I played through Goat Simulator on the PS4. I ran into a slew of issues, but I guess that’s the joke…
It’s important to note at the start o98unhh f this review that I played through the PS4 version of Goat Simulator, a version that seems rather bereft of content compared to the PC version. I don’t know exactly what is in the PC version, but there’s no GoatZ or MMOGoat stuff, and obviously there’s no mod support. Therefore I had a rather different experience than if I had played this on PC. Saying that though, my main complaints with Goat Simulator are pretty universal and those complaints are not something zombies or MMOs or a modded in Sonic the Hedgehog would fix.
If you are a video gamer, then you will have undoubtedly heard of Goat Simulator, a game in which you simulate a goat and cause havoc around a city sandbox. It’s popular, and often seems to find it’s way into the news for something or other. When Goat Simulator crept onto PSN earlier this month, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
What I found was a bizarre ‘game’ that is just…well bizarre. It’s hard to even really describe with mere words. But I shall try. Goat Simulator is a game bereft of anything that makes things games. It exists just for people who find it funny that you’re a goat and can headbutt and lick stuff. And you can bounce on trampolines. Oh, and look you can headbutt this guy off a crane. Look, he’s falling. Now he’s dead. And you’re a goat. Isn’t that funny? Isn’t it? FUNNY. FUN. FUNSTUFF.
The main problem I had with Goat Simulator was it’s total lack of anything past the initial joke. You’re a goat. This is a goat simulator. If you don’t find that funny, if this joke doesn’t land with you, then there is nothing here. There are no more jokes, nothing else that’s funny. And even if you do find being a goat funny, that funny can not last. It took me all of ten seconds to become bored. I headbutted something. I licked something. And then I was done.
Goat Simulator could have built on the joke, but it doesn’t. There’s no story, there’s no progression, there’s no real reason to carry on playing. Goat Simulator has a series of Tony Hawk-esque tasks for you to do. Get airborne for 10 seconds. Headbutt something for 100 metres. Stuff like that. You can go about these tasks in any order you wish, but there’s really no reason to do them at all. This game doesn’t seem to exist beyond being something that will make a ‘hilarious’ Youtube video for Pewdiepie.
I had to find ways to actually force myself along. With no progression, I don’t really find any point to play something. So I used trophies as the progression. And while trying to get all trophies, I was able to see more of the game. You go to space at one point. That’s fun, you’re a goat in space. You unlock mutators for your goat. You can get a double jump, get a God-awful jetpack that you can’t control, even something that turns you into an ostrich. There’s also a VR simulator, which you will turn on and off again in about a second.
Now, while going for the trophies, I did have a bit of fun. But I can’t say that I ever laughed. (In fact, sometimes I raged.) And that is the main thing I think about Goat Simulator. I think it’s a one joke game, that isn’t actually all that funny in the first place. Through cutting out content from the PC version, there is even less to see on the PS4, meaning that you can play it for five minutes and experience all the game has to offer.
But I must heap some praise on Coffee Stain Studios for proving that Flappy Bird actually did take some talent to make. Goat Simulator parodies Flappy Bird with Flappy Goat, a mini-game so utterly infuriating and broken that you’ll want to throw your PS4 through a window.
Goat Simulator is a one-note, broken mess of a game, and that is entirely the intention. However, I didn’t find it amusing at all and once you look past the joke, there’s just nothing to Goat Simulator. It’s one of those Youtube games that is good ammunition for the fact video games are not art. On the contrary however, I believe video games are art, and even some art is inherently shit.
GOAT SIMULATOR (PS4)