There was a time last year when everyone was talking about a simulator that was very different to the norm; a real “outside the box” idea. Goat Simulator was THAT simulation game, and whether it was good or bad things being said, it was no doubt the hot topic. Now it’s made the leap from PC to Xbox consoles after developmental work from Double Eleven and Coffee Stain Studios. Will it make goat fanatics’ dreams come true with an accurate portrayal of life as a goat?
No, it certainly will not. In fact it’s a bloody nightmare.
Let me make myself clear, I know it isn’t supposed to be accurate, instead it’s aimed at making a mockery of the usually god awful simulation games, the likes of Farming Simulator for example. In doing so it’s actually managed to outdo (in a bad way) all the video games that I rank lowest in all my years of gaming. Believe me, that takes some doing when I’ve played the Hannah Montana game, but I guess I should tell you all about Goat Simulator to help formulate your own idea of what it is.
You are a goat. Not an ordinary one though as this is one tough animal and the main aim is to cause chaos everywhere it goes. It can headbutt and lick anything in sight that isn’t nailed down and from there can drag items around. Even giant boulders that seem to massively outweigh the goat are easily moved by it. Every bit of damage you do in an area adds to an overall score and linking damage together makes for more points; it has been likened to a Tony Hawk game in that sense, which I suppose it is except with no skateboard or tricks of any worth. Scoring points seems the most logical objective to attempt but after my first chain of points were cashed in I lost interest in going for any more. So what else can entertain me?
Just having an indestructible goat that can create havoc without a care in the world really isn’t enough and so I took a look at the optional quests. Do a manual, do a backflip, jump higher; these are just a few of the things it told me to do and I obliged… for about two minutes until I was bored. Thus meaning after no time at all I had one option left for any hope of finding a saving grace; exploration and more importantly finding the collectables.
There are two areas to choose from, Goatville and Goat City Bay – one is similar to a quiet village and the other, a larger city surrounded by water aplenty. None of the game is aesthetically pleasing on the eye and sadly, that includes these areas which are graphically outdated. Neither of the areas are all that big, meaning most of the collectables are found after a general sweep and the final few take a bit more in-depth searching. As a result of collecting these trophies it would often unlock a new mutator to add another layer to your goat. Were these mutators the key to having fun?
Granted, I’ll admit that seeing a goat flying aimlessly when the jetpack kicked in made me raise a flicker of a smile but just like the rest of the mutators, they are silly extras that add nothing except randomness to proceedings. You can make the goat taller, be the queen of the goats to summon other less important goats from the sky or simply be able to spin like a mini goat tornado. I’d have probably appreciated them more if I there was any real substance in the heart of Goat Simulator.
The developers did add a few easter eggs to find, with the standouts being a few guys dressed in green in the sewers like a Ninja Turtles tribute act and a small, hard to see screen with a Flappy Goat mini game on. Other than that though I can’t tell you it offers anything else at all except for quite a lot of remarkably easy achievements to boost your gamerscore.
It’s hard to judge a game like Goat Simulator which was seemingly made solely for a laugh, yet misses the mark on being entertaining or actually making me chuckle. They even left a shed load of bugs in because that’ll add funnies won’t it? No, no it bloody well won’t after the tenth time of falling through the areas into nothingness. So in short, it doesn’t offer a proper simulation nor does it bring all the fun of a parody and that leaves Goat Simulator somewhere in the middle, making it a messy, boring, terrible, awful “game”.