Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse $59.99 for Xbox 360, PS3
Dishonored $59.99 for Xbox 360, PC
Hitman: Absolution $59.99 for Xbox 360, PS3


Ho, ho holidays. The perfect time to get your game on. I know, we’ve already discussed Christmas —  zombies, to be specific — but there’s a lot more to Christmas than flesh-eating monsters; get your head out of the gutter. Christmas is a time for giving, but mostly receiving. When you awake on Christmas morning (or secular Tuesday) to find presents wrapped up under the tree (or against a wall), pray (or request) that the following be there as well.

Fans of Seth McFarlane know all too well the roller coaster ride of quality his flagship show Family Guy has been on since its return from cancellation in 2004. At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the entire animated cast of Family Guy was present, hawking what appeared to be a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). One could say that while the show is hit or miss, the game promised at E3 was to be spectacular.

Now that it’s arrived, it appears that the show and the game are quite similar, in that neither is an MMORPG. There are highs, there are lows, but mostly it’s a Family Guy experience one would expect: crude humor, witty banter and action. Lots of action. In a standard-level experience.

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse allows one to play as Stewie, the baby protagonist/antagonist of the hit show as he attempts to right wrongs (or wrong rights). Fans of the show will appreciate the call-back humor and the slightly more than mature theme while experiencing an altogether new adventure with new animations. Think of this as a lost episode of the TV series, and any fan will rejoice.

Finding Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse under the tree would be more than enough for die-hard animation fans, but what if you’re actually into, ya know, video games?

We missed Dishonored this year here at GNB, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make up for it. With no hint of embellishment, Dishonored was one of the best games released in 2012. Set in a Victorian cum steam punk world of violence and . . . honor, you’re set about attempting to protect an Empress from enemies using either mysterious magic or technology beyond comprehension. It’s unclear in the beginning. Just know that you’re going to see some things, man.

Think the very best Guillermo del Toro had to offer in Pan’s Labyrinth meeting Assasin’s Creed and you’ll have Dishonored, with the notable exception that Dishonored isn’t a hype-monster. (Sorry, Creed fans). Publisher Bethesda Softworks (Skyrim, Elder Scrolls) is well aware of what it takes to make an enjoyable and memorable gaming experience; this is one to have under the tree for the serious gamer in your life.

Hitman: Absolution is the latest in a series of games devoted to delivering flowers to unknowing recipients. As Agent 47, you control a flower delivery service that has the best track record in all the lands — delivering flowers and stuffed animals as graduation gifts and birthday presents for the better part of 40 years. In Absolution, Agent 47 is tasked with delivering flowers to more people than ever — can you handle his massive work load?

If flower delivery isn’t your cup of tea, no worries; you’re also a killer for hire. In between delivering flowers, you can kill as many or as few people as you like. This is a follow-up to the wildly successful series from Square Enix (Final Fantasy, more Final Fantasy). Better controls make the game more enjoyable, and sleek packaging makes it seem like a shinier, friendlier flower-delivery simulator.

I wish you a merry (insert your celebration) and, if this turns out to be the last GNB, given the possible circumstances surrounding December 21, a happy hoard-all-the-water day to you and yours.

Chris O’Neal would totally survive forever in a world overrun by zombies. Follow him on Twitter @agentoneal.