Wot I Think: Family Guy – Back To The Multiverse

It’s something of a Herculean effort that has seen me get far enough through Family Guy: Back To The Multiverse (you can tell how proud people are of this – there’s no official site, and developers Heavy Iron don’t mention it on their site) to be able to let you know wot I think.

I like Family Guy. I enjoy it very much, in fact. I enjoy the process of being shocked or offended (sez the middle class white straight guy), knowing that the deliverers of the gags almost certainly hold no such unpleasant values. But I do wonder how we’ll perceive the programme when we look back on it in twenty years time. Will we still see its non-stop roll of racist, sexist, homophobic and disablist jokes as self-protectively ironic, as arch commentary, or will it end up looking as archaic and embarrassing to us by then as 1970s sitcoms like Love Thy Neighbour do to us now? If anything helps highlight the fine line on which the series walks, it’s seeing it done poorly. And yes indeed, Back To The Multiverse is it done poorly.

That’s perhaps not too surprising – it’s not as if there’s a tradition of TV show-turned-game being anything other than abysmal (although we all desperately hope Obsidian’s South Park RPG breaks this rule). But it is odd to see the pretty well protected Family Guy franchise being allowed to see release in such a state. Essentially a third-person shooter, it’s obviously a wildly inappropriate genre for portraying a domestic TV show, a muddle reminiscent of those 1980s movie conversions that would see ET or whatever become a side-scrolling platform game. Taking its inspiration from one of the TV series’ best episodes, Road To The Multiverse, once again Brian and Stewie use the transdimensional remote control to skip through various universes, this time in pursuit of Stewie’s arch nemesis, Bertram.

Why they’re chasing him I’d forgotten about two hours into the game. He’s dead by the TV show’s canon, but this is a version from another universe, trying to get revenge somehow or other. So the dog and baby team have to pursue him through the multiverse, allowing the game the chance to wildly change locations, while making it feel ever-so-slightly less weird that the characters are endlessly killing people. So you begin at a universe where everywhere is a frat party, and there murder college students, before moving on to an Amish community, where you naturally murder bearded Amish people. And by the third level it’s a world where disabled people have taken over…

Where Family Guy throws away an offensive gag, your role is to wince, possibly laugh, and shake it off in time for the next one. Where Family Guy’s game includes an offensive gag, you’re required to be complicit within it for as long as the level lasts. So while the TV show may be able to get away with referring to a dimension where disabled people got “so much special treatment” as a momentary shocking thing to say, as a level in a game it’s just uncomfortable. It would also be a lot more bearable if it were especially funny. Instead, without any humorous motivation, you’re shooting people in wheelchairs and on crutches (admittedly made of rifles) with a shotgun, watching them slump dead in their chairs, or topple to the ground. Now, I’m all for greater representation of disabled people in gaming, but when these are people depicted as struggling to walk, shooting at them makes you feel a bit of a dick. And this takes place in streets covered by banners and signs for the “CRIPPLED PRIDE PARADE”. Er, if disabled people are dominant in this society, why are they having Pride? Do the writers of this game think gay people are the majority in our dimension? At least make your weakly attempts at offensive jokes make some sense.

The game doesn’t make it worth struggling through for the few jokes that are there. The enemy AI is just insultingly poor, the kinds of things I haven’t seen in a long time, enemies running on the spot into pillars or walls, standing on the spot facing you doing nothing, and endlessly spawning in mad crowds that bang into each other. It’s utterly pathetic. The interface is similarly poor. 360 controls, for which it’s clearly designed, feel clunky and frustrating, while mouse/keyboard hasn’t been thought through at all. It’s hideously poor at reacting to clicks, especially when pulling up the weapon menu, meaning you’ll likely get killed a few times because you were holding the wrong weapon type and it wouldn’t let you change. And while the game claims to reward you for headshots (more money to spend on the almost entirely pointless extras, which can be maxed out far too early on), it is absolutely dreadful at recognising when you’ve done one. And there’s something horribly, horribly wrong with the graphics. The characters have these weird ghostly outlines, broken and cheap-looking.

