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Review: Goat Simulator 3 Remains a Silly Sandbox

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Goat simulator 3 review

So I incurred the wrath of God the other day, which really got in the way of my finding a gas station bathroom key in time to attend a local IBS meet up. Fortunately, it didn’t get in the way of my working on a public sculpture and attending a comic con. It wasn’t that I experienced a really strange day. Rather, I spent about an hour with Goat Simulator 3. The sandbox simulator known for chucking goats (and “goats”) into strange spaces and letting physics and bugs take over is exactly what you’d expect. That is, it is a good time, albeit one that might involve an issue or two even after the day-one patch.

If you’re coming to Goat Simulator 3 expecting a story, you picked up the wrong game. This is 100% a chance to go wild and explore. Yes, it begins with a sendup of Skyrim’s opening, with a too-long monologue involving an exploitative farmer and multiple goats trapped in a cart, heading to their “doom.” (I.e. an ordinary life on a farm used by said farmer.) However, you’re special. After the exposition, you’re inducted into the Illuminati. But once that’s done, your life is your own. Be the goat you want to be.

Goat Simulator 3 review

That means you could honestly be “nice.” There are quests you can happen upon that involve aiding the humans. One of the first ones you’ll find involves fixing a piece of farm equipment. Another one nearby entails unlocking a bathroom for a person in need. Neutral quests exist too. For example, designing a costume at a comic convention. Once that’s done, NPCs around you will start rocking your “look.” Then, there are the more chaotic, possibly even evil, missions. For example, you finish a piece of art in progress by… uh… abducting people and hanging them on it. Or in another case, you’ll be tasked with finding three NPCs who dared to (gasp) whistle. There are essentially six regions of the map, with each area offering its own identity. Unlocking the Goat Tower in each one makes things visible, allowing you to see roads and points of interest.

In addition to these more visible missions, which pop up with obvious green exclamation points on a map, there are instincts. You start out with basic ones that serve to act as a tutorial to familiarize someone with the controls. As you find Instinct Shrines in the world, you get tips about other activities. One might be to bounce 10 times on a trampoline. (It is harder than it sounds.) Another involves starting a fire so a fire truck comes to put out, which means you complete the Instinct to drive a fire truck. These get you karma.

Tony Shark

Which is one of the many sorts of “unlockable” kinds of goals in Goat Simulator 3. Karma could be spent on customization options or different sorts of goats. For example, Tony Shark is a shark on a skateboard with a floppy tongue. Tall Goat is a giraffe. I appreciated that it felt like these each could play differently, due to things like Tony Shark being lower to the ground. The Goat Towers are the Illuminati headquarters and require points to unlock. How? Be a goat. Go through the missions. Experiment with what the world has to offer. They go up with basically any kind of action, including finding new towers, and unlock things like new customization items.

As for that patch, I actually held off on writing my review until after launch. This is due to some minigames relying on multiplayer and my experiencing a few crashes ahead of the update. Fortunately, things were much more stable once applying the fixes. Yes, there are still some issues of stuttering, clipping, or occasional texture pop-in. However, given the kind of game this is, that’s expected. The worst issue I experienced would be big frame rate drops. I’d say instead of being 60 FPS, it can get to 30 FPS or so if there were a lot of cars, players, or activity.

Goat Simulator 3 review

As for those multiplayer minigames… they’re fine. I get the feeling local multiplayer would be the ideal way to play. Goat Simulator is more of an experience, and Goat Simulator 3 is the same way. Some are better than others. I liked Prop Hunt, which is a take on hide and seek, a lot. Whatever you lick is what you hide as, and the seeker headbutts to find folks. The Floor is Lava is good too, as it relies on skills you built jumping, climbing, and platforming to avoid lava the longest. I didn’t care for Car Derby as much, as I wasn’t a fan of the driving controls in general. That’s the demolition derby. Headsplat, which involves headbutting to paint things ala Splatoon in the hopes of being the one with the most coverage, also ended up being so-so when I played with others.

Goat Simulator 3 is exactly what you expect from a game dedicated to celebrating parodies, exploring the weirdness of game physics, and running around the world as a “chaotic good” or “chaotic evil” goat. It can be a lot of fun! Sometimes, it can break! I still see pop-in issues after the day one patch and find myself getting stuck. Still, even when it isn’t perfect, it’s a good time. It manages to be irreverent, but simultaneously irrelevant and relevant.

Goat Simulator 3 is available for the PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.

Goat Simulator 3

7

Goat Simulator 3 remains an absolutely bonkers game, albeit one with occasional hiccups, and it's still great to be a goat. PS5 version reviewed.

Food for Thought:
  • I highly recommend heading Downtown and attending the Coscon convention near the bridge to Libertarian Island. You can get a Channitatium Shield that functions just like Captain America’s.
  • Your first order of business should be to unlock the Goat Towers. These give you points and act as fast-travel waypoints.
  • If you stay around the Fairmeadows Ranch region and complete the Trespassing quest, you can head into a basement nearby to enter the Cellar of Doom for a DOOM-like experience. You can unlock the Karring gear here too. (That’s an old lady wielding a bazooka that rides in a rocking chair on your goat’s back.)
    If you want to know more, check out Siliconera's review guide.
    Jenni Lada
    Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.