REVIEW – Goat Simulator 3 retains the same characteristics as the first part: it can be fun, but it is not recommended to play Coffee Stain North’s title for a long time, but in shorter doses, it can be fun, pleasant, and even more enjoyable to play with the goats in co-op. And yet: it has the oddity of its strengths, and it doesn’t quite “function properly,” but it does so on purpose.
Pilgor’s baaack! Gather your herd and venture into Goat Simulator 3, an all-new, realistic, multiplayer sandbox farmyard experience.
First, a sentence about where Goat Simulator 2 is: this would be it. The developers are joking around, so they decided to skip this number. Such was the case with one of the Leisure Suit Larry games. The frivolity also applies to the gameplay: it doesn’t want to have a deep, moving story because that’s not what it’s meant to do. It wants to be entertaining, so when everything often explodes, courtesy of the weird physics, and when you find things to interact with, it makes up for the lack of a developed story. You can blow up almost anything and laugh when nearby cars bounce around in a way that just cracks you up. The genre is open-world, but breaking it down seems more of a task. There is one change from the previous installment, however: there are now missions and progression, which wasn’t common in Goat Simulator, so now, you have to collect items as if you were playing a platformer from the PS1 era.
There’s even a boss at the end, which may come as a surprise. Despite the missions, the task will be familiar: in most cases, you’ll either have to take an object to the designated spot or destroy it. In the latter case, you’ll often have to headbutt it or use your tongue to lick it as if it was salt. Or you can use it to stick yourself to the object. You can also jump, and jump three times, so acrobatics are not missing from Goat Simulator 3. If you’re mad enough, you can even get behind the wheel, but if the physics were unpredictable, it gets cranked up to twelve while driving. Of course, if there were no jokes in the missions, the game would cease to be worthy of being called Goat Simulator. Until then, it’s okay that Goat Simulator 3 tries to parody because it suits it, but it goes too far and becomes clichéd when it ends up doing the same things it tries to mimic. In other words, the game has lived long enough to go from a hero to become a villain eventually. So it might seem that the game has gone over the edge. It references games, such as Counter-Strike, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, or DOOM, all slipping into the sights of Coffee Stain North. (We wonder why Ikea had to be parodied. Also: the references are sometimes too subtle, so not everyone will understand them.)
Goat Simulator 3’s most vital point is that you can play with up to three people. For this reason, it might be fair to give the game two ratings, but what can be said here is that cooperatively, you can add an extra 1 point (10%) for the better atmosphere and the higher insanity factor. In co-op, emotions and thoughts can run wild, and in the case of a good group of friends, it might be advisable to drink alcohol, as it will make the brigade laugh even more as everything falls apart around you.
And the problem is that because it is structurally more of a game than the first part, the double-edged sword has become rather pernicious. It’s already been said that it’s worth playing the game in shorter bursts in a genre that’s mainly intended to be broadcast to “popular” players (influencers?) on Twitch and YouTube because, after a while, it can get tiresome to fall into the ground of predictability most of the time, and randomness can stop being funny after a while. There are missions, but the basis hasn’t changed much behind them. It’s just been expanded, but it’s not so bad that it isn’t recommended to buy. This thought is also represented in the rating.
Goat Simulator 3 gets a benign seven out of ten because the game is good. When playing with friends, that seven can be considered an eight out of ten. It’s a fun experience, it’s atmospheric, and some of its references are spot on, but it can get on your nerves after a while. And for that reason, we’re not sure it can be called better than the first part. The absurdity guarantees that fans will be happy to pick this game up, but it may not become a mainstream product. The first part achieved it (there is even an Android and iOS port, the latter for sure). However, let’s not forget that this game did not hit the shelves at full price. So it has to be judged against that; therefore, the 7/10 rating is a fair reflection that it’s a good game but not excellent. Pilgor does what it needs to do, but more goat licks the salt. Maybe even the show.
+ Cooperative gameplay
+ Still as crazy as you’d expect it to be
+ More traditional…
– …but more traditional
– Fatiguing in the long run
– You can’t quite get past the first part
Publisher: Coffee Stain (Embracer Group)
Developer: Coffee Stain North
Style: goat simulator
Release: November 17, 2022.