You'd be forgiven for forgetting about Goat Simulator after it launched this April. The tiny broken-sandbox game was a funny lark that earned its $10 price whether you viewed it as a high-minded, satirical examination of over-serious video games... or as a good excuse to see what happens when a goat rams its head into an exploding sedan. Either way, you played, you goated, you moved on. Right
\"My dreams of becoming a goat with you guys have been shattered,\" one staffer wrote via e-mail, and indeed, we want to cut readers off at the pass who might have expected Coffee Stain Studios to have assembled a server farm (you know, farm, goats...) and created a giant chain of quests to be shared among friends. No matter. Goat MMO Simulator, in spite of neither being massive, multiplayer, nor online, might still be the MMO experience of the year.
Should you complete these quests, which open with delightfully moronic text prompts that seem to have been written by a college freshman, you'll cash in experience points that, from what we can gather, unlock new goat outfits for use in the game's original mode. You also get XP for doing pretty much anything in the game, from jumping and spinning in mid-air to hitting a table with your head to standing entirely still. XP for contemplation We can dig it. (The game's patch notes indicate that its characters can reach a level max of 101 as a way to openly mock the designers at Blizzard.)
For anyone who is already familiar with Goat Simulator, you know that this isn't a serious game. The original release from Coffee Stain Studios lets you run around as a goat, licking, head-butting, or kicking items in the environment, and has been compared to classic skateboarding games in which the goal was to cause as much destruction and mayhem as possible.
A patch was released on November 20, 2014 and introduced an MMO element to the game. At first glance, it appears to be a real MMO, complete with a chat box, other goat characters, quests and enemies, and non-goat characters inhabiting the world. It is really a parody of fantasy MMOs, but one that will entertain MMO fans rather than insulting them. All of the multi-player interactions are simulated, so there aren't any other players connected to your experience. Despite that, the chat is filled with requests for groups, guilds, and players selling items.
You start out in a pile of dead goats. There isn't much of a tutorial, but the controls are fairly intuitive for anyone who has played an MMO before. Some of your goat's special moves are outlined in a graphic on one of the load screens. I did have trouble finding the map - hit Escape to view it.
Despite all the bizarre components in the game, you can progress by completing quests and leveling up your goat. Choose to help a distressed cousin escape from a pile of shit, destroy gold harvester golems, or dare to infiltrate the village full of enemy sheep.
The quests are easy to find and vary in their level of difficulty, and the world was large enough to keep me exploring. One down side to the game design was that each time you respawn, you appear back at the original pile of dead goats where you started the game. It was somewhat tedious to always have to retrace your route to get back to a new area. However, your goat can run forever and catapults and bouncy mushrooms can make it fun to be flung through the air to your destination. Don't be afraid to try things - you can't die. Your goat is knocked down when injured and you only have to wait a moment before you can stand back up and resume licking or kicking your enemies.
You can earn experience in several ways - complete quests, smash and destroy things, do tricks in the air, complete achievements, or find the hidden golden goat statues. There are 30 of these figurines to discover across the map. Watch out for the other livestock - enemy cows and sheep, but don't worry about the horses - they're indifferent to your progress.
When your goat licks something, it becomes attached to your tongue and can be dragged around the map. Hit the lick command again to release it. If you make it as far as the elven village of Alvesta, you can discover the quest that requires you to lick 10,000 items. Yes, you read that right - 10,000 licks. What will you get out of this, if you do manage to complete 10,000 licks Apparently an awful lot of experience. The game caps you at level 50 unless you manage to perform one of a few select achievements that will boost you suddenly to level 101. The licking quest is one way to complete this for the ultimate level cap.
The graphics in Goat MMO Simulator are better than I expected. I did experience a little lag, and some delay in drawing the graphics. The physics is strange and the game is buggy, but this actually adds to the fun in some cases. One time, my goat jumped and kept levitating until I could see the entire goat MMO world beneath me. When I looked around in the sky, I discovered a pair of fish with legs floating in the clouds. I spent some time trying to shoot them with my fire bawls, but to no avail. Eventually I had to respawn, but I was glad to have found the strange sky fish.
If you want more of an MMO experience, read the imaginary chat and join in, although no one will answer you. You can also earn special abilities by completing achievements. These include the jet pack, goat queen, goatborn, mermaid goat, or angel goat mutators. Try them out for an added element of wonkiness. The mutators can be used in the other two Goat Simulator games. 59ce067264