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Hands-On:
Family Guy Online

By
Posted on April 16, 2012 AT 04:47pm

It’s FREE-kin’ Sweet!

Brian and Stewie’s adventures in the multiverse. Peter versus the giant chicken. The greased up deaf guy. These are just some of the hysterical moments we think of when we think of Family Guy. Now, in its 10th season and with nearly 200 episodes under it’s belt, including several seasonal and movie based spoofs, it is time for our favorite family from Quahog to invade the digital realm in a way, well, you just might not be ready for.

Family Guy Online looks to immerse you in the world of the animated sitcom in ways you never thought possible by actually putting you inside of Quahog as its newest resident alongside the Griffins. Dubbing itself a Free-to-play ‘MMLOL game’ (Massively multiplayer laugh-out-loud), you’ll get to choose from four classes stemming from the main members of the family. There’s the Peter class representing your tanks, the Lois class representing healers, the Meg/Chris teenager class representing your brawlers, and the Stewie class representing your rogues. And you can customize them to look as outrageous or mundane as you want with chances to unlock more costume parts by completing quests that tie directly into the show.

And the quests are really what will make Family Guy Online stand out. Helping various characters from the show that act as your NPC quest givers, you try to impress the almighty Mayor Adam West in trying to be the best Quahog citizen possible. And if you’re a fan of the show, you’ll want to do every quest as not only does it help you towards the overall end goal of the game, but each quest has unique dialogue performed by the actual cast of the show as well clips that set up each quest to let you know just what episode this task was inspired by. Plus, Adam West serves as your overall narrator and as long as they keep making Family Guy episodes, you can bet there is a good chance to see the game expand later on.

Not to mention, it wouldn’t be Family Guy if you didn’t have insane non-sequiturs. We were able to go hands-on with the first handful of quests available in the game (including trying to set the fastest time record for catching greased up deaf guy, or just smashing Peter’s collection of Trashmen records…we get it…the bird is the word) and after getting over the fact that we were exploring locations like The Griffin’s House or The Drunken Clam, there were literally hundreds of random things in the world to interact with that had nothing to do with the task at hand, like pulling a midget from a well. Just another normal day in Quahog for sure.

What might be the nicest aspect of the game though is that even with (hopefully) a ton of other players online is that the guys from Roadhouse Interactive, the main developers behind Family Guy Online, are trying to craft a personal experience for each player as well as a social one.

“So your first quest when you enter the game is to talk to Peter Griffin. Pretty easy, I know, but we want to hand hold you a little in the beginning. But when you talk to Peter, he actually gets up and out of his lawn chair that he’s lounging in, and talks directly to you. We’re doing some pretty amazing things from a technology standpoint in terms of instantiation for gamers, so even though there are multiple people in the world who may be talking to Peter there, you’ll still see him get up and out of the chair only for you. And this is important to us because the source material, Family Guy, is so character driven. So instead of him just standing there with a question mark over his head, we created a way for the characters to react and engage you specifically and we think that will help the gamer and their created character feel important,” says Roadhouse Interactive Co-Founder and CCO Ian Verchere.

After our brief sojourn in the virtual Quahog, we sadly had to bid farewell, but what we saw had us very excited. The class system is something that MMO fans will immediately be able to recognize and the attacks fit each character class perfectly as we fought off enemies that made sense to the world and quests before us. And when you mix a great looking, fully realized 3D Quahog with solid controls and the classic humor of Family Guy, I think it’s going to be hard for fans not to embrace this digital world when the open beta launches on April 17th, especially considering its F2P status.

Ray Carsillo, Reviews Editor
Ray Carsillo has extensive roots in geek culture, as he’s written about videogames, comics, and movies for such outlets as Newsday.com, ESPNNewYork.com, Classic Game Room on YouTube, Collider.com, and Comicvine.com before finally settling into his role as EGM’s reviews editor. His main goal in life? To become king of all geek media, of course! Follow Ray’s exploits on Twitter: @RayCarsillo. Meet the rest of the crew.

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