The original Goat Simulator released back in 2014, and while it’s offered me plenty of laughs in the eight years since, sessions of play have continued to get shorter and shorter until the silly goat game faded fully into obscurity. That said, Goat Simulator 3 goes where no goat has ever ventured before. The game builds upon its predecessor in such an abundance of ways that it actually makes sense that Coffee Stain North chose to skip Goat Simulator 2 altogether, beyond wanting to troll its audience.
Goat Simulator 3 will have you starting life out in the fictional realm of San Angora as Pilgor, a goat who loves to scoot around on its arse. If you’re familiar with the original goat game, you’ll know that your primary objective is to cause as much chaos as possible. The goal in Goat Simulator 3 remains very much the same, albeit with a hell of a lot more direction and guidance than before. There’s also meaningful progression, too, making all of your unruly behaviour across San Angora feel much more worthwhile.
Your goals come in the form of quests and instincts. Instincts are what you’ll be very familiar with from the previous title; awarding you points for endless backflips, creative methods of destruction, and whatever other nonsense you decide to get up to as you flit from place to place. On the other hand, quests will have you interacting with the environment and Goat Sim 3’s wacky array of NPCs, which breathe such life into the title that you continually want to keep going and meeting more of them – something I had never experienced with Goat Simulator. I found myself so weirdly entranced that I finished the game in a single sitting (read: eight hours, give or take some destructive excursions that often involved driving badly). And I plan to force my friends to play through the whole thing again with me.
There are two quests I’d like to shine a light on, although there are many more that had me maniacally cackling. First, there’s a guy called Sven. Dressed in an iconic Ikea-inspired outfit, Sven wants your help building a piece of Sweden. So, off you pop, retrieving furniture flat-packs and placing them in Sven’s home. It looks like you’re badly crafting a table, but before you know it, a portal forms; a portal that won’t stop producing uniform-clad Swedes that apparently work in Ikea. Hop through the portal yourself and – just when you think it couldn’t get any more bizarre – you’ll find yourself in the backrooms of a famous Scandinavian homeware store. An obvious place for a goat, of course.
Elsewhere, you’ll come across a Grandma who isn’t very happy with you because you stomped your hooves around her garden. As a result, she’ll continually fire balls of yarn at you with the pace and power of a grenade launcher. She’s no competition for Pilgor’s headbutt, though. As a result, Grandma’s basement — the Cellar of Death — opens. Inside, you find yourself galloping to a rock track in a 64-bit art style, fighting more yarn-launching Grandmas and acquiring a trinket for all the effort. It’s a reference to Doom, without a doubt, and far from the only pop culture reference smuggled into the game.
Goat Simulator 3 just so happens to provide plenty of tasteful social commentary. More often than not, it puts a comical spin on what the game is lampooning, and it suitably provides continuous comic relief. As a mere goat, you can combat environmental concerns, run for president, and make a stand against human experimentation... which involves bananas. Yes, people are being turned into unruly Abomibananas in Goat Simulator 3. Be sure to keep an eye out for them (not that you can really miss it when a big ol’ banana is kicking innocent civilians across the map).
When you’ve completed enough quests and instincts, you’ll then find yourself climbing the ranks of the Illuminati. Obviously… Yeah, that’s right, this goat is actually a lizard under all that coarse fur. Goat Simulator 3 provides players with a hub known as our Goat Castle; there are a handful of these around San Angora, and attuning to them will unlock more of the map, as well as a new fast travel spot for you to utilise. And, of course, these hubs are tied to the Illuminati. With each new rank successfully attained, your Goat Castle gets a grand upgrade. Eventually, you even get your Abomibanana as a pet-meets-experiment; not entirely ethical, but I suppose someone has to do it.
Your quests and instincts also reward you with in-game currency, which can be used to purchase new skins. And not only can you play as a pig, giraffe, or Tony Shark (who is, as you might expect, a shark on a skateboard), but you can also use your hard-earned points to buy all kinds of new cosmetics. I eventually had Pilgor hopping around San Angora in bunny slippers, with a tray of sushi precariously balanced on their back, but you can get so much more creative and much more personal in Goat Simulator 3 if you wish.
Sadly, multiplayer was unavailable during my review period, but there are seven mini-games on offer ranging from Hoofball to Prop Hunt. That said, there are plenty of ways to throw San Angora into disarray while solo, even if it’s something as simple as standing in the path of an NPC while they scream “I’m walkin’ here!” or “Go eat slugs!”. I do wholly believe that Goat Simulator 3 will shine in multiplayer sessions with friends and family, but that doesn’t make it any less great to play alone, either.
Goat Simulator 3 has quickly earned a high spot on my list of comfort games, despite all the disorderly action involved.; it also successfully takes the piss out of Elon Musk at one point, too, which gave me a much-needed laugh about the state of Twitter right now.
This one game about an entitled goat does everything I wish the original Goat Simulator did and more. The goatfits, the whimsical joy of discovering a level like the Cellar of Doom, and witnessing just how much disarray one uncontrollable goat can cause will make Goat Simulator 3 one of the best co-op games to sit back and reset with. Watch this space, because me and Pilgor are quite the unstoppable duo – and this won’t be the last you see of us.