Goat Simulator ReviewJoe Shaffer
Current Version: 1.0
Last Updated: April 2014
There's a laundry list of misdeeds that I could count against Goat Simulator. However, just about every instance of clipping, faulty hit detection, loose control response, and wonky physics can be attributed to the fact that the game is a parody; a title whose flaws are ironically intended to entertain its audience. As a huge fan of early Peter Jackson, an avid Godzilla enthusiast, and a midnight movie geek, a game like this should be right up my alley...
Entering Goat Simulator for the first time proved to be a zen-like experience. It was then that I had encountered world where I could screw around, ram things, annoy people, blow junk up, shove pedestrians into semis, interrupt dinner parties, battle Satanic goats, lick random objects, and crash parties without penalty or remorse. There I was free to butt someone off of a building, if only to watch him ragdoll the whole way down, or collapse a gas station to see the name MICHAEL BAY materialize on the screen. I thought, "This is a game that totally gets me!" It's a title that doesn't give a rat's ass what you do, as long as you do it loudly.
...for all of forty minutes.
The Goat Simulator package only includes a single map. There are no alternate locales, other stages, or extra areas to explore and irritate, deconstruct, blow up, implode, or damage in any way. The dearth of supplementary regions to play with is a huge letdown. The developers at Coffee Stain Studios crafted a pretty good first map, and you would have thought they could supply players with at least two more quality areas to pester. More than anything, the lack of levels ensures that the unmodified Goat Simulator experience is nothing short of underwhelming.
My guess is that Coffee Stain wanted to turn Goat Simulator into more of a social beast and attempt to gather a community of modders around it. After all, I can't be the only gamer out there who loves messing around and causing mischief. As it turns out, Goat Simulator does have a solid army of mod authors who are building a strong collection of mods, including new maps. Currently, there's a handful of maps available, but most of them are still in their alpha phases. In other words, there might be more goaty adventures to be had in the future, but as of right now the Goat Simulator experience is pretty limited. Honestly, though, skimping on content with the expectation that the community will pick up the slack seem pretty lazy.
Unfortunately, Goat Simulator is lacking in departments other than just content. For instance, the game crashes a lot. Just before writing this review, I had to reload the game three times before it allowed me play. In other instances, it froze while playing. The game also sometimes bears a visible lag, especially when there's a lot of activity in one map. I've also noticed that it doesn't take much to bog down Goat Simulator, as I've experienced some pretty bad slowdown in some modded maps that didn't feature a terrible amount of action.
Thankfully, the developers have indicated that they are making an effort to improve the game. One of the items on their list of things to tweak was "secret stuff." I can only imagine that they're planning on adding more to the title, and I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for additional maps. Of course, fixing some of the stability issues would be nice, too.
Ultimately, I'm not going to say that Goat Simulator will never be worth your time, especially if you love taking a few minutes to cause some meaningless mayhem or crafting new maps to facilitate such insanity. It's just that, in it's current form, I can't extend a full recommendation. Honestly, though, I haven't lost hope in the game. I do intend to come back every now and then to see how things have developed, and based on what I see I plan to type a revamped review and post it here on Realm of Gaming. I feel that one day I will stumble upon the ultimate stage for a slacker like myself, in the form of a map packed with unbridled goat-on-human violence and plenty of disorder to conduct. It's just not there yet, but maybe one day...
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