Thursday, 23 October 2014

Goat Simulator - Steam

Welcome to a not-quite-simulation, of a goat.

I thought this was a joke when I first heard about it. I thought that this was someone's poorly photoshopped idea of a game or someone's attempt at modding that went awry or someone messing about with Blender or some other 3D posing tool/animation application, or even something from Gary's Mod.

Quests, options, mods, goats.

However, once the videos started to come out, I began to sit up and take note and recently took the plunge in getting the game for myself and seeing just what it is. Out of the box, it's exactly what it says on the tin, a goat simulator. Thankfully it's not an authentic simulation as I've yet to encounter a goat that can sacrifice people to demons, travel into the Game (Goat) of Thrones and declare itself as reigning sovereign or blow up vehicles and survive.

Large jumps, big air, goats.

It's a silly, sandbox simulation and to be honest, it's a welcome break from serious games. You control your goat with keyboard and mouse as you wander the landscape looking for things to do. Your "quests" involve things from hitting object, kicking objects, jumping on objects and doing various tricks and combos by jumping and rag dolling your way through twists, turns, loops and all other manner of amusing entertainment. It plays like a combination of Tony Hawk's Skater and Mario 64, the only thing you really can't do is grind along surfaces, otherwise you're set for the idea of both games together.

Explosions, trees, unsuspecting public, goats.

Blow up a petrol station, fly with fireworks, sacrifice people (I know I said it earlier, it still amuses me), take on multiple other goats in an arena, earn different powers and weapons from jetpacks to ball-launchers while you assault people and vehicles and try to take down planes and gliders. Travel to other lands and ride rollercoasters, meet DeadMau5 and kick him off a building before spinning some discs for yourself, then throw yourself off a building too or ride the lift down to the ground floor. (No... Not an elevator, it's a lift!)

It is a rather gormless looking thing isn't it. Goats.

The game doesn't take itself seriously and as such we don't get to be bombarded with overly realistic, gritty, browned-out textures. Everything is bright, colourful and just this side of a fictional suburbia to have escaped from Technicolor-land, the bloom effect and lens blur look impressive given the engine anyway but the interesting aspect of the design is that it's almost grounded in reality and looks for the most part like a city or a small suburb and then you'll turn a corner and find a giant bowling lane or break into a laboratory that seems to focus upon high-speed fans for the goat to become weightless in a manner of speaking.

Take a ride, headbutt people, goats.

However, it's not all fun and games. There's only so much you can do within the game and the novelty of the idea quickly wears off. While there's a few updates happening every now and then, it's not exactly enough to tide you over until the next update and when the realisation kicks in that there's little value behind the game beyond throwing yourself off large structures just to prove a point of getting some statues or getting some achievement points, it's ultimately a dull and repetitive game with a very crazy idea at the core. An idea that gets stale about 25minutes into the game and then becomes the family guest that won't go home and gets more and more awkward with every moment that passes.

Go home Dad...

Michael Bay, Explosions (say it with me now...) Goats!

That aside, there's potential behind the game and it could be made into something more entertaining. But with the stagnation already in place, it might be better to retire this game and develop the next stage further down the line as a repackaged item.