What goes through someone’s head when they want to create a simulation of a goat’s actions within the real world? Crazy right? When I first saw the initial gameplay I was sort of enamoured, it looked an immense amount of fun and I was desperate to give it a try. As time went on, it appeared the game wasn’t real and that it was only a test. With internet outcry, Coffee Stain Studio’s decided to release Goat Simulator to the world. Fast-forward to the present and here I am, staring at the screen thinking of how to put this game into an understandable and fair review.
Let’s start with the big thing that people have been complaining about since the game’s release, bugs. It’s true, this game is a buggy mess, and it’s difficult to be objective for a review when I praise the idea that it’s a buggy mess. If it were any other game it would be a problem, but here it creates moments of pure joy because of how unexpected and utterly random these moments are. It’s a strange feeling to be in, but it’s fun in the same vein that Garry’s Mod is fun. It has glitches, it makes no sense and that’s the point. It’s not trying to do anything to special, or say anything about society or the genre, it’s just about having a good time. Does that excuse for a game that isn’t complete? It depends on what you want to take from Goat Simulator. For me, it’s a game which I will play when I need a cheering up or feel bad. It’s the game I will reach for when I have a few spare minutes and need something fun and random. I like that the aim is to entertain and that the glitches entertain people. I think that the idea has been lost in some of the reviews or coverage I have seen of late.
There are secrets hidden all around the map and plenty of things to stumble upon off the beaten path. It is unfortunate that when you do everything within the map there isn’t much else to do. Some won’t like going back and doing it again, but for me it’s not a huge issue. It’s good that I can do this review after Coffee Stain announced they are producing a new map and new goats for the game. That’s great, it will certainly go a long way to help with those who don’t think there is enough content.
Gameplay works well enough for what it is. You can headbutt, baa, jump, spin and lick. While wandering around the map, a majority of things you see you can headbutt and break. Cars explode on impact, fences crack and fly around. Not everything is destructible, you can’t go around smashing up houses for example, but enough of the items in the map are breakable and moveable so it’s not really an issue. A neat little feature is the use of slow motion, with an activation of the ‘F’ button, everything slows down. It’s a great way to watch the goat ragdoll and spin around is a truly fun experience. I often ran around headbutting and breaking the scenery only to slow it down and watch the carnage unfold around me.
Goat Simulator offers up some great humour, inside jokes and some great quips which make the experience better. Headbutting a basketball into a goal net to receive the message “like Zlatan” honestly bought a smile to my face. Moments like this are littered throughout the game, and it’s an encouragement for you to explore more and find everything possible.
Here’s where the game seems to falter, it’s a playground of possibilities, but it’s very limited in scope. There isn’t a real sense of progression or purpose, there are a few objectives to accomplish, but it’s nothing complex by any stretch. There are collectables which are fun to find and discovering them grants rewards so it’s worth getting them.
With games like this, it’s all about providing the gamer with choice and a different kind of play types. The different goal styles and goat types provide the occasional chance of pace, but it’s more of an extra ability rather than a game changing feat.
[tabgroup][tab title=”The Good“]Pure Fun To Play
Random and Ridiculous
[/tab][tab title=”The Bad“]Somewhat Limited Content
Some Won’t Like The Glitches