I don’t know if I’ve ever played something as staggeringly insane as Goat Simulator 3. The stubbornly rebellious attitude of the developer studio, Coffee Stain North, is evident in everything from the incoherent “story” to gameplay so over-the-top that half the games play it. Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s going on; even the title refuses to follow the rules, skipping Goat Simulator 2 and going straight to three for no particular reason. Add in a four-player co-op mode that multiplies the madness to even greater extremes as you run rampant across a vast open-world map filled with things to lick, headbutt, and explode, and you’ve got gameplay so absurd it’s hard to imagine it. you can get bored not even for a second. This insane sequel is bigger, full of silly jokes and pop culture references, and one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. It was love at first bleat.
Like the original, Goat Simulator 3 is an open world sandbox game who doesn’t even bother to do things like a tutorial or have any kind of direction with their ridiculous plot (if you can call it that). . Instead, he leaves you and your friends loose in the world and tells you to “go ahead and break it all” as you complete a series of mindless quests and feats of mayhem. You will do normal goat things, like launch a nuke in a dead end, or make a trio of ballerinas turn into a giant tornado that will never go away for the rest of your adventure, or drive cars against your friends until they explode. (both cars and friends). Unlike the first Goat Simulator, however, this time around you’re given clear objectives and a quest log that guide you to level up your Illuminati Ranks, upgrade your Goat Castle base, and eventually come to an amazing conclusion. crazy after about eight hours. The missions are as crazy as you’d expect: in one of them I was elected president after dragging citizens kicking and screaming into a voting booth with my tongue, while in another I had to infiltrate a facility to free a breed of bananas. anthropomorphic in the world. Oh, and in another, I literally went bird watching. I never really knew what was going to be thrown at me at any given moment, which was lovely.
There is no health bar and nothing can kill you, so there are virtually never any consequences for what you do, which can be both good and bad. On the one hand, you can throw yourself into trouble with reckless abandon, without worrying that you’re going to fail at anything, but on the other hand, it also eliminates any potential challenges, meaning you’ll ride over any obstacle with relative ease. Instead, the fun is coming up with creative ways to do things, like the time I turned into a little fish to bypass a security system and pull off a heist.
You’ll also complete a list of less important challenges, called Instincts, which might ask you to get arrested by the police a certain number of times, or set people on fire, or drive a car down a ramp just because, all of which it’s good, chaotic fun. You can also search the world for collectibles, which are often hidden in places that require jumping off rooftops or some such nonsense. Having said that, you are given so many crazy and super powerful tools that it is very easy to find solutions, like using extendable stilts to raise yourself up to the level of something. Once you realize this, collecting collectibles becomes a simple treasure hunt without any challenge. Instincts and collectibles don’t help you increase your Illuminati Ranks or complete the campaign, but they do allow you to earn some extra Goat Points to buy cosmetics. Some of them even have an impact on the game, like a rocket launcher that you can carry on your back or butterfly wings that allow you to glide through the air. You can also buy a skin called Tony Shark, which swaps your goat body for a skateboard-mounted shark.
A big improvement over its predecessor is that Goat Simulator 3’s world is significantly larger and even more rife with secrets and chance encounters. The areas include a spooky graveyard full of ghosts, a huge city with skyscrapers to climb, and a wooded area, each of which has its own atmosphere and a list of strange things to discover. In a hidden area, I’ve played an almost exact recreation of the PT demo called Horror Corridor, but with a silly goat instead of a creepy woman. Finding these strange encounters and easter eggs is easily the best part of this bizarre sandbox, and often took my breath away.
Although Goat Simulator 3 is entertaining enough on its own, the true potential of this huge island full of ridiculousness is unlocked when you share it with friends. Not only can you play online in four-player co-op, but you can also do it via local split-screen, and I don’t know if any game has ever been more suited to a couch full of the degenerates I call friends than this one. Causing chaos with my friends not only amplifies the chaos with up to four times the number of psycho goats running around, but you can also progress four times faster as each one can tackle missions in completely different parts of the map with no issues. Although, more often than not, my group was dedicated to annoying others instead of being productive. There are also half a dozen competitive minigames, like King of the Hill or The Floor Is Lava, that serve as a distraction to pass the time, though they’re all pretty basic and lose their charm once you’ve played them a few times: running around the open world and headbutting police cars is much more fun.
Actually, the only major flaw in Goat Simulator 3 is that has bugs and poor performance, though honestly even those issues can feel right at home in such a chaotic sandbox. I’ve gotten into objects I shouldn’t have gotten into, the frame rate has dropped terrifyingly in the most chaotic moments, and so much more. Also, there’s a lot of ugly pop-in that makes things look unpolished in a way that doesn’t feel like part of the joke. These issues were especially acute when playing split-screen, where the abundance of goats tested the limits of the world’s stability, but none of them ruined the overall experience.
Goat Simulator 3 is the evolution of the idiocy I’ve come to expect from this iconically bizarre saga. It almost certainly won’t wow you with its level of polish or deep, meaningful narrative, but sometimes it’s a good idea to turn off your brain and slam your hooves into an old lady’s face while a rocket launcher fires at you. With a bigger map, more ridiculous references and hilarious jokes, and multiplayer that only adds to the ridiculous good times, I can easily recommend this game to anyone who likes its goofy sense of humor and has a few hours to kill.