Also On: Xbox 360
Publisher: Double Eleven
Developer: Double Eleven/Coffee Stain Studios
My big problem with Goat Simulator was that it was essentially a one-note joke. A pretty funny joke, admittedly, but once you’d gotten beyond the humour of the fact you were playing a really glitchy game as a goat, there wasn’t a whole lot more to it. You ran around, you headbutted people and things, and…well, that was about it. There were a few objectives and collectibles to pad things out, but on the whole, it wasn’t the kind of game you could sink hours and hours into.
Goat Simulator: Mmore Goatz Edition, by contrast, is a game you could sink hours and hours into. No longer could you mistake it for a joke taken a little too far; now, the worst you could say about it is that it’s a joke taken well beyond the confines of “funny tech demo” and into the realm of actual, full-on game.
Or, to be more precise, it’s taken into the realm of two full-on games. The first is a zombie apocalypse simulator, wherein your goat seems to be the patient zero of the whole thing, only you’re not just infecting the whole world, you’re also fighting off the zombies, too. It doesn’t make a whole sense if you think about it too hard, obviously, but that’s beside the point. The core of the game will be familiar to anyone who’s ever played a Dead Rising game, in that you need to craft weapons with whatever random crap you find lying around, and you need to keep your health up and your hunger levels down by eating food and collecting zombie brains. There’s not much to it beyond that, as far as I can tell, but if it’s rampant destruction and mayhem you’re after, it delivers that in a solid little package. (Personally, I find it a little dull, but I also found Dead Rising kind of dull and people seem to love that, so I recognize I’m in the minority here.)
The other half of Goat Simulator: Mmore Goatz Edition, though, is where the game really shows its worth. It’s Goat Simulator-as-MMO, and it’s simply wonderful. It places your ultra-violent goat in a medieval-RPG world, and then plays it as straight as it can be with a crazed, destructive goat running around. Villagers give your inane quests, you fight some huge monsters (none of which are particularly difficult), you constantly level up for every little thing you do, and, best of all, the bottom left corner of the screen is taken up by fake dialogue that lovingly/bitingly satirizes the real thing. With the caveat that I’ve never actually played an MMO, the whole thing seems like a pitch-perfect parody.
More than that, though, it gives the game a reason to exist beyond just its initial premise. Not to diminish how much fun the original Goat Simulator was, but I can’t say I’ve gone back to it in the several months since it came out, for the simple reason there wasn’t much reason to do so; I got the joke, I found it funny, I don’t feel like there’s much more to experience. Goat Simulator: Mmore Goatz Edition brilliantly solves that problem, and delivers a surprisingly fun game in the process.