Released today on steam for only $10 is the much anticipated new simulation game from well established Coffee Stain Studios: Goat Simulator. Coffee Stain Studios has opted to take a break from their usual offerings of FPS/Tower Defense Hybrids to tackle the incredibly touchy and high bar genre of Farm Animal Sims.
You may ask if we truly need yet another goat simulation experience. With Maxis pretty much hitting it out of the park in the late 90’s with their PC classic: SimGoat. There were many poor attempts to cash in on the farm animal simulation craze of the era. Most notably were Goats! Goats! Goats! and Goat Herder Tycoon. However by the mid 2000’s the industry seemed to have milked that goat for all they could and turned their attentions towards farm machinery simulation.
Then out of nowhere came last year’s surprise hit: Goat Petting Simulator. Now the industry seems to be clamoring to get on the goat wagon once more. The first out of the gate of what will undoubtedly be a large herd of goats is none other than Coffee Stain Studio’s Goat Simulator. As you would expect from the well established genre, you are put in charge of a goat and must do goaty things.
There is the usual eating, licking, bleating, and jumping over things as you might expect from any goat sim. Also, with a modern graphics and physics engine we can experience the more destructive side of goats in full glorious 3d. Rag-doll physics are of course everywhere and you can get a little bit of glee as you watch your evil goat smash about.
There is also a lot of depth hidden here under the glossy surface. If your four legged fellah gets bored of his pen’s toys there’s plenty to explore and see. There is a nice, beautiful farm stretching off into the distance or your goat might fancy exploring the city. Like Goat Tycoon there are shops and such but there seems to be no sort of in-game economy. Lots of nice things to see in the store but no way to buy them. I was very disappointed there.
The game also tries to incorporate a quest system, like Goat Control. Although they are not clearly labeled there is plenty of things to do if you’re willing to explore and find it. Rise to the goat throne, summon aliens, rocket yourself off to space, or SACRIFICE THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT TO YOUR DARK GOAT GODS. Really they did a great job of coming up with so many little side quests and distractions. Some of them require a fair bit of planning as well, getting to space is especially hard, much harder even than Kerbel Space Program.
I must say though, mixing modern physics engines and graphics into Goat Simulation is quite a pleasant experience. The game is really well polished here and I’m quite amazed how well they pulled it off. There’s very few instances of objects clipping through walls or the goat suddenly spazzing out and rocketing up into the sky. There’s also a well done skater game style trick system that works really smoothly allowing you to land cool flips and such.
Goat Simulator also does a great job of incorporating cool unlocks and add-ons. As you explore the world you will come across collectables here and there, some unlocking cool additions. Other add-ons are unlocked by completing some of the many quests, such as SACRIFICING THE SOULS OF THE INNOCENT TO THE DARK GOAT GODS. This adds to an already lengthy game as you can play through again as a tall goat, a fast goat, or even a rocket powered goat!
I also thought the combat in the game seemed a little over powered. I mean THE SOULS OF THE INNOCENT DO NOT OFFER ANY INKLING OF RESISTANCE. And once you upgrade your goat with the baseball launcher, just forget about it. Game over. Nothing can stand in your way. It’s like a Michael Bay film and nothing will stop you as you blast everything in sight.
Overall though as I played and UNLEASHED UTTER TERROR AND HELL UPON THE SOULS OF THE INNOCENT, I couldn’t help but think this game just does not quite stack up to the old goat simulator classics of the late 90’s. Sure the graphics are shiny and there’s a nice new physics engine but the game just doesn’t bring anything new to the table. In the end you are just looking to set a new high score and I was very disappointed at a lack of multiplayer modes. The quests are cool and it’s fun trying out the different combinations of goat add-ons but did we really need another Goat Simulator? However if you’ve got $10 to spare I suppose you couldn’t do worse for a purchase on this April Fool’s Day.
Game Play: 7/10
Music / Ambiance: 5/10
(I ran out of review and have more awesome pictures to share. Enjoy!)