Thursday 10 March 2016

Goat Simulator: The Bundle

When does a joke go too far? When do we stop laughing, move to sighs and then eventually worry for the well-being of humanity? Is that cut-off point a trilogy of games releases based on a goat joke because we may have all gone too far. With a solemn voice I present to you: Goat Simulator: The Bundle.

Developed by Coffee Stain Studios and Double Eleven and out now on Xbox One, Goat Simulator: The Bundle is possibly the best equivalent to Marmite I may have ever seen in video game form. It’s a game where you play as a goat and its myriad of bugs are considered “features”. The three games break down into Goat Simulator, Goat MMO, and GoatZ (because of course it does!) and each one, to its credit, is structured quite different. The first one, Goat Simulator feels like a Tony Hawk level of old. There are plenty of little secrets as well as a series of challenges to complete. The controls are awful, the music is annoying, and the physics breaks all the time but that is the charm of Goat Simulator. It’s idiotic, it’s dumb, and in a lot of ways it knows it’s a waste of time. 

GoatZ whose title is from something if you don’t know what it is don’t Google it, seriously, don’t. As you might guess this is a play on DayZ, an open-world survival zombie game that’s still not officially out yet! The aim of GoatZ is simply to survive as long as possible, finding food, crafting goat items and turning people into zombies with the power of your baaa. This feels better thought out even if the result just doesn’t keep your attention for very long.

The best of the three is Goat MMO by far. It doesn’t add a lot to it, it’s still broken, and dumb would be too nice of a word to describe the humour but the structure is actually kind of decent. There’s always something about seeing your level go up that’s satisfying, even if it is by headbutting literally everything in the world.  There are a number of zones, quests, and NPCs to interact with or, you know, just headbutt everything to gain XP and level up. You have an inventory bag and honestly it’s rather quite fun, even if the dumb brokenness persists. It actually feels like a game with a goal, unlike the other two which just feel like attempts to be funny and adding little to keep you playing.

Look, you’re going to either love or hate Goat Simulator: The Bundle. If you think it’s a great laugh and the funniest game ever then you’re not wrong. We all find enjoyment is so many things and that’s all the right thing to do in life, so long as you’re not actually hurting anyone else. For instance, I cry-laughing at realistic physics in games like Grand Theft Auto or Dying Light or even Gang Beasts. The humour present in Goat Simulator: The Bundle though isn’t for me but that doesn’t mean that you think it’s the best value for money out there. I was going to give the game the lowest score possible but that’s not fair on the developers who I have a lot of respect for and if making money from these games mean that get to make their next passion project then that can’t be all baaaad!

Now you’re just a goat that I used to know. 2/5.


Jason Redmond

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