You alternate between controlling Stewie or Brian at will (or if you can sucker someone into playing in the same room as you, make it two-playered) – and no, they don’t even bother to try writing AI to control the second character for single player – instead they’re just offscreen and uninvolved until you swap them out. The only reason to ever need to is for the unutterably tedious sequences that require a special weapon. Sniping with Brian is the least dreary, but Stewie’s explosives prove the game’s most abysmal challenges. You’re supposed to throw them via an arching targeting arrow, but it’s so hideously coded that it doesn’t recognise solid objects in its path, and your angle of view is so low as Stewie that you’ll likely not be able to see to aim anyway. So it’s just brilliant when the game asks you to take out the same sets of turrets to blow up a tank you’ve already done three times in a row. Most levels are dragged out by similar repetition, each feeling Sisyphean before they finally relent and reward you with a boss fight that inevitably involves nothing more than repeatedly shooting at an enemy until his health bar goes down.

I’ve just looked up how far through I’ve gotten – seven levels of ten. I’ve no intention to carry on any further. Every minute spent playing this game is hurting my enjoyment of the TV show too much – were I to carry on I’d resent it so much I might even consider watching The Cleveland Show instead. Yes, it’s that serious. I was making note of all the groups the game tried to make offensive comments about as it went along, but someone else will have to complete that for me now. I had: Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Hispanics, the Amish, Mexicans, women, the disabled, and gay people. Although I’ll say this for it – so far no rape jokes, and only one appearance of the whistling pedo, whose comments barely made sense. So there’s that. But at this point the game seems to have even given up with that – the last level was about sodding pirates, and this one is about Santa. Snoooooorrrre.

That’s perhaps what’s actually offensive here, beyond how inept it all is: the multiverse offers such amazing opportunities. The TV episode gave us so many wonderful cartoon references, not least the exceptional Disney sequence:

Maybe it brings out some vaguely novel ideas in the last moments of the game, I’m buggered if I’m going to find out. But when they have most of the regular cast, including Seth McFarlane recording lots of original dialogue (even Adam West and Adam Carolla show up, as well as the excellent Wallace Shawn as Bertram), it’s just idiotic that it was all used for such shamefully mundane levels. This could have been a chance to pastiche gaming in the same way as Road To… pastiches cartoon. It could have been an opportunity for brilliant inventiveness and inspired extremes, alongside all the shocking comments you’d expect from Family Guy. But you get the Amish and pirates, and not a single original thing to say about them.

It really does seem that one of Family Guy’s secrets is the brevity of its gags. Trying to drag any of them out into a full level forces them to ring hollow, and either become just plain unpleasant, or more commonly reveal themselves are damned boring. The fantastic 2009 episode on which this is all based lasted for 22 minutes, firing dozens and dozens of gags. Here most levels drag on for much longer than that, and each has scant few attempts at laughs, let alone successes. On face value this is a dire game, both mechanically and imaginatively. But worse, this is such a blown opportunity on such a massive scale – the huge talent of the FG voice crew, and the foundation of that wonderfully explored relationship between Brian and Stewie, and every last moment of it is utterly wasted. Well, apart from the bit where Lois says, “Any of you boys ever finish on a C-section scar?” Apart from that one line, utterly wasted.


  1. Hahaha says:

    Was link to en.wikipedia.org! any good?

    • skorpeyon says:

      Umm, there is a section on that very Wikipedia page called “Reception” that answers your question quite well. It cites pretty much all of the same issues that this game apparently had. RPS wouldn’t have covered that game since they cover PC gaming, and that was a console-only release.

      • Hahaha says:

        That does tell me a lot about the game…… maybe clicking though to metashitter might be more productive but I don’t care about the game enough to bother

      • Ruffian says:

        LOL. Idk why you would ever expect a family guy game to be anything but terrible, but the one described on the wiki, the consoles only one, at least sounds interesting on paper. What with the different play styles for the different characters and all. Family guy third person shooter is just horrible on paper and off. Dumb idea all around, when I saw it on steam it looked pretty much exactly like the crappy south park third person shooter from N64 with different character models, same engine, even, lol. It’s got that same cel-shading-done-terribly look to it.

  2. Jay says:

    There’s also a FG MMO that looks even worse than this. Just grim beyond all imagining.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    This is like that time when I made a comment on an earlier thread.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      holy crap lois

    • Jenks says:

      You think that’s bad, remember the time I won a date to Mexico with Gary Coleman?

