Goat Simulator Review (PC)
There's a devious glint in your eye, and a song of mischief in your heart. You may claim to like things as they are, but anyone with a brain could see the thing you wish for, more than anything else, is to be a goat. Well, thanks to Coffee Stain Studios' Goat Simulator, now you, too can goat, and you can goat with gusto. While its title might imply some hardcore simulated goating action, in truth, this wild indie title is has so much more to offer.
Goat Simulator's simple concept and set-up make way for some brilliantly fun chaos. There's no story, or campaign, to speak of. Rather, once you begin playing you're immediately placed into a small, open section of the city, free to do as you please. Once you get accustomed to the amazingly silly soundtrack, you're presented with simple objectives, such as jumping over things, headbutting people or doing sicknasty goat backflips, but these goals only matter if you're interested. The real meat of Goat Simulator lies in the numerous wild activities and the rampant chaos you can cause— headbutting people, knocking crap over, even launching yourself with a trampoline. All in a day's work for a roguish goat such as yourself.
From the get-goat you have the ability to hop, backflip, bray, headbutt and other similarly goat-y things, as well as the option of activating slow-motion at any time. This is of course useful for when you're pulling off one of the many spectacular stunts you’re capable of doing, like sky-high backflips or sticking your tongue to the back of a speeding car and letting it drag you behind it like a meaty wrecking ball. You can also go limp with the ragdoll button, allowing you to slide up or down things and generally muck with the physics of the world. But perhaps the most important tool in your goat arsenal is the ability to lick things. Not only does it look hilarious, but your super-sticky, super-stretchy tongue lets you hook onto things and sling them around, Just Cause-style. Lick a watermelon and slam it into a treadmill. Lick a bucket and drag it into a thresher maw to send it flying. Lick a man and pull him into oncoming traffic. The more creative you are with it, the more fun you’ll have.
After learning the basic ways you can cause a ruckus in Goat Simulator, you'll probably begin exploring the city around you. While it's not exactly gigantic, there are a surprisingly high number of fun little nooks and crannies to be discovered, like the Low Gravity Facility, the waterslide, and the goat fight club. There’s even a hidden jetpack to discover, which allows your goat to take to the skies. With its generous scoring system and numerous secrets, Goat Simulator's closest comparable game is, oddly enough, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater… although, outside of giving you bragging rights on the leaderboards, the score system’s primary function is to give you an objective to focus on, not to actually accomplish anything. And once you've scoured every inch of the city for secrets (which will take a while), Coffee Stain Studios have made the wise decision to allow for easy custom content in the form of Steam Workshop Mods. Once you’ve done everything there is to do in the vanilla game it’s easy to pop over to the Workshop to pick up some new mods (or add some of your own) to keep the goating going.
Though Goat Simulator isn't perfect- it's often glitchy, but offers an easy respawn button so you don't get stuck or lose your progress- but these spaz-tastic imperfections just add to the fun. Goat Simulator's all about grabbing a couple of friends and getting as imaginative as possible with a game engine designed to give players maximum fun every single second they're play
Developers Coffee Stain Studios initially created Goat Simulator as a joke tech demo, and when people responded so positively to the video of said tech demo, they shrugged and put it out as a full-fledged game. This emulator of the antics of a Capra aegagrus hircus started as a joke and kept that same sense of humor throughout. It may lack a bit of polish here and there and it won’t take long to explore everything there is to explore, but there's so much damn fun packed into this game that it's more than worth every cent. Here's hoping Goat Simulator is the first entry in a long and lustrous franchise.
This review was completed with a purchased digital copy of Goat Simulator for the PC.