When I bought Goat Simulator
, right on the release date, I did for the joke and for standing by my word. You see, I was one of those people that said "This game HAS to be made" and I don't like people who write checks with their mouths that their asses can't cash in. So I bought it it for the full price. And you know what? Before I realized it I had more fun than I had maybe since Assassin's Creed 4 (because pirates) with any other game this year.
Bow down, peasants!
I can see why people see this thing as a joke. I mean, the name alone... come on. But when you actually give it a chance you find a decent game in this. Don't get me wrong: there is no story whatsoever. It doesn't have "setpieces" or a high budget. It doesn't have a top notch look and is glitchy as hell (for those who don't know: the dev said every bug that isn't gamecrashing will be left in because it's more fun).
It was meant to parody. The madness going on with all the simulator games. The madness going on in the triple-A business. And it worked! Seeing it as a parody of those things it's pretty great too. Especially because it offers real fun. Let me explain the game real quick.
Skulls for the skull throne!
You have a map. On said maps are NPCs, certain things like a Stonehenge, a Goat Tower (based on a real tower - google it
!) or a car driving in circles forever. And there are multiple ways you can interact with things. Ram them, jump on them or lick them basically. But wait, there is more! Your Goat can be "upgraded". I don't want to spoil anything, but you can become for example a Satan-Goat that gets mysterious powers. You can be a Muscle Goat whose ram attack is far stronger. Or you can become the Queen Of Goats, which allows you to drop infinite goat corpses. Don't worry, they were peasants anyway.
... so I became a god.
Now where is the fun? Well, first off it's the interaction itself. You get something like little "Achievements" ingame which are often jokes. If you blow up the gas station, for example, you get "Michael Bay!". Some are better than others but it's also of course a matter of taste. There are of course interactions that are meant to happen, like licking some dude and then dragging him onto a running tread mill, so he gets crashed into a car (because you stick to things you licked because that's how goats work).
But then there are the unplanned interactions. For example licking things that leave the map for some time and don't let go. Let's just say it leads to... interesting results. And there are tons of stuff like this. If use some powers while being in the air for example the goat just starts going absolutely apeshit.
I got the feeling those aren't my real parents.
Goat Simulator is like one of those games you had about twenty years back. You are thrown into a world unknown to you. You have your character and get to interact with the world. Granted, Goat Simulator doesn't tell any story. But the feeling of exploration and discovery is just like back then! Literally. For the longest time I wasn't just amazed by what I found in a game. And here I sit, playing a Goat that drags it's asshole over the pavement when I active the running (and looking VERY happy while doing it) and trying to figure out how I can reach that one collectible golden Goat statue that is up there on top of the electrical tower.
Another thing that spices things up is combining goats. That's right, you can combine ANY goat powers you find. You can become, taken the examples from before, a muscular Satan-Goat. The powers stack and it leaves room for some VERY freaky combos.
One thing I did that really felt like back in the day was discovering what I call the "Negative Zone"
Welcome to the Negative Zone!
This is the room below the map. I just called it "Negative Zone" for fun and not really thinking about it - but it reminded me of the games of my childhood too. I think we all had those moments where we saw a glitch happening and giving that thing happening a name. Like for the example the never ending world in Mario Bros. on the NES. You can access this part of the map of course not normally, but only through one little hatch that's outside of the normal map (but you can still reach said part through the means the game gives you) or by using a certain special power while licking a certain thing on the map - no, I won't spoil it.That was finally the moment where I thought: "That's it! This might really become my game of the year!". I was just taken back by a game that had neither a budget nor a story or anything fancy in. But the thing it has in it is fun. Barrels of fucking fun!
Something wicked this way comes.
So I really want to urge you: if you don't have it already, buy it! Try to see past the joke, get in a bit of a childish mood again and just marvel at this piece of shit. Because between all the serious games
it's a ray of light. Even if you really can't find it in your heart to like it (WHY ARE YOU READING MY BLOG, ROBOT?!) you've only spent a few bucks and to a dev that is neither Ubisoft or Activision or EA or Blizzard (and you know, I have seen worse gameplay, less content and worse audio/graphics in full priced games). But for god's sake at least try to become a child for a few hours again and enjoy head butting people named Bolle. So far I played ten hours with Goat Simulator and they patched in a second map now I haven't almost explored at all yet - for free, by the way (there are also modding tools in the game which allow you to create complete maps on your own, if you really want to get into the Unreal Engine editor). So here's hoping more good maps will pop up.
But if I can give you one piece of advice is: buy it, play it, savor it. And remember to baa!
So then, one day, I met their god. He looked tired and dissipated. Spit was running out of the corner of his mouth and he wasn't able to articulate his mazy thoughts clearly.
And I spoke to him: "Lord, I have sinned! I took the prettiest flower from your garden and ripped it's head off." And he answered, albeit just unclear: "Obliterate me."