      • Bhazor says:

        [80’s TV character] what I’m saying is [other 80’s tv character] is a [vaguely offensive word] [beat]
        [30 seconds of meaningless dialog because nothing is funnier than seeing pop icons talking about their favourite X]

  4. Joseph says:

    I’m disappointed that any of the RPS editors enjoy family guy, because I usually find you guys to be well informed and snappily funny. I’m not really disappointed in this game, a morbidly curious look at the steam page a few days ago proved every video and screenshot looked agonizingly horrible.

    • RedViv says:

      Why the disappointment? Because someone likes different things? Humour even, which is quite more subjective than beauty?

      • Joseph says:

        I don’t think humor is any less objective than beauty. There are a great deal of subjective qualities present in humor, and low-brow humor can certainly be funny, but surely it’s possible to make some observations about whether comedy is truly *bad* or not. Seeing as John is a critic, and a certain portion of his responsibility as one is to elevate the dialogue and understanding of entertainment, him liking something that I perceive as truly vapid, degrading, negative, and exploitive is a disappointment.

        As another commenter remarked, southpark and futurama are good comedy even when I don’t laugh at their jokes, because the writers seem to make an effort to write jokes that are genuinely subversive, or reflective, or analytical, or what have you, of their subject matter. Family guy chokes out memes and references and innuendos and offensive one liners in a very empty, cynical way, as if they’re expecting their viewers to laugh when they hear a funny word and not stop to notice that their entire joke was a “hey, look, it’s ____’ reference.

        Basically: I think family guy is terrible in the same way RPS thinks Modern Warfare is terrible — I genuinely think it’s degrading and mean spirited. So I was pleased when they commented about how warmongering and cruel MW3 was, and I was displeased when I read one say that he enjoyed family guy (quite a bit).

        • int says:

          I am disappointed that you are disappointed by someone’s opinion on a cartoon.

          • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

            There is far worse said or implied about people with different tastes in gaming platforms in the comments on this site, on far more than one occasion I’ve tried to often illuminate all of these utterly stupid assumptions, generalisations and meaningless prejudice. I shouldn’t have to qualify I’m as much a fan of gaming on a computer as anyone here but the sheer pretence of ‘I’m more mature or intelligent because I play my games on a non-fixed platform‘ is unbelievable. It’s not the ignorance I can’t stand; that’s universal and every person is ignorant about virtually everything in the universe, but it’s the complete idiocy inherent in a statement of supposed superiority over the most spurious and trivial of things. That the person is claiming to know better in simultaneously and definitively proving they don’t

          • grundus says:

            Tyrone Slothrop, please post more frequently so I can imagine them (your posts) being read out in Dr. Strangelove’s voice. Thank you.

        • Ny24 says:

          Don’t feel offended, but I think you really don’t know Family Guy. It is indeed a more “shallow” approach to comedy than for example Futurama but you have to see it more as a representation of a different lifestyle. It’s situation-comedy, more like Slapstick. I think there is a underlying message in every character and in most of the episodes and frankly, I really enjoy it. You opinion is valid, of course, but you can’t say that something is bad comedy. I mean, of course you can. But I don’t agree with you.

        • darkChozo says:

          I have to disagree; it sounds a lot like you just don’t like Family Guy, which is perfectly fine, but are justifying that belief with rather shallow criticisms of the show. Saying that the show’s humor is nothing but references and innuendo is like saying South Park is nothing but offense for the sake of offense, or like saying that CoD campaigns are one long cutscene; there are elements of truth there but it’s mostly exaggeration and serves as more of a criticism of a caricature than the real thing.

          On the other hand, I love Futurama to death, but to suggest that every joke is a carefully constructed gem is just silly. A lot of the humor — not all, but a lot — comes from either “people and/or Fry is stupid” jokes or well, references to the present, give or take a couple decades. I mean, honestly, it was a show that did an entire episode that was basically a sequence of Star Trek references. Well written references, sure, but it was still a half hour nostalgia ride.

          Like I said, it’s fine if you don’t like Family Guy. It’s not fine if you try to take a “humor is objective” stance (I mean, honestly? Using a comparison to beauty as a measure of objective value?), particularly if it sounds like something of a “anyone who disagrees with me must be wrong” stance. Maybe you have some nuanced reasoning behind your opinion that didn’t come across, but it rather sounds like hate for the sake of hate.

