PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
November 17, 2022
Coffee Stain Publishing
Coffee Stain Studios
Goat Simulator 3 is a third-person sandbox adventure game developed by Coffee Stain Studios and published by Coffee Stain North Publishing. Even though it’s called Goat Simulator 3, it’s only the second instalment in the Goat Simulator series, which started with the release of the original Goat Simulator in 2014. The game comes with a single-player mode and online and local multiplayer modes, the latter two allowing you play the game with three other friends.
The cheeky title of Goat Simulator 3 is a great indicator of the feel of the game: like its predecessor, Goat Simulator 3 places goofy comedy gameplay front and center. Just like in the original, Goat Simulator 3 sees you playing as Pilgor the goat. Having just escaped from a local farm, you only have one goal: to cause as much mayhem as you possibly can.
If you’re a fan of the original Goat Simulator and were hoping for more of the same, you’re in luck: Goat Simulator 3 dishes up the exact same gameplay formula, only bigger and better. You can still hijack cars, grind railings, baa at everything that moves, and headbutt everyone in sight. However, one of the things that immediately stands out the minute you boot up the game is how detailed the visuals are. Similar to the original, Goat Simulator 3 is set in a contemporary city that you can explore to your heart’s content.
Compared to the first game, however, streets and landmarks are depicted in stunning detail, and no matter whether you’re exploring a zoo, an off-brand IKEA, or a local sawmill, the locations are all surprisingly realistic. This is especially impressive when you consider the sheer breadth of locations to be explored. Set in a city known as San Angora, Goat Simulator 3 has a huge map and, in true open-world fashion, the map comes with different areas to uncover. To do this, players will have to find goat towers that are scattered across the world. Once located and unlocked, these towers can be used to fast travel across the map and unlock in-game rewards and upgrades.
“…like its predecessor, Goat Simulator 3 places goofy comedy gameplay front and centre.”
For this reason, it’s a good thing that Goat Simulator 3 comes with plenty of quests, events, and instinct rewards to unlock. While the huge map is impressive, at times it can feel a tad overwhelming; having quests to work toward helps provide some structure in Goat Simulator 3’s silly world. While events and quests mostly revolve around goals specific to certain areas of the map – one event sees you helping construction workers on a building site, for example, while another sees you rescuing animals at a zoo – instincts revolve more around your abilities. You’ll be rewarded for headbutting things, dragging objects around, or performing certain acrobatic tricks. Depending on the event, quest, or instinct in question, rewards include different customisation options and upgrades like pixie wings and a paraglider. These, in turn, allow you to explore different nooks and crannies on the world map.
And there is a ton of exploring to be done: Goat Simulator 3’s world hides plenty of Easter eggs, secret levels, and surprise achievements that can be found when you allow yourself to stray off the beaten track. Easter eggs and references can vary from being on the nose – like the fast travel towers alluding to Assassin’s Creed – to being more tucked away as rewards for more persistent players. In one instance, for example, I stumbled across an innocent-looking cellar door which led to a whole surprise level taken straight from an old-school DOOM game, and in another, I was swimming towards an innocuous-looking buoy on the edge of the map one moment and found myself in the belly of a great whale the next.
The fact that Goat Simulator 3 isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself in designing these hidden jokes is one of the most exciting things about it, and it’s this sense of surprise where Goat Simulator 3 truly shines. Together, the delightful mechanics, silly references and dynamic environment give Goat Simulator 3 the kind of thrilling pace that, in its most exciting moments of gameplay, can rival even Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
That said, as exciting as running around a city annoying everything and everyone is, it does get stale after a couple of hours if you’re playing on your own. In this respect, the new multiplayer mode is a very welcome addition. You can play with up to three other people, and, apart from being able to do everything you can do in single-player mode together, you can also play a range of multiplayer mini-games, which are hidden throughout the map. Every multiplayer game comes with an easy-to-grasp premise that is hard to master due to the game’s kooky physics: while one game is a simple variation of hide and seek, for example, another is a Splatoon-style painting match between friends. These games may be simple, but they’re guaranteed to generate some hilarious laugh-out-loud gameplay moments between players, and the overall gameplay experience of Goat Simulator 3 is enriched because of it.
- Beautiful, detailed visuals and a huge map to explore
- Full of fun Easter eggs and surprises
- Engaging, hilarious multiplayer games
- Single player mode gets stale after a while
All in all, Goat Simulator 3 is a wonderfully wacky experience that is sure to delight, whether you’re playing on your own or with friends. Its gameplay mechanics may get a bit old if you’re playing solo or looking for a layered gameplay story, but if you’re keen for a ridiculous and hilarious casual game to dip in and out of occasionally, Goat Simulator 3 will be an excellent fit for your library.