Created by Coffee Stain Studios, Goat Simulator started off life as an online joke that was never expected to be taken seriously….at first. However, its quirky nature was met with so much interest that the Swedish-based developer just ran with it and launched the quirky title on several platforms, where it was met with warm approval from gamers. A little over one year since its release on Steam, Goat Simulator finally makes its way to PlayStation platforms, specifically PS3 and PS4.
As bizarre as it may sound, Goat Simulator is a third-person, open-world goat simulator in which you control a goat, who can run, jump and carry out a surreal range of activities. The idea is to rack up points, combos and multipliers while completing in-game goals, which range from scaring people by running amok with your goat tongue, blowing up a gas station with a few carefully placed headbutts to the pumps, and executing a front and back flip while gravitating in a fan room. In theory it all sounds rather silly (and it is), but in practice it’s quite hilarious.
The unique selling-point for Goat Simulator, apart from the fact that it’s the only game I know of where you control a goat, is that your four-legged friend also has super powers. Not only does he have an incredibly long tongue that allows you to pick up and hurl objects, but there’s also a number of modifiers (mutators) that transform your goat and his skill set. Your goat can fly up into the sky, for example, wearing a jet-pack. He can mutate into the devil with the ability to suck up objects and transform them into a ball, or even turn into a shopping trolley, or a penguin, or an ostrich. There’s the likes of the goat queen mutator that can summon dead goats from the sky, or the angel goat where you can float and descend back down to firm ground at a more leisurely pace.There’s a ton of crazy mutators in the game to allow you to unleash your creativity, and aid you in completing certain goals.
Goat Simulator has evolved a lot since its original PC release, with refined controls. Your goat can now wall run and wall jump from building to building, which allows for a wider range of combos. You can also ride the likes of skateboards and bicycles, though these are incredibly hard to control as you have to keep pressing left and right to balance yourself on them. You also have the ability to create a rag-doll effect, which can be funny if being hit by a car as you can watch the goat go flying off into the sky — for extra impact you can slow down time using the touchpad.
Goat Simulator also features up to four player split-screen allowing for several goats to jump on screen and cause some havoc. The guest player can also help to unlock Trophies, though the frame rate was affected when activating multiple mutators at the same time, and we experienced a few glitches. The lack of online co-op is shame, but Goat Simulator does cater for Share Play, which works well.
Overall, Goat Simulator is a lot of fun to play, especially when you have friends around — due to all the crazy fun and havoc you can cause together. Playing it on your own is a laugh during short play sessions, but it does start to lose its appeal over a longer period of time. Nevertheless, the numerous unlocks, Trophies and challenges add some depth to Goat Simulator, which rarely fails to amuse with its range of wacky activities and bizarre mutations.