          • Trillby says:

            I do want to add one point to those already mentioned, and I’m probably going to mess this up and come across as wildly narcissistic. Still, down the rabbit hole we go:

            As soon as a very significant portion of the population likes something – i.e. the hoards of Family Guy fans – it becomes very easy for the other portion of the population – i.e. those who don’t like Family Guy – to become condescending and write it off as “banal”. They create very elaborate arguments as to why this must be the case, and how all those people who do like it have been conned into doing so, and must be at best a bunch of dupes, at worst a circle-jerk crowd of willingly-blind-to-its-faults enablers. I do exactly the same myself with the Harry Potter books and Radiohead, and RPS is just as guilty of doing so with WARFACE and its contemporaries. There is a very arrogant cynicism in believing that if the “masses” enjoy something that I don’t, it’s because the masses are unenlightened fools, and possessing vastly inferior intellect than myself.

            I don’t really know what point I’m trying to make – we aren’t in control of our own prejudices; sometimes we just can’t understand why something has become as popular as it has. And unfortuantely, there is a particular pleasure in that feeling of self-righteous pride in one’s ability to “see through the bullshit” – to be one of the chosen few who has managed to recognise that something is shit, while the rest of the herd blindly laughs themselves stupid like the idiots they are. If only they had the insight (like me) to see how vapid and banal it is. This is probably true for most trends that gather a large following, from the Twilight series to Doctor Who. All except The Mighty Boosh, of course, which was properly fucking dire. What a disaster.
            I’d love to end this small rant with something wildly pretentious like “food for thought” or some such, but I’ll limit myself to this ironic, self-referential-while-still-being-pretentious-as-fuck little vignette.

            Food for thought.

          • Chuck84 says:

            I like the cut of your jib, Trillby.

          • BooleanBob says:

            I remember Kieron saying something along the lines of ‘fuck anyone who says that something can’t be good if its popular’. He cited the Beatles as evidence, which is rather both check and mate (cue an immediate reply saying that the Beatles are shit, etc).

          • Punctured Bag says:

            Trillby – I read your post twice, with different voices, and enjoyed it both times. Bravo!

        • Chaz says:

          So, I’m guessing you don’t like American Dad! either then?

      • Pajama says:

        It is like Mozart had gained inspiration from Justin Bieber that makes it disappointing that they like Family Guy, honestly, these dudes are very good at their jobs and have a great sense of humor, but it is disappointing that they enjoy very finely tuned toilet humor. [Granted, he / she probably likes something else but still, that is my reasoning why he thinks it is disappointing].

    • skorpeyon says:

      Agreed 100%. I can’t stand the show for the exact comments about its humor listed in the review. If you think about any of the jokes for longer than someone with ADHD is capable of, you realize they’re really not funny at all.

      • Text_Fish says:

        HAH! That’s funny because all people with ADHD are incapable of thinking about stuff for very long and they all enjoy Family Guy as a result. Stupid people with ADHD. Luckily they won’t be offended because no people with ADHD will have the attention span to read this far. HAH!

      • Xzi says:

        All jokes become unfunny if you dissect and analyze them for fifteen minutes each. That’s kind of completely missing the point of a joke.

    • Arglebargle says:

      I don’t get it either. Maybe it’s a generational thing. None of their teasers or trailers are ever funny, and the one or two five minute jaunts into the show were — unimpressive. It seems to be show that’s supposed to be funny because, you know, they say it is a comedy. Sorta like watching Saturday Night Live after they lost it.

      Futurama, Simpsons, South Park, all still hit the funny bone. Family Guy misses. At least here.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Actually, it’s not Family Guy fault. You know any movie based on games that was a success? Same with other media trying to become games. There’s Batman, there’s Walking Dead. I believe The Punisher had nice game, there are few other average games, but most of them are just rubbish. This one just joined that 100-rubbish-gamezations that are required as sacrifice to appease some Gaming God, who will allow one good gamezation for all that crap (strange god, requiring crap…).

        • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

          Goldeneye 007 was one of the best FPS’s of the decade and there’s no law of nature that prevents a stupendous game being made from television or film source material. Though, by-in-large, you are correct they’re usually rather shallow adaptations contingent upon the commercial appeal of already successful material.

          • mr.black says:

            Look no further than Riddick, EFBB for an awesome movie adaptation. Better than the movie, many would probably argue..

        • Punctured Bag says:

          Dune. Your choice of route-of-adaptation.

