The best summation of elements that have led to the advent of a game called “Goat Simulator” goes as follows:
- There was a joke online that involved goats.
- There was another joke on the fact that boring simulator games were actually surprisingly popular.
- Steam exists.
There’s something to be said about a platform that enables such outright silliness as to allow for people to sell a product where you play as a goat.
This is, of course, not the end of the story. Nor is gameplay so clear-cut as the title suggests. You do however play as a goat, that much is true. But in Goat Simulator you step into the shoes of an immortal super-goat with the goal to cause as much havoc in a town full of humans, highly volatile motor vehicles that will explode on contact, and plenty of ramps and half-pipes because of reasons. What you have is a great time killing game that is far more fun than any game deserves to be.
Plus with a recent update that allows you to play the Goat MMO, goat simulators take on a persistent massively multi-player online RPG you can now finally play as a goat, who happens to be a magician, who goes around a fantasy realm head-butting elves and evil rams.
The gameplay itself is simple, if very buggy. Utilizing the Unreal Engine simultaneously poorly and perfectly, the game is very likely to get your goat stuck in a wall or simply flying perpetually through the air, luckily the developers had the foresight to allow you to re-spawn. However, certain conditions or any strange occurrences with the model of your goat stick with you and may well force you to restart the game. And while there is now saving, I cannot see any reason why saving your progress would ever be necessary considering that the closest thing you get to quests or missions in the games are only ever meant as jokes and progress nothing.
Much like Skyrim an essential element of the game becomes the exploration of the world the game is set in as well as the glitches and strange bugs. The developers put in all sorts of goofy jokes and other cracks, from the names of random NPC’s to the developers office. Personally my favorite was finding the server room for the game itself, which if trashed results in the game crashing. It is now my preferred way of quitting the game and honestly would like to see this feature implemented in other games, there’s something eloquent about blowing up racks of electronics to quit the game you’re playing as opposed to clicking through menu after menu just to get back to your desktop.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Simply put, Goat Simulator just isn’t like other games and it makes no attempt to be anything close to it. It’s fun for its own sake; it’s mischief and mayhem because of… well… reasons; it’s a game for the purpose of game. There’s a certain beauty to be found in it, you’ll just have to go digging under all the explosions and bleating. Not even sure how one would even score something like this… so based on sheer fun and originality, and not over-thinking it, let’s say 7.0/10
-Scott Anthony Wittie
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine