Family Guy - hands-on

Adaptation of popular TV show blows our minds by not being crap

We admit it: when we first heard about plans for a Family Guy game, we cringed. And when we heard that it would be developed by High Voltage, creator of the craptacular Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, our testicles retracted into our bodies so fast that the impact collapsed our lungs. Don't get us wrong - we like Family Guy, but games like this tend to be horrible.

Now that we've played it, however, it looks like our fears were unfounded. Not only is Family Guy shaping up to be a good time, but the gags - penned by the TV show's writers and voiced by its cast - actually got a few laughs out of us. In fact, once we got used to the vaguely creepy "is it 2D or 3D?" look of the game (click the Movies tab above to see what we mean), watching its cutscenes was almost indistinguishable from watching the show.

As for the game itself, it's divided among three characters, each with their own style of play. As megalomaniac Stewie, you'll jump around on platforms, solve puzzles and shoot stuff with an upgradable raygun, while idiot father Peter's levels are all about rapid, mindless brawling. Brian the alcoholic dog, meanwhile, has to sneak his way to freedom after being framed for a crime.

You'll start the game as Stewie, who's out to stop his half-brother Bertram's competing world-domination plot - which means lots of hopping around on platforms, swinging around with a grappling hook and vaporizing Bertram's henchtoddlers with an upgradeable raygun. Before you can tackle the opposing forces, though, you'll have to bust out of the Griffins' house, a problem that can only be solved through mind control.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.

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