Goat Simulator 3 is an open-world comedy game developed by Coffee Stain North in which you play as a perfectly realistic goat who can drive cars, climb up walls, and drag people around with its tongue.
The game is structured like most other open-world games, with quests hidden around the world for you to complete, secrets for you to discover, and towers to reveal the map. There are no restrictions on where you can go or any further areas to unlock, but each activity you complete will reward Karma, which lets you buy new clothing for your goat, or Illuminati Points, which unlock new areas of your castle and other rewards.
Like in the original Goat Simulator, much of the comedy comes from the absurd situations you find yourself in and the incongruence of experiencing them as a goat. However, the game’s a lot more polished this time around, with less emphasis on the crazy animation and physics glitches and more emphasis on discovering funny secrets and completing absurd quests.
This is mostly for the best, because Goat Simulator 3 no longer has the benefit of novelty; it had to evolve beyond the original joke of being an intentionally janky game parodying simulators. This approach provides more explicit goals for players who prefer those, while also allowing players to create self-directed mayhem. Individual quests require you to fulfill a task assigned to you onscreen, often with an unexpected method or result. They aren’t always that funny, especially when they rely on dialogue, but overall the game’s humor lands with regularity. And even when it misses, the game world is still fun to explore and move around.
There are collectibles around the environment that make exploring rewarding, and the world is large enough to run wild through, but small enough for there to always be a quest or exciting location to mess with nearby. Many of the secrets you’ll find in the world are funny or interesting to interact with, and a lot of care has gone into crafting diverse areas of the world to play in.
The game’s movement maintains a balance between jank and smoothness, with the game allowing fluid wall-running, wall jumps, triple jumps, and bounces, as well as sometimes sending you careening across the world after an explosion or missed jump.
This is enhanced by the game’s equipment system, which allows things like playing as a giraffe, dashing around the environment with rocket boots, or hovering with wings, and many of these changes break the game’s physics in hilarious ways or allow even more smooth movement when used well.
One of the game’s greatest strengths is the way it allows itself to break in edge cases. Often, when you wonder if changing your equipment would allow you to perform a certain crazy idea you have, the answer is yes.
On the other hand, many of the explicit quests have disappointingly rigid solutions. You have a wide array of tools at your disposal, but most quests have only one solution that doesn’t allow for creativity. It isn’t always clear what that intended solution is, and you may scratch your head for a while before realizing what the designer was thinking.
The last major point here is the 2-4-player online and splitscreen co-op. Most comedy is better when shared, and when you add two players’ heads and abilities together, you can annoy the populace much more efficiently. There are competitive minigames that don’t really work with two players but seem like they’d be silly fun with three or four.
As someone who liked the original Goat Simulator, I enjoyed this one a lot. If you like the sound of exploring the world, headbutting everyone you see, and relishing in silly humor, this is a worthwhile eight hours to spend.
Goat Simulator 3 releases November 17 for PC via Epic Games Store, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X and S for $29.99.
Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Goat Simulator 3.