Goat Simulator 3 opens with a cutscene parody of Skyrim’s iconic wagon ride. The driver fills the gamer full of exposition and makes sure that we know the tone of the title – an absolute joke on anything and everything in sight. The comparison with Skyrim ends quicker than it started, and our goat begins running and jumping across a farmyard landscape ready for destruction. If you don’t take the sandbox game seriously, there is a huge amount of fun to be had alone or with friends. But as can be figured out by the gag in the title – there was never a Goat Simulator 2 – the joke is the measuring stick of its performance.
Simulator is a loose word here. Goat Simulator 3 is kind of like GTA, if GTA was full of goats on a constant hit of energising drugs. Put simply, you can’t die, and neither can much else. Graphically, it could probably pass as a PlayStation 3 game at times with its glitches. But the focus on causing as much chaos as possible does have a charm when you’re a furry creature with a giant tongue, moving objects by licking them or headbutting a random guy off a cliff. The game never tries to be something beyond its wackiness, making enemies of old ladies with bazookas and enforcing a hero that would be annoying as hell in any situation. It doesn’t stop at goats – I spent time as a giraffe, a shark and even a human. The whole idea is to be shocked by each new scene and boy does the game achieve that in spades.
It’s the silliness that gets you. Smacking a rival goat and watching it flail helplessly into the sky is amusing. The animations are a bit off and everything is exaggerated, but that’s the charm. In a week publicised by Game of the Year entrants and omissions, it’s somewhat refreshing to play a game that doesn’t take itself seriously. At all. But after a few hours of exploring and trying all the different weapons and co-op mini-games, the longevity remains for the online elements. King of the Hill, the floor is lava and different versions of sports can be a wave of constant laughs with the right crowd. But as any goat would tell you, sometimes you’ve got to go at it alone.
There is a story mode available that took me about six hours to complete. It had something to do with a Goat Illuminati and progressing via missions that saw a Goat Castle open up for interesting reveals. It’s not where the game shines – I was distracted often and usually jogged off to ram a police car off a cliff with a harvester – but it gives the player situations that are memorable and enjoyable in a sense of progression we’re accustomed to in gaming. You’ll pick up a range of items along the way, such as a leaf blower to send more people off cliffs, but the weapons can wear off quickly when finding something new and shiny. There is a heap of collectibles and clothing options, and the city is densely packed with places to explore (an IKEA store knock-off and a music festival were a joy) but your entertainment depends on your focus. The fun is derived from the mayhem.
The recommendation is fairly simple – if you enjoyed the original Goat Simulator, you’ll enjoy this even more as every aspect has been enhanced tenfold. If not, then sadly it isn’t your thing. But the game sticks true to everything it advertises, with no game providing this kind of encouraged mayhem with a supercharged goat as its mascot. I laughed, I couldn’t die, and I ticked something off my bucket list – fly-kicking a protesting hippie off a cliff with a goat wearing bowling shoes.
Be the first to leave a review.