Synyster Graves

Family Guy Online

by on May.16, 2012, under PC/Other

Family Guy Combat
Family Guy Online is an MMORPG based on the animated TV series. The game is currently in an open Beta stage of testing, but the developers say it will always be that way as they will slowly release more and more content and areas, growing the game while it’s in Beta and sometime in the future (maybe 4 or 5 years time) they say they will just slip it out of Beta without telling everyone, and the Beta will become the full release game. At present, there are only two “zones” that you can travel to within Quahog, with the developers currently working on the others and we’re told they will be available soon. There’s also a level cap of 12 (at the moment), which is about as high as you can get after completing all the missions that are currently available. But I don’t think this is a great way of releasing an MMORPG, because in one day of playing I’m about 400XP away from level 12 (which is about one mission, give or take), but I have completed all the missions in the game so far, so I have nothing else to do.

99% of the missions are collection missions; “go to the bar and pick up a whiskey”, “go to the gay club and pick up a pair of sandals”; “go to the record shop and destroy all the records”; “go and collect 100 cats”. There is the odd combat mission interspersed with all the collecting, but the combat system is awful. You must be about 2cm from an enemy to target them, which leads to them getting a couple of strikes in before you can even begin attacking them. There’s absolutely no tactics involved with fighting. If you try to move around to avoid projectile attacks or to back off from an enemy to avoid close range attacks you’ll find yourself wandering more than 2cm away from the enemy and losing targeting, which means you have to run back at them, unable to attack, click on them again in order to target them, all while they’re free to attack you at will. This ridiculous form of combat leads to a lot of deaths.

What’s even more frustrating is that some of the missions require you to, for example, ‘kill x number of enemies in this area’. On numerous occasions I’ve (somehow managed to) whittle an enemy down to about 2 health points only to find someone else wanders in, gives the enemy one hit to kill them and they get credited with the kill, not me. Trust me, this is REALLY annoying!

There are repeatable missions, 3 of them which you can only do once every 8 hours. But once I’ve reached lever 12 (and the level cap is still in force) why would I want to go do the same thing every 8 hours without any reward, I’ve done those missions twice each and I’m already bored with them! Yes, there is the option to select another character class and start again (you can have up to two characters for free, you pay for more character slots), but I literally did all the missions yesterday, and I can remember them all, why would I want to go and do them all again today? Especially as I mentioned, 99% of them are just really boring collection missions. There is no storyline, no events happening around, no way to grow your character other than changing their clothes or buying new attacks. This leads to no replayability, and I’m not going to check back every 2 or 3 days just ‘in case’ they’ve released more content. I fear today is my last day of playing FGO, which saddens me as I’m a massive fan of the series.

The best part of the Family Guy Online game is the graphics, the graphics team has taken the 2D TV show and converted the look and feel into a 3D world, and you really do feel like you’re running through Quahog in one of the TV episodes, so 10/10 for the graphics.

The sounds are a bit monotonous having the same 6 bar theme tune played over and over again, but if you turn the volume right down it’s just about bearable. The ambient sounds are at a minimum, you’ll hear the pitter-patter of your feet as you run along and the odd door creaking as people walk in and out of buildings. You’ll definitely notice the squeal of the 100 odd cats that are scattered around Quahog. Other than that, there’s not an awful lot to say about the sound.

You can’t actually play as any of the characters from the TV series, they appear as quest givers and NPC’s. You can however create your own custom character as in most RPG games from a list of predefined features. The list of customisable items isn’t exhaustive, but there is enough there to make sure you probably won’t bump into anyone else with the same look. There are 5 character classes, each based on one of the main characters from the series. There is little to no difference between them other than the weapons they can yield, any one class’s weapons do pretty much the same damage as the weapons other classes can use, so they may as well be the same weapons just with different skins, which doesn’t give the game much depth for combat.

What this game needed, in my opinion, is to release the whole game all at once and incorporate a story, make the user think, get them involved. This is what all other good games do, draw the player in, at the moment it’s a boring 3 step process;
1) Go to an NPC that has a quest, find out what they want
2) Walk to whatever it is they need and pick it up
3) Walk back to the NPC and give it to them
Trust me, doing that over and over again is really boring, so I’m not really sure where a game, especially an MMOPRG can go without a story? There’s no interaction with other players other than a chat box, so it might as well just be a single player Facebook game, especially as it’s played in the browser window anyway. In fact, it’s more like Farmville than Star Wars Galaxies was, or what I imagine World of Warcraft to be like. Big shame.

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