It takes more than just a bit of confidence for a game as silly as Goat Simulator to casually jump from its first installment all the way to a second sequel. As such, it’s safe to conclude the nonexistent Goat Simulator 2 was, indeed, all the friends we licked along the way. Still, we’re looking forward to Goat Simulator 3, which is, as the name would suggest, all about goats — and the wacky things they do when given gravity beams and a license to chill.
I got the opportunity to spend 30 minutes playing Goat Simulator 3 alongside the game’s creative director Santiago Ferrero, who had plenty to say about the upcoming game — including, for instance, the fact that this new map is slated to be over 18 times the size of the original game. That’s a lot of space to fill with goat-related antics.
Much like the original, Goat Simulator 3 is an open-world sandbox filled with plenty of things (and people!) to break, but it commits to the bit more than most other sandboxes. You can generally do whatever you want. If you see it, you can probably manipulate it with your gravity-defying tongue, slick it with oil, and then shoot it with an automatic gumball cannon to propel it into the sky at 100 kilometers per hour. That’s just one of several new ways to assert your dominance as a goat, and they probably had it coming anyway.
The inaccurately titled threequel is a bit more directed than the original was. As you traipse across the map, you might run afoul of special NPCs or wander into special indoor zones, such as a mini Mount Doom that I discovered after flying in a random direction away from the farm area that I spawned in at. Exploration is presumably an even bigger deal here than it was in the original, and this time around and as previously touched upon, this map is roughly the size of the original’s map plus all of the DLCs that were released for the original.
This world is full of collectible trinkets and interactive challenges that can unlock all kinds of unique outfit pieces and back-mounted devices, such as a jetpack or a miniature Sauron that whispers dark secrets into Pilgor’s ears while you play. As in the original Goat Simulator, you’ll be able to lick and head-butt devices to interact with them, but the real chaos comes about when you completely disrupt this world and its denizens, stopping everyone from doing whatever they were doing before you arrived. There are plenty of NPCs scattered through the world, though I didn’t run into anyone especially unique or memorable. Other previewers claim to have discovered things like vehicles and vehicle-based minigames. Apparently, there’s even a grandma character throwing balls of yarn and guarding a dungeon full of grannies, after which you can unlock a back-mounted granny who throws balls of yarn on your behalf.
That sounds perfectly wacky, but my story had more grind to it. Not in the RPG sense… I mean like Tony Hawk.
Little Pilgor can now grind the rails like a skateboarder, and that also enables a secondary form of fast-travel: flight. I probably spent a total of 10 minutes climbing up various ramps, stairways, and ladders just to grind the power cables and then dive off in some random direction. This gave me a solid look at the often visually pleasing world of Goat Simulator 3, which is topped with mountains and greenery in contrast with a shiny blue ocean. But, more importantly, it gave me a good position from which I could spread my wings and fly.
To increase the dramatic effect of traveling this way, I even equipped an outfit piece that transmogrified Pilgor into a pig rather than a goat. Grinding, unfortunately, only works on certain types of rails and powerlines, but if you manage to do it well enough, you can do some sweet moves and travel quite a distance while you’re at it … or you can land face-first on the ground and smash into the nearest object. Both are at least reasonably entertaining.
It sounds like Goat Simulator 3 will have a beginning and an ending of sorts. Anyone who wants to play it with the intention of collecting every trophy and completing all of the content rather than living indefinitely in a wild physics sandbox can expect to wrap everything up in roughly 20 hours, but that’s probably not the best way to play a video game built around absolute unhinged nonsense as Goat Simulator 3 is. Instead, you’re highly encouraged to bring three of your friends together for a four-player co-op session (though Ferrero confirms that players can’t do local and online play simultaneously) wherein you can all lick, manipulate, and effectively break the world together for a good time.
Goat Simulator 3 will release November 17 for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S and X, and PC, where it’s an Epic Games Store exclusive.