      • mr.black says:

        Agree with all of you non-understanders. At first I thought it was a FC-fan mentality cause I love(d) Simpsons so much and felt Family guy is poor ripoff of them, but as the years went by, SouthPark, Futurama and all host of other adult animation series came, FG continued to be popular and I continued to be extremely unimpressed with their overlong “jokes”. It’s like 15 seconds a sketch which is filled with (unpleasant) silence. All-freakin’-right, I got the joke 10 s ago, let’s move on already. But no, 5 more s of nothing! All other mentioned shows give me so much more enjoyment, and so much less boredom..

        • Baines says:

          The time wasted on extended jokes is Family Guy’s biggest failing, and I say that as a fan of the series.

          Seth MacFarlane is a firm believer (and has openly professed) that if you keep doing something, it becomes funny. That’s why you get jokes that keep going well past their point (like the “extended” opening for the sitcom Maude) and stuff like a 45 second loop of Peter holding his leg and going “ow”.

    • Snids says:

      I too, am “disappointed” that John Walker holds an opinion different to my own.

      I’d be much more comfortable if we was to hold the general opinion of the internet at large.

      John, we are disappointed in you.

      • Joseph says:

        Oh you. I’m disappointed he holds an opinion that I find difficult to sympathize with in any way at all. Much as you might be disappointed if you read a review that praised a terrible game on a completely ludicrous metric, such as giving Absolution a sincere 10/10 because of the 100% increase in latex nuns. It’s just my opinion, which I posted so that others may be able to discuss or respond to or argue with it, and It’s a valid opinion for me to have. I certainly don’t think a grown man and experienced critic needs you defending him from it or lampooning me on his behalf.

        • Ruffian says:

          It’s valid for you to be disappointed in someone yes, but it’s also quite self important and douchey to assume that anyone would care to want to read about your disappointment.
          You could’ve just said “I don’t like Family Guy”, instead of “I’m dissappointed in John for liking family guy,” as if he should apologize to you for shattering some perfect illusion you had of what kind of person he might be.

        • Nogo says:

          Well, this is my opinion, and while you can respond how you like, I doubt my opinion needs responding. So, please refrain from responding with your opinion to my response of another opinion.

          Thank you.

    • Snakejuice says:

      You’re SO right! It’s very rude of John to ruin the big circlejerk we got going here!

    • Ruffian says:

      Oh, whatever, between the fart and sex jokes, Family Guy has plenty of intelligent humor, more than plenty. As well they reference a ton of classic literature, film, and music. Enjoying Family Guy from time to time, doesn’t make him any less cultured or intelligent. We’re not in high school (hopefully) anymore, complaining about popular things doesn’t make you cool.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I’m disappointed in myself for enjoying this thread.

    • Simplisto says:

      I remember the days when you could say ‘I love The Simpsons!’, without triggering a pointless debate about personal tastes. I think it all started at around the same time as social media became popular.

      In the past, these self-focused opinions only ever manifested them selves as a mere glimmer of a superiority complex that only close friends would encounter. Now they spread and infect people with the same sort of peer pressure as is often blamed for people enjoying the same ‘unfunny’ shows they complain about.

  5. Wedge says:

    “it’s not as if there’s a tradition of TV show-turned-game being anything other than abysmal”

    Hey now, the Simpson’s Arcade game would like a word with you.

    • Ruffian says:

      Hells-to-the-yeah! I wasted quite a few quarters on that old cabinet in my day. Good, simple, beat-em-up fun.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      No, that was really awful. It was just the X-Men beat em up arcade game with simpsons characters pasted over it. And the X-Men beat em up arcade game is one of the worst things ever.

      People only remember those game fondly because they could never play them that long. Get them on an emulator, though, where you have unlimited continues and see just how repetitive and awful and unfairly difficult they were.

      • Skabooga says:

        About ten years ago, enticed by fond memories of it from when I was a wee child, I went and got a ROM of the Simpsons: The Arcade Game and played it from beginning to end on the MAME emulator. When all was said and done, I must have used $100 in virtual quarters. Even now, I never want to see that game again.

      • Baines says:

        People remember them fondly because, for their time, they were entertaining. When every side scroller had two attacks and specials drained your life, it was fine when a new side scroller gave you two attacks and specials drained your life.

        Now, after we’ve had games with more animation, more control, and different mechanics, they feel limited.

