When the barns are done being raised and the butter churned, there's nothing the Amish love doing more than settling down in front of their carved wooden televisions and acting out scenes from the latest video games. In Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse the joke's on them, and boy will they be irate.
Back the Multiverse is based mechanically on "Road to the Multiverse", a popular Family Guy episode in which Brian the dog and Stewie the baby use a dimension-hopping device to journey through a series of bizarre dimensions featuring twisted versions of the inhabitants of Quahog.
Don't expect any Claymation or Disney levels here, however. Instead of unique and quirky dimensions, Back to the Multiverse uses Stewie's technology to transport the dynamic duo to worlds based on other popular episodes. For instance, the level I was shown during E3 last week was based on the "Amish Guy" episode from the 10th season. And there was much churning.
The level opened in a barn overlooking a cell-shaded Amish paradise, filled with men with beards, hats and powerful firearms. Well, powerful for the Amish at least. Stewie's arch-nemesis Bertram has turned the normally peaceful people against the pair, so they react as one would expect: taking out several of them with a high-powered sniper rifle.
While it retains the colourful cartoon graphics, the gameplay (in this level at least) is as kid-friendly as the show itself (read: not at all). Brian and Stewie make their way through town, firing pistols (Brian), lasers guns (Stewie), and employing various implements of melee destruction (golf clubs, broken bottles) in an effort to live to see the next level.
As they progress through town the pair spout one-liners incessantly and often nonsensically; Activision assured us that the voice work still needed to be fine-tuned to specific frequencies and situations. The visual humour was a bit more polished, from STOP signs reading WHOA to a male strip club adverting men without hats (actual men without hats, not the band, though that would have been pretty awesome too).
Amish Peter even makes an appearance, churning away like an old churn dog.
While I didn't get the opportunity to play myself, the whole affair seems pretty loose and free-form. The bits of the level I was show were pretty expansive, and representatives said that we were only seeing a small section of traversable land.
In its current form, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse looks like it could be gobs of fun, especially with the ability to team up co-op in either horizontal or vertical split screen. The show is best enjoyed with friends, and the game looks to be no different.
With Seth MacFarlane and the folks at Fuzzy Door Productions handling scripting duties, this could be the ultimate Family Guy video game experience. Or it could just be good for a giggle or two. I'll take either; I'm pretty easy.
Just don't tell the Amish.