A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is based on the cartoon TV series Family Guy. In this game, players take on the role of Stewie, a baby who acts and talks like a grown-up, and his human-acting dog friend Brian. The duo must work together as they travel to a variety of parallel universes and try to rid the world of enemy forces. One of these universes is a hypothetical world in which everyone is handicapped and bound to a wheelchair. Because this universe contains enemies, characters will be attacking wheelchair-bound humans; however, these characters are the ones who provoke the players and because the universe is comprised entirely of wheelchair-bound people, these characters do not come across as being at a physical disadvantage. Although everything has a cartoon aesthetic and the storyline is very tongue-in-cheek in nature, the actual gameplay content itself contains a lot of violent content, including realistic gunfire and explosions, much of which is afflicted on human characters. In addition, throughout the dialogue there are many instances of sexual references and innuendo. There is a brief scene in which one male character's backside is exposed. There are also implied depictions of marijuana use and one character smoking from a bong. Culturally insensitive jokes appear within the dialogue.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
FAMILY GUY: BACK TO THE MULTIVERSE is based on the TV episode of Family Guy in which central characters Brian and Stewie travel to a series of alternate parallel universes. For example, in one universe the entire world is run by college fraternities, and in another, every resident has a physical handicap. Players must travel through these different universes to find Stewie's evil brother Bertram. Bertram is trying to destroy the planet so it is up to Brian and Stewie to save civilization as they know it. Players must fight their way through throngs of enemies as they hop from one universe to the next. The story is a major component of this game and at times outshines the actual gameplay.
Is it any good?
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse has the ingredients for a great game. It is based on one of the most popular episodes of the Family Guy TV series, it lets players play as two of the most well-known characters, and the comedic style is mostly just as witty as the TV show. If it were an episode of the show, it would be very well received, but as a video game it is uninspired. The graphics are nowhere near as polished and well-rendered as they should be, and the gameplay alternates between either uninspiring or repetitive. Even worse, the controls are usually finicky at best, turning what should be an entertaining romp through one of the highest-rated cartoon franchises into a frustrating ordeal. The saving grace is the game's cooperative multiplayer mode, mainly because when playing with other players, the focus is less on completing the missions and more on having fun. The game also scores points for representing the Family Guy franchise faithfully. If there had just been a few more months to iron out the kinks, make the graphics look better, and ensure the controls worked 100% flawlessly, this would have potentially been a different game. As it is, it simply falls flat.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the presence of drugs and alcohol in this game. Why are these substances glorified in this game?
What are your opinions of Brian and Stewie? Do you think they are good role models because they aren't "perfect" and symbolize normal everyday people, or bad role models because of their inappropriate behavior and culturally insensitive dialogue?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Activision
- Release date: November 20, 2012
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Mature Humor, Sexual Themes, Use of Drugs, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.