kind of inevitable, but it never once sounded to me like he hates the show. Just the game.

Posted by Nevi

Stay strong, Alex Navarro.

Posted by Example1013

@civid said:

@iAmJohn said:

@civid said:

Also Jewish people who vomit are fun because they have funny hats. Joke explained, you're welcome :)

I think they're supposed to be Amish.

Well fuck... Then I don't get it at all :/

Also, this game is full priced? Are these people fucking insane!(?)!

I was going to write up an explanation, but this is actually much easier to explain with video.

Posted by Baltimore

The review was a pleasure to read. Which I'm sure brings Alex no solace due to the depths of craptitude he had to put up with in order to review this travesty.

Posted by anotherfluke

@Alex: Thanks for the response Alex. I did read the review a few times, because the first time I skimmed over the editorial criticism looking for information about the game (I have a morbid curiosity with licensed IPs, and hope that one will surprise me by being good), and was surprised by how much of the review was just that. I hope you take my comment as feedback on what I'd like to see from a review, not just as a Family Guy fanboy who is mad at a negative review. I really do think that this review is harmed by the amount of time spent on the content vs. mechanics or gameplay. If you disagree, that's fine, but come back and re-read your review in a couple weeks and see if you still feel the same way.