LifeisXbox’s Goat Simulator 3 review | Goat Simulator 3 is a sandbox title that lets you experiment in a world full of humorous references to other popular games and media and has you playing as a crazy goat with over-the-top abilities. The previous game was so popular, they even skipped a release and went straight from 1 to 3.
Goat Simulator 3 is full of places of interest where you can interact with various people and items and it doesn’t need to hold your hooves for any of it. As soon as you are let free upon the world, you are free to do as you please and explore the entire island, with surprises waiting for you at every turn.
It’s made by Coffee Stain, a Swedish studio describing themselves as the developers that make games people don’t know they want yet. And considering how this silly game has won me over, that is right on the money!
Here we goat again…
Most Memorable Moment
I love it when a game sets the tone from the get-goat and that’s exactly what happened with this intro sequence straight out of Skyrim. Goat Simulator 3 is incredibly self-aware of its silliness and fully embraces all the memes out there with its own clever takes.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PLAION Benelux, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Meme-level: champion | Goat simulator 3 is full of winks to other games, movies and internet culture and it manages to squeeze all of them in a perfectly sized world where every small corner has something to discover. After building a sand castle, you get to play a level from Counter Strike or when you defeat an old grandmother who’s firing bowling balls at you with a potato gun, you get to play a Wolfenstein 3D section and get rewarded with the old gran’ as a backpack.
- The Achievements | Rarely do the achievements contribute so well to the game. There are already in-game challenges that reward you for doing specific tasks or testing out your cosmetic-given powers, but the achievements add an extra layer on top. There is one referencing Baywatch that activates when you run in slow motion on the beach, another winks at Pinocchio and pops when you get eaten by a giant whale. The list goes on and one and I’m motived to get 1000G because of it.
- Perfect flow | You’ll often start doing one task, hoping to score some of the currency that you can then exchange for new gear and end up getting distracted and doing something else entirely, but even for someone with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) like myself, it never gets annoying. There is always something for you to achieve, just of out reach, like a carrot dangling from a stick. And you’ll keep running until you get it, because unlike the proverbial donkey, a goat gets what it wants in the end!
- Multiplayer | You can now invite up to three people to join your game so you can cause udder mayhem together. If you thought Goat Simulator was hectic, try multiplying the craziness. What is nice here is that you can also play some minigames against your friends like a silly version of soccer.
- A huge list of gameplay-altering cosmetics | Many games reward the player with new shiny gear to equip after a job-well-done, but none have as huge an impact on your gameplay as this one. Want to shrink down to ant-size or walk around as a giant? It’s possible. Want to play as a floppy fish on land? I don’t see why you’d want to, but it’s here. Need to reach something higher up? Make a choice between playing as a tall goat (otherwise known as a giraffe) or equip stilts. Or to hell with it: you can do both at the same time!
- Busywork | There are few tasks that will really test your patience and feel like they’re only here to pad the game’s length. finding 45 pink boxes because the movers were too lazy to load them all into a garage gets really boring even before you’re halfway. And finding a casette to play at the theater can be funny, it’s a little less entertaining if you have to lick-drag the tape all the way across the island.
- The bossfight | While the game isn’t linear, you’ll upgrade your castle as you keep causing havoc on the island and eventually have to face your maker. The boss fight was predictable, buggy (he couldn’t damage me in my rhino form and I kept auto-running off the platform) and didn’t really result in any satisfying ending with the sole exclusion of a cool racing sequence. I see what they were trying to do, but it didn’t really hit the mark.
What we Disliked
- Bugs | While it’s to be expected in a sandbox game that not everything is going as planned, it did seem like Goat Simulator 3 was often unable to handle its own craziness. My goat would get stuck to a car without me licking it, catapulting me across the world, or I’d clip through the volcano level without any way to return to the game outside of a “Quit To Title Screen.” While some of the bugs may be features, as is the running joke in game development, there are those that just break the game as well…
- The controls | Goat Simulator 3 has a lot of collectables for you to obtain, but it was beyond frustrating to me how impossible it seemed to reach them at the start of the game. Your goat can’t double jump in mid-air, instead you’ll have to run towards the target and time your 2nd and 3rd jump button right as you hit the floor again, but this makes reaching certain places incredibly challenging. It was only when I got access to some wings and taco-feet (yes, really) that I found myself able to navigate the 3D space accurately and start my collection of shiny golden trophies.
How long to beat the story | ~6-7 hours if you rush towards the final encounter
How long to achieve 1000G | ~20 hours to collect everything and earn all achievements
Do you prefer to see the game in action? I goat this:
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Robby lives and breathes video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s talking about them on social media or convincing other people to pick up a controller themselves. He’s online so often, he could practically list the internet as his legal domicile. Belgian games-industry know-it-all.