Review – Goat Simulator: The GOATY
How to review a game that is intentionally bad? How to seriously try to tackle a game that definitely doesn’t try to take itself seriously at all? This is my dillema with Goat Simulator, now finally available on the Switch. This is a game about controlling a goat causing mayhem on an intentionally glitch-infested sandbox world, with a ton of references and nods to movies and other games. This isn’t a good game, but everyone already knows that. You can’t take this thing seriously, even when trying to review it objectively.
There is no proper objective in Goat Simulator. You have a list of things you can do, but whether you want to follow that or not is up to you. You may want to go full completionist and try to unlock secret goat skins and hats, but it’s not mandatory as there is no endgame. Goat Simulator is its own endgame. This is one of those games in which you need to go out and create your own fun and flesh out whatever you consider a story, as the game throws into a mess of an asset-infested world and tells you to figure something out to do with it.
Destroying objects and headbutting people off into oblivion are the two main things you’ll do in Goat Simulator. Your goat has been blessed with unbelievable amounts of strength, allowing you to destroy glass walls and even trucks with a simple headbutt. You’ll acquire points by doing so and you’re even able to pile them up on a combo system clearly inspired by Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. There are also a few racing minigames scattered throughout the world, as well as some well-hidden easter eggs. The Canadian DJ Deadmau5 is present in the game, for instance.
Goat Simulator‘s presentation isn’t good. The original PC iteration wasn’t pretty either and the fact it’s running on less powerful hardware makes things even worse. The framerate is extremely erratic. It ranges from 60 to even less than 20 frames per second, depending on the amount of stuff being presented onscreen. Visual glitches, such as people sitting on the air instead of sitting on the bench right under them, are scattered everywhere. That’s the difficult thing when trying to review a game like Goat Simulator: were those issues intentional? Did the developers actively want for it look as buggy and messy as it is for funsies? I have no idea and I will probably never know, since the controls are as sluggish and unpolished as the visuals themselves. At the very least, the sound department is somewhat passable, with the short electronic tune being played by Deadmau5 being a lot catchier than it should have ever been…
This specific version of Goat Simulator, aptly named “The GOATY“, comes with all the previously released expansions included in the package. Those expansions are basically deviations from the main game, with some extra features, franchises being parodied, and some very slight instances of actual objectives to follow. You’ll be able to play in a mode inspired by Payday 2, a Grand Theft Auto: Vice City knockoff, and more. Those extra additions are a much needed breath of fresh air whenever you’re fed up of the main game’s limited scope. They made the experience a bit more varied and a bit more enjoyable.
Goat Simulator is not a good game, but you didn’t need to read this review (or any other, for that matter) to know that. It is an ugly mess of a game that is meant to be an ugly mess of a game. Given its original intention, extremely stupid premise, and some occasionally hilarious glitches, it can actually be an enjoyable title in short bursts, with the added advantage of being able to carry this game in your pocket for some quick and dumb sessions whenever you’re tired of playing Octopath Traveler or Breath of the Wild. It can be quite fun with the right mindset (and plenty of alcohol in your body).
Finally, what better way to finish off a review about goats than with the best thing to ever feature a goat in this planet’s history?
Just like other versions, this is a hodgepodge of random assets thrown into a bunch of smaller maps. This time around, there’s also a very schizophrenic framerate.
Wonky physics and unreliable controls. Trying to make your goat gain momentum is a lot more annoying than it should.
A bunch of random sound effects, lots of different goat noises and an unnecessarily catchy electronic beat that is played by Deadmau5 atop a rooftop party…
Fun Factor: 7.5
The game is as stupid as you can imagine, and there’s not an actual goal or objective for you to follow besides a loose list of “achievements”, but given the fact it is intentionally meant to be “so bad it’s funny”, I have to say that Goat Simulator has its humorous moments.
Final Verdict: 6.0
Goat Simulator: The GOATY is available now on Nintendo Switch.
Reviewed on Switch.
A copy of Goat Simulator: The GOATY was provided by the publisher.