        But I might argue that Simpsons was better than X-Men. X-Men was kind of meh even by the standards of the time. It is remembered fondly because it had the X-Men characters and had that two-screen six-player set up. And two-screens with support for up to six players was a pretty big deal. (Yes, Simspons benefits from a lot of rose-tinted memories as well. And it certainly had its own flaws. That’s why I only said that I *might* argue that Simpsons was better.)

      • Punctured Bag says:

        X-Men didn’t have an upright vacuum cleaner as a weapon.

        Ah… no one ever wanted to play as Marge.

  6. povu says:

    Lets hope THQ doesn’t go under, because the South Park game should be good. Or have a good/interesting story, at the very least. :P

    • Jenks says:

      If it doesn’t, it will be because THQ rushed Obsidian.

      • rawrty says:

        Unfortunately I think THQ not rushing them is highly unlikely given their current state of affairs.

        • RedViv says:

          Given that they delayed the game already since they seem to think that they can make it a big financial success, I don’t think they rush it at all. I do think they are risking quite a bit by betting this heavily on it, as the intersection of RPG and South Park fans will probably not yield the 2+ million sales they “need to break even”.

    • InternetBatman says:

      If THQ went under I’d imagine Matt Parker and Trey Stone could easily afford the last bit of development. The project probably means a lot to them since they approached Obsidian.

  7. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Family Guy seems like it would be better suited to Telltale-style episodic adventure games.

    Oh, well. At least they didn’t tarnish American Dad.

  8. Jimbo says:

    Hwot I Think.

  9. pakoito says:

    That video doesn’t include the Mort joke. For shame,

  10. Sentient Waffle says:

    Simpsons Hit & Run was a good TV-series-based game :)

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      THANK YOU! Yes, it was just a mediocre GTA clone, but at the time I remember thinking that the writing was better than it had been in a long time on the show.

      I also love the inexplicable depiction of Cletus as a Muslim. Cletus: “He’s with Allah now.”

      EDIT: I also loved the opening gag from Homer: “He’ll find my scorpion farm! [Sadly] Now where will my scorpions live?”

      The best part is that there actually is a terrarium filled with scorpions at his station.

      • Snakejuice says:

        Yeah that game was suprisingly good! Wasn’t a straight GTA clone either, it even had some platforming etc IIRC!

      • Zeewolf says:

        Some of the lines were actually lifted straight from the TV show. Especially the “random” ones that characters would say when you were driving them around.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely. It was just really funny, even the mission titles like “Bonfire of the Manatees.”

    • Bhazor says:

      The more recent Simpsons Game had some surprisingly obscure game jokes. Almost worth playing just for some of the hidden references. Almost.

  11. Ravelle says:

    “But I do wonder how we’ll perceive the programme when we look back on it in twenty years time”

    The show is already almost 15 years old, so you can make a pretty good guess.

  12. Bhazor says:

    “I enjoy the process of being shocked or offended”

    Is anyone actually offended by Family Guy? It’s so slap dash and random and toothless. It’s basically a word soup made of outdated pop culture and implied rape/homophobia.
    Now South Park *that* is offensive humour, prolonged sustained and often heartfelt. It’s the difference between George Carlin diatribe and a Jimmy Carr one liner.

    Also Family Guy is basically rubbish.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It had some good sketches in its earlier days, when it could still catch you off guard, easing you into The Simpson’s much slower pace then doing split-second jump cuts. Like going from Monty Python to The Fast Show. Most of them I can remember weren’t MORAL OUTRAGE, mind, but just slapstick.

      (But it was never Not The Nine O’Clock News.)

      • InternetBatman says:

        I’m not a huge fan, but Family Guy is kind of interesting to watch now because he hates his audience so much (conway twitty, “it’s a meg heavy episode, here are some other shows that are on right now”). It’s clear that some of the “shock” jokes are just him trying to get the show cancelled through some kind of outcry, like the embrace of blatant anti-semitic jokes, the graphic bull rape scene, etc. The tone of the episodes changed dramatically some time after it came back, and you can see a lot of the old tone and enthusiasm in American Dad. The Cleveland Show is just a terrible 80s sitcom with a bear.

    • Snakejuice says:

      You guys gotta stop hatin’ so much on Family Guy, don’t feed the troll (Seth MacFarlane)!

