Activision teams up with the creators of Family Guy to create the console co-op title Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse.
A few years ago, the creators of Family Guy threw series stalwarts Stewie and Brian into various parallel universes in "Road to the Multiverse," an episode that was critically praised and quickly grew to become a favourite among its fanbase. Now Activision has partnered with the show's creators to take that to consoles. Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse throws Stewie and Brian back into a series of twisted worlds, including one dimension in which the Amish rule and bad beards are the order of the day.
The publisher showed a short hands-off pre-alpha demo during E3, featuring gameplay of its upcoming RPG's co-op combat.
"In this universe, Stewie-nemesis Bertram convinces the collective of Amish that both characters need to be destroyed," Activision senior producer Chris Harvey explains. "In return for their help, Bertram has given the community rapid growth seeds to help with their crops."
Now the targets of the Amish community, both Stewie and Brian combat them, accessing an arsenal of weapons by tapping into portals which litter its 3D platforming-meets-action combat levels.
"These represent their armory so they can go back and get stuff from what's in Stewie's bedroom. For this demo, we're shown Brian's sniper rifle. You can shoot the environment and take out enemies hidden in cover by aiming at things like beehives in trees which fall and hit enemies," Harvey explains. The destructible environment is limited but allows for a level of tactics to be applied to the game.
Similarly, in single-player users have the freedom to switch between both Stewie and Brian to make use of different weapons as they combat the Amish. Both have character specific weapons — where Brian makes use of real-world guns like a 9mm pistol for ranged combat or a broken Jack Daniels bottle for melee, Stewie has novelty items and sci-fi weapons. Instead of grenades, he throws exploding diapers, otherwise he can use a laser gun to shoot from afar, or a golf club for melee attacks.
Giant chicken-on-Amish action
Peter Griffin's nemesis, a giant chicken, can also be sent out as Stewie's attacking companion who combats alongside you by beating up enemies one-on-one — one of his available power ups in the game.
We're told that the development team focused on creating as self-referential a game as possible, which includes walk-on roles by the likes of series regular Greased-Up Deaf Guy, Herbert, their controversial elderly neighbor, and a brief cameo by Peter during the demo, clad in Amish gear. The script writing team, made up of the television's shown roster of writers, also made a point to include references to film and pop culture, the same elements that fuel the show's comedy. In this vein, we see Stewie reference to the likes of Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket as he unloads his gun, singing the classic line "This is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for fighting, this is for fun."
The game will include drop-in and drop-out co-op play as well as four-player local split-screen multiplayer.
"You will get to play as other characters," says Harvey. "In the campaign mode. We're definitely going to have multiplayer, and in multiplayer you're going to choose characters. We also feature a lot of the costumes and stuff from the show. When you get to the portals you will be able to enter those and upgrade your weapons. It's just local multiplayer, however."
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is scheduled to release September 25 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.