Monday, July 20, 2015

Goat Simulator - 2/20 hours

This game is stupid. I'm not sure this counts as a flaw. The stupidity is at the core of its identity. It is aggressively stupid. There's nothing I could say about it that it would not say about itself. Case in point - you get an achievement when the game crashes for the first time. Absolutely shameless.

It's an attitude that armors Goat Simulator from the more obvious types of criticism, but it doesn't make it entirely immune. Yes, getting the achievement was funny, but I'd have rather the game not crashed. Yes, it's arbitrary and absurd for you to wander around as a goat when really the point of the game is that it's a sandbox physics simulator and your avatar could look like anything, but is there enough goat-based humor out there to sustain interest for the long haul?

All things considered, probably not. Gameplay appears to involve running up to the very cusp of catastrophe and then unleashing a series of glitches that results in mayhem and confusion. There are a great many independently modeled items that you can jump on top of, headbutt into a messy pile, or drag around with your tongue. When you get a good combo chain going, this can make the screen incredibly chaotic.

As of right now, I'm inclined to give Goat Simulator the benefit of the doubt. Exploring the maps, there are a number of easter-eggs, goat and video game jokes, and funny set pieces. This makes them fun to just wander around as virtual goat tourist. The only problem I foresee is that there are just three maps, and they're all relatively small. Trying to grind up my score by causing destruction and doing crazy stunts will help fill the time, but I get a feeling I'm going to see everything there is to see pretty quickly.

The question is whether the game rewards mastery enough that I can pursue ever-escalating stunts even after 20 hours. That's something only time will tell.

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