    • Punctured Bag says:

      Actually, they stopped just “implying” the rape/homophobia about 4 years ago…

  13. S Jay says:


  14. HermitUK says:

    I can’t believe they looked at the old South Park FPS and thought to themselves “This! This is the template we should follow!”

  15. ffordesoon says:

    I enjoy Family Guy sometimes. It’s not a great show, and its scattershot approach to humor isn’t my favorite, but it passes the basic test of any comedy: it makes me laugh. Not all the time, but often enough that I’ll watch it if nothing else is on. The people who LOOOOOVE it annoy me, and its imitators are generally pretty grim, but I think there’s a tendency to vastly overstate the show’s faults because it’s so popular. The faults are there, to be sure, but the extent to which they matter is exaggerated to a certain extent by people who are already predisposed toward disliking it before they ever see the show.

    I’m not saying anyone’s opinion of the show is invalid; if you don’t like it, you don’t like it, and there are certainly reasons not to. But I do feel that there is a certain unwillingness to judge the show as a whole rather than seizing solely on the troublesome parts.

    • Just another user says:

      Well done, you summed up my opinion better than I could myself.

  16. bruce_clare says:

    before I looked at the bank draft which said $7671, I did not believe that my best friend could actually bringing in money in their spare time from there labtop.. there great aunt haz done this for under 23 months and as of now cleard the morgage on there mini mansion and got a new Mitsubishi Evo. I went here,))>> bit40.cøm <<((.

  17. 7Seas says:

    Somehow I’m not at all shocked that John Walker likes Family Guy. FG is a love it or hate it kind of flavor (I hate it), and is almost alien to me in its appeal. It explains why I often am at complete odds with him in our taste for games.

    Again, I really wonder how much of it roots in two different personality types: those who need to consume a million things simultaneously (like John) or those who prefer to immerse in one thing at a time, often with a strong emotive connection (like me).

    Interesting stuff, now all we have to do is abstract this out to a few basic personality types and you can read the reviews by the people with not necessarily your same taste, but your same engagment mechanic and get a closer feel for whether you will like something or not.

    • Klaus says:

      Well, I laughed. Other people “need to” consume, but you “prefer to” immerse.

  18. Jamesworkshop says:

    You mean they actually had the real voice cast for this, i’m actually surprised.

    I can’t say I see that much wrong with John liking family guy(how it can impact his validity towards videogame criticing, i don’t know), the jokes are numerous enough that even 25% of the jokes being funny to a person still gives more than what most shows give, personally I got more into american dad mainly because I find the characters more dynamic.

  19. Dances to Podcasts says:

    You know what TV show would make a good game? Archer.

    • Hatsworth says:

      It’s also the best TV show, so there’s that. I’d settle for NOLF3 though. Please.

  20. uh20 says:

    if anyone watched 5 seconds of family guy, their jokes are quick n dirty (im proud to like that genre), unless you can distract the player (and thus turning it more into a movie than a game) you will essetially bring out the “bad side” of the jokes that you normally find ok on t.v.
    and so it was doomed from the start.

  21. PopeRatzo says:

    Long as they ain’t try to make fun of Italians, I don’t care how offensive they are.


  22. wodin says:

    Family Guy and American dad I really don’t find funny at all..it’s a show that feels like it’s cool to say you love it..I don’t know..I just don’t find it funny.

    The odd South Park episode I’ve seen has been funny but also alot again that just feels like shock value rather than humour.

  23. smegjacob says:

    “I enjoy the process of being shocked or offended (sez the middle class white straight guy)”

    Pretty much the best summation of Family Guy’s (and the whole of “offensive humor!” type of comedy’s too, I guess) audience I’ve seen.

  24. Duffin says:

    John this article is so factually inaccurate it’s not even funny. There’s no way your middle class!

  25. zebramatt says:

    This reminds me of that time everyone started arguing about Family Guy on the internet.

  26. Baal_Sagoth says:

    I do really enjoy the show even though I sometimes wonder how it’ll hold up as well. The little bits of gameplay I could stomach watching seem really in line with the evalution here. I’m not too sure how a Family Guy videogame I’d enjoy might look but it still annoys me when they just don’t mind dragging something unique and good through the mud like this.
    I anticipate the Obsidian game with sheer horror since even if they do that show justice it’ll still have a decent chance of not being for me because I’m not exactly a big fan aside from a couple of very solid episodes.