Published by Twentieth Century Fox and developed by Roadhouse Interactive through the Unity Player, Family Guy Online is essentially a digitized version of Quahog that players can romp around in with their friends. And based on a preview of the game provided to us recently, it's clear that while Family Guy Online is based in the browser, it offers more depth than one would expect from such a game. That said, the game also follows the trappings that come along with the "MMO" tag.
After Peter gives players their first quest, it's time to enter the Griffin abode, the first display of Roadhouse Interactive's commitment to the source material. The house is laid out almost exactly as you would imagine it down to every detail. This is thanks to who knows how many hours spent studying episode after episode of Family Guy and manually mapping out the several areas of Quahog, Roadhouse Interactive CCO Ian Verchere tells us.
However, Verchere says this mode of play was chosen so that new MMO players or casual gamers could navigate the world more easily. "If want to call them quest-givers, well that's fine--that's something that a hardcore gamer might understand," Verchere says. "But to somebody who's just approaching the game or doesn't play more of the sword-and-sandal type, what you would traditionally associate with an MMO, for them to go out, do something and come back and gain experience makes a certain amount of sense."
"You've got a case to be made for Peter as a tank and Stewie as a DPS [Ed. Note: damage per second] character with ranged attacks," Verchere admits. "Your average casual gamer doesn't need to know that, but it makes sense that putting something out there with these attributes that the Griffin family have would have some sort of basis in game mechanics."
Basically, what Verchere means is that Family Guy Online was designed to marry the play concepts with the brand as closely as possible every step of the way. So while the game is deliberately similar to hits like WoW, Roadhouse has also made strides to give Family Guy Online its own mark that no other game has.
Ultimately, that boils down to humor. Family Guy Online is downright hilarious, sometimes earning laughs as hard as the show. (In the future, we're told said laughs are to come from both the upcoming Family Guy season and even real-life current events.)
Of course, being a free-to-play game, Family Guy Online offers several types of skills and items for sale for real money in its in-game store, which Verchere tells us is designed to "reduce friction" and not unbalance the game. Family Guy Online is currently in open beta testing (in other words, "live"), so everyone can finally give Meg what for. And no, we don't need a reason.
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