Some Men Just Want to Watch The World Burn
Goat Simulator, from Coffee Stain studios, has been set loose on the populace this week and judging from the pre-release chatter will undoubtedly ram its way onto many a pc. Carried on a wave of clever marketing and enough Youtube Yokels screaming “Game of the Year” and “10 out of 10” to fill a petting zoo, Coffee Stain has somehow managed to convince gamers that its “SO bad, it’s GOOD” title is not only worthy of paying attention to, but $10 to boot!
Goat Simulator is not Duke Nukem nor is it Flappy Bird or any other piece of shit worthy of discussion,and these semi-serious proclamations of greatness and a guaranteed good time need to stop. Goat Simulator is a fucking disaster. It lacks any meaningful objective or direction to even qualify it as a game and in the most positive light, could be at best described as a toy – albeit, a severely broken and dysfunctional one – and one that would be promptly returned to the store if possible. The only redeeming quality we could agree on was that the exit button worked well enough to allow us to quickly play something else.
Perhaps there is a segment of the gaming community whose Youtube queue is overloaded with glitch videos and their pockets bereft of prescribed ADD medication that would welcome such an abomination with chants of “take my money”. However, it is our opinion that if you spend $1, or any amount at all, on this half-assed and half-baked piece of shit, you’re a fucking idiot.
The “goal” of Goat Simulator is to run around a town and cause mayhem by ramming or kicking things – sometimes it’s furniture and household objects, sometimes it’s people, it’s almost always monotonous and boring. Various picnics and get-togethers litter the small play area and are filled with unsuspecting victims for you to launch into the air, -complete with rag doll physics circa 2001. Where there aren’t groups of meandering brain dead targets there are some jumps, slides, and trampolines to fill the void. While running full steam at a slide before feigning down it and hurdling your limp four-legged body into the air garnered a chuckle the first few times, the exercise quickly lost its charm and it became just another thing in a long list of things that was no longer fun to do. The same goes for the trampoline segments and much of the rest of the game.
Of course there are houses for you to explore and destroy but they, for the most part, all look the same and are filled with the same objects and people, all doing the same things. You can head-butt a car and it will explode instantly but the result is the same car model but with a now dirtier texture applied – no tires flying past your head or wreckage falling from the sky. And because it explodes just by moving it you can’t, for instance, push the car into the streets causing havoc for any of the three cars that move along them. The people are only good for kicking repeatedly and can’t be chased or herded or have any action elicited other than running a few feet and falling down. The animations are few and far between and all are badly done. The physics based world is filled with lots of objects but no physics based puzzles or scenarios that make use of it in any meaningful way. The clipping is so horrible that it’s easy to get stuck in floors and ceilings, and windows, and doors, and rocks, and fences… making it readily apparent that Goat Simulator isn’t a solidly constructed game that enhances the “fun” glitches – instead, it’s an unfinished broken mess of a project that should never have seen the light of day, none the less be asking you for money.
Some promotional material was released ahead of the game showing your goat running down the street with an axe attached its overly extended tongue, taking out pedestrians and passers-by as it went, to hilarious effect. This, I think, sums up the whole play experience of Goat Simulator; out of context and in small viewings the title seems promising and entertaining but in practice is disappointing, frustrating and lacking in fun.
In a statement almost daring you to buy their product, the developer posts the following on their web site: “Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game. It was made in a couple of weeks so don’t expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats. In fact, you’re better off not expecting anything at all actually. To be completely honest, it would be best if you’d spend your $10 on a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe a real-life goat.”
I wonder if this is the same approach they take with all the games they release. Not content with greenlights and early-accesses we’re now tasked with having to sift through this developers cast-offs and garbage. What I find most disturbing is the built-in excuse of “made in a couple of weeks” and by a small developer. Rooms could be filled with the amount of great games put out by small developers and the above statement reeks of desperation and ineptitude. The $10 price tag could be much better spent supporting artists and designers that actually care about the games they make
Goat Sim is trying to pass itself off as a playground of destruction and meshugas; a wonderful world of glitches and clipping where anything can happen and it’s always amusing- an overflowing buffet of Vinesauce fodder. And while we have no doubt that the inter-tubes will be clogged for weeks with thousands of people posting virtually the same videos and cackling about it, we feel you could have a very similar but much better experience playing something like Gary’s Mod, Surgeon Simulator, or OctoDad.
We can only guess what Goat Simulator could have been had the developers put some more thought and effort into it, but we do know what it is currently – a very low point in the history of gaming. Coffee Stain are promising Steam Workshop support however, so after spending your hard earned $10 on a broken game you can spend your free time fixing it. Goat Simulator is admittedly a joke but at a price of $10, the joke is on you.
Goat Simulator can be purchased from Steam.