Starting out life as a joke idea and then developing into a cult hit on the PC, Goat Simulator has garnered enough success to now make its way to the current generation of consoles. So will this be using the full power of new systems to present something simply impossible on older consoles? Well no, but there’s nothing else quite like it either.
It’s very difficult to know how to review Goat Simulator. There’s no story or real aim to anything with it being a physics playground to play around in - in which the player controls a slightly homicidal goat. There are a few things to collect and occasional timed races and score challenges but basically this is you, a goat and lots of things to charge into and lick.
There are two areas to pick from which take the form of an urban neighbourhood and a waterfront area. They are pretty well stocked with secret locations to discover and silly things to play around with and then it’s up to you to make your own entertainment. It has to be said that the game is funny in a jack-ass kind of way and some of the things to discover are a kind of twisted genius. Our personal favourite was when we catapulted ourselves onto a skyscraper and rammed DJ Deadmau5 off the edge during a gig. This then gave us a giant mouse head on our goat and spread the message ‘goa7 and stuff’ across the screen.
We won’t reveal any more of the surprises but there are plenty of jokes like this hidden around the levels. You can also mutate your goat with jetpacks, spinning attacks and all manner of other things to create chaos. It’s a big crazy toy box and it’s certainly fun to muck around in for small amounts of time. Whether you are likely to be spending hours of your life ramming people into swimming pools is another thing entirely.
Your goat has a fairly wide range of moves to play around with. It can lick things to drag them along, jump and forward roll in air. It can even perform a ‘manual’ where it proceeds to skate around on its head. You can wall run and also trigger a rag doll effect with a press of a button. It’s all very silly but in a good way.
The lack of focused goals will no doubt put some off but for those wanting to mess around and have some fun this works very well. It’s not particularly polished and you aren’t going to be playing it for hours on end or returning to it in a year’s time but you can’t deny that sometimes it’s fun to run into a petrol tanker and cause an explosion that sends you up to the moon.
Overall, Goat Simulator makes us smile simply for the fact that someone not only made it but then decided to port it to console. It’s a wild and unruly sandbox that doesn’t conform to game industry norms and that can only be a good thing. Above all else anyone playing it will be having fun more times than not and isn’t that what gaming is really all about?