No matter your thoughts about the Goat Simulator series (or whether you see it as a true ‘game’ or a physics playground like Coffee Strain Studio classify it) it’s always an interesting venture. The original title saw you go on a rampage to cause as much destruction as possible, head-butting pedestrians and generally making mischief, but depending on how you look at it it wasn’t without its flaws. The developer openly left the game riddled with bugs (granted most of which caused hilarious side effects) and while causing chaos was great fun it was short-lived and got boring quickly. Thankfully though, this latest compilation of expansions helps cure one of these problems as it adds a heap of content to hopefully see you come back for more hoofed antics.
The game is split between Goat Z and the MMO simulator, both of which riff on various other titles which reflects on the feel of the levels. Goat Z is a blatant parody of Day Z, while the MMO aspect is a medieval themed ‘online mode’ akin to that seen in titles such as Elder Scrolls Online and the like. The core game mechanics remain on each mode and you can carry on your reign of destruction regardless of any objectives if you see fit, but both additions bring something new to the table that you’ll want to at least sample.
Goat Z is split into two sections which give you two different objectives. Before the Outbreak sees you try to start a zombie apocalypse as a reanimated corpse while After the Outbreak tasks you with surviving amongst your zombie chums. The before section is the closest the game gets to the normal Goat Simulator experience (at least until you start infesting people with your virus), with several races to compete in and plenty of places to explore dotted about. While there is a tutorial included, starting here isn’t a bad choice as it’s a good way to get to grips with the games mechanics. Head-butting people and objects will often lead to hilarious outcomes, and good samples of destruction aid towards your multiplier which in turn help give you a good score. You can also grab objects with your tongue and drag them around, launching them at anything you fancy creating more havoc. When you think the time is right, you can command your goat to unleash his green zombie spew with the press of a button to instantly turn civilians into the undead, giving you a taste of zombie mode before heading towards the second, more complete area of this expansion.
The game gears up in the second section and it’s the most enjoyable part of Goat Z, if not the game as entirety. Survival isn’t easy as you constantly need to keep yourself fed to stay alive, as well as keep yourself away from other zombies to avoid harm. Keeping your goat alive is new for the Goat Sim titles as you’re usually indestructible, and while it’s quite challenging it helps make this more of a gaming experience and less of a sandbox playground. There’s also a light crafting tool where you drag items together to make weapons which can help you fend off the undead, as well as mutators making a return from the original game, which alter your goat’s abilities and give you neat little powers, like equipping a thunder ability or doubling up your jumps. You can equip mutators at any point in the game and you can use as many as you’d like at once, although this often has negative (but hilarious) consequences.
The MMO section is a completely different venture. It’s purposefully as generic as an MMO can be, complete with ye old village, different classes to choose from and loads of silly quests to complete. Most of the classes have different abilities similar to mutators, such as the magician that uses an offensive card trick and the walking microwave that fires pizzas at enemies. There’s plenty of quests to complete, such as delivering items to people (or dragging said person to the item with your tongue) and defeating enemies. You can level up but this is merely an aesthetical change as it makes little difference if you’re level 1 or 50. The games humour is best in the MMO sim and I completely forgot this was a simulator and not a real multiplayer experience at first. I spent a good few minutes reading the user text at the bottom of the screen wondering how I reply before I realised that they weren’t real people requesting help and offering trades. It’s quite a clever take on a genre that people normally take quite seriously.
Exploration really is key to fully enjoying Goat Simulator Mmore Goatz Edition. There’s little joy from dashing forward and trying to find any depth and real meaning to what you’re trying to achieve, but by exploring you’ll come to fully appreciate the world you’re in. You’ll find something new on every turn of all modes, whether it’s a new golden goat statue or an unlocked mutator earned from completing a challenge, it’s totally worth devoting a little time appreciating the eccentric world you’re taking part in.
If you really are picky about your games though then stay away as Goat Sim is without the polish you’ll have come to expect from most modern games. It looks and sounds dated, and while the bugs have been left in purposefully to enhance the experience they can sometimes be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to do something and your goat gets stuck. Granted, it’s pretty easy to simply just reset your goat but it’s not an experience that everyone will enjoy. Most bugs though are there to make you laugh, after all this is a game about simulating a farmyard animal in a destructible playground, so seriousness is obviously lacking.
If you’ve previously played Goat Simulator and didn’t enjoy the experience, don’t write off Goat Simulator Mmore Goatz Edition entirely. While it is still the silly, buggy experience you’d expect, the addition of challenges and a unique feel to each mode makes this more than just a farmyard destruction derby. For those looking for an escape from all the seriousness of modern games then Goat Simulator is a perfectly good time waster, as long as you don’t take it seriously.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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