Goat Simulator: The Bundle
Like Donald Trump within arm’s reach of the presidency, Goat Simulator: The Bundle feels like a joke that’s gone too far. What was once a knockabout product of a game jam by Coffee Stain Studios soon gained traction, which lead to various PC and console ports in 2015. The title's success seemed to hinge on the widely spread opinion that it was so bad it was good, ignoring the fact that it takes about three minutes of your time to realise it’s not so much bad as utter pish.
This may have washed as a steam release for pocket money prices but here, Coffee Stain Studios are expecting you to part with around twenty of your British pounds for a boxed product that will easily dupe innocent Tesco shoppers into thinking that Goat Simulator will be ‘a bit of a laugh’. It won’t be, but there's always that contrarian who will convince themselves otherwise.
Despite the premise, this isn’t a game in the mould of the Farm or Truck Simulator games. This is Goat Simulator’s first joke – it doesn’t even pretend to simulate anything known to man. You control a, yup, goat in an open world environment where you jump around, generally cause havoc and, er, lick things. You’ll score points for said activities and you can even string them together for multipliers.
In print that makes it sound as if it’s some kind of demented Tony Hawk piss take, and many have claimed just that, but Goat Simulator’s physics are so absurd, its controls so shoddy and its glitches so plentiful that to try and play it with any skill is the biggest joke of all.
At this point, defenders of the Goat will be screaming that we're missing some elusive point – that Goat Simulator is a pastiche of bad, buggy games. To a point, that’s true, and it’s clear that the developers are hawking this mantra themselves, seemingly rendering their work immune to criticism. However, this is clearly a case of devising an ethos for the game long after the fact. Coffee Stain may not have set out to make a title as robust as Farm Simulator but simply leaving a game full of bugs and saying ‘bugs, eh!?’ isn’t going to cut it. Not at twenty quid a pop.
Is there anything redeemable about Goat Simulator? Well, apparently this ‘bundle’ has ironed out some of the bigger glitches, but before you even start the game instructs you to hit reset if your goat gets stuck in the scenery. You can only sympathise with the poor kid who shells out good money to be greeted with this public service announcement.
With its ‘no fail’ gameplay, your titular goat is pretty much invulnerable to all Goat Simulator has to throw at it; huge falls, car wrecks, massive explosions, Billy will pretty much pick himself up again and again. Ironic really as someone needs to put Goat Simulator out of its own misery.