Goat Simulator 3, a direct follow-up to the original Goat Simulator of 2014, is likely the least accurate simulation game that’s ever been created, and that’s just fine. The intentional jank can be hilarious and bizarre, and the quirky, goat-obsessed world lends the wild proceedings an appropriately tongue-in-cheek tone. Playing alone, Goat Simulator 3 is fun and frivolous, but ultimately lacks substance beyond checking quest boxes. But playing with friends is a different experience, opening a path to a whole new level of shenanigans.
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If players find themselves pondering the question, “what happened to Goat Simulator 2?” they’ve been confronted with the game’s first joke, and it’s a good indication of what’s to come. Goat Simulator 3 opens with a parody of Skyrim that features 4 goats facing each other in a cart while a farmer rambles on nearby. The farmer, who is one of the few real characters in the game, makes it clear that the goat protagonist is indeed in a video game. He engages in a long monologue, eventually cracking jokes at exposition in games and wondering why the player hasn’t skipped the scene.
The goofs come hard and fast, only a portion being laugh-out-loud funny, depending on taste of course. Swedish developer Coffee Stain Studios seems to take a spray-and-pray approach, and is happy with the few that stick and the duds alike. Even the bad, cheap, or just plain dumb jokes seem to be part of the fun. The real laughs come from the established rules of the world, which allow for some disastrous fun. This is the core of what makes Goat Simulator 3 great, especially in multiplayer.
The first thing players are prompted to do is to “synchronize” with a nearby goat tower, thereby revealing a portion of the map and most of the available quests. Anyone who’s played an open world game in the past decade and a half or so will recognize this mechanic. In this case, it serves both its intended, map-revealing function,…