Here We Goat Again – ‘Goat Simulator’ Xbox One Review

The original ‘anti-game’ game hit Xbox One this week – and it’s exactly what you’d expect.

Goat Simulator on Xbox One may be simultaneously be the most gleeful and utterly stupid experiences I’ve had with the console since launch. Naturally, critiquing of a title like this certainly feels a little silly after coming off of my ‘Mortal Kombat X‘ and ‘Handsome Jack Collection‘ reviews, but a light-hearted joke game might be just what gamers are looking for before the Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight launch in the coming months.

Story

As the name suggests, as the protagonist and hero of the game, you play as a goat. What you do as that goat is entirely up to you. Rampage through a house headbutting an entire family until they erratically flail as they clip through the wall, attach a jetpack and propel yourself through the sky, or even join a dance party on a rooftop. There are no objectives, there is no story – you’re a goat. Goat Simulator exists to let you do whatever it is you think a goat should do.

Houses are open for you to explore... and destroy
Houses are open for you to explore… and destroy

Performance

Like the previous rendition that hit Steam last spring, Goat Simulator on Xbox One performs rather horribly. Random framerate drops, AI clipping through walls, slingshot physics that make no sense – every odd glitch you’ve experienced occasionally in other games exist in ample supply here. That’s part of Goat Simulator’s joke, though. If you find it funny to pay for a pointless game that performs horribly, then you’ll enjoy the title. If not, you’ll end up wishing you had ignored the developer warning you to spend your time and money elsewhere.

One of many instances of characters clipping through objects.
One of many instances of characters clipping through objects.

Gameplay

In the Xbox One version of the game, there are two areas available to play in – “Goatville” and “Goat City Bay.” Both are open sandbox areas where you can go and do whatever your goat heart desires. Each of these locations contains 30 collectible goat statues. These collectibles unlock various mutators that allow you to alter the performance or appearance of your goat. Unfortunately, about half of said mutators only exist in name because they’ve been removed from the Xbox One version for fear of copyright infringement. My personal favorite mutator is the called the “tall goat” which simply turns your goat into a giraffe that awkwardly clips through the environment.

One of the more interesting parts of "Goat City Bay" level
One of the more interesting parts of “Goat City Bay” level

Verdict

Goat Simulator was a game that kicked off the anti-game video game trend. If that joke is still funny to you a year later, or you only play games on Xbox One, Goat Simulator is worth its $10 price tag. The couch co-op gameplay is a fun and silly, but playing alone shows just how shallow and repetitive the game is. The broken mechanics and intentionally horrible performance are funny for a time, but ultimately the joke wears thin after more than a couple hours of gameplay. Perhaps it’s time to put this game trend out to pasture.

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