Family Guy - Video Game PlayStation 2
Published by 2K Games
Developed by High Voltage Software
Release Date: Out Now
It’s probably a common assumption that all games that are based on cartoons are just for kids. Of course that assumption goes out of the window when a game is based on a cartoon that’s squarely aimed at adults. Family Guy is one such cartoon. The cartoon that features an evil genius toddler, a talking dog and a rather crude father is definitely not one for younger children and so it is with the game. It pulls no punches and doesn’t care what offensive remarks it might make. However deaf gamers won’t be aware of what’s being said in the game.
Family Guy is essentially a mix of gaming styles that puts you in the shoes of Peter Griffin the obese oaf of a father, Brian the scholarly, talking dog and Stewie, the megalomaniacal one-year old. Essentially the game is three different mini-stories with the game beginning with Stewie. Stewie’s levels plays like a platform game with the usual jump and double jump routines. Stewie has access to a ray gun and a mind control device to help him achieve his aims. Peter’s part in the game is very much like a 2D, side-scrolling fighting game whilst Brian gets to sneak around in his levels.
The quality of the game is average at best with the rather entertaining platform section, where you control Stewie, being the better part of the game. The other sections don’t fare so well. Peter’s combative section of the game is rather poor with the combat being uninteresting and each enemy requiring a certain move in order to take them down. The stealth missions that Brian performs are hardly any better, being as basic as stealth missions could possibly be. They rely too much on trial and error and can be maddeningly frustrating. One thing you can say about the game is that it autosaves frequently so if you do manage to come a cropper you won’t have to backtrack far at all. In addition to these different game types there are several mini-games known as cut-aways. These aren’t particularly entertaining or challenging. The only challenge in fact is working out what you have to do in the small amount of time you have. Successfully completing them can give you weapon power ups and temporary abilities though.
Visually the game definitely gets it right. The game looks just like the TV show with the cel-shaded look being used to give the game an authentic cartoon appearance. However, the game is a complete mess for deaf gamers. The game isn’t subtitled meaning you’ll miss out on all of the game’s story as well as all of the game’s humour, its single most endearing quality. Throughout the game the characters you control will come out with all kinds of humorous comments (some of which may be regarded as offensive) but all of these are lost to deaf gamers. Control instructions are shown in text and objectives are too. Both of these can be recalled from the menu that appears when the start button is pressed. The lack of subtitles really reduces the game to a bog-standard game experience for the deaf gamer, which is a shame.
It’s rather difficult to recommend Family Guy to deaf gamers because the most charming aspect of the game, the humour, is completely missing because of the lack of subtitles. You’ll also be completely unaware of the game’s mini-stories although in fairness they aren’t anything special. That leaves you with a game that is average in parts (namely Stewie’s levels) and poor at other times. In short then it’s probably best left to dedicated fans of the series and then it’s only for those who don’t mind doing without subtitles too.
The lack of subtitles are not the game's only problem. Too much of it just feels like a chore to play and without access to the game's humour (because of the lack of subtitles) there's very little of interest here.