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Image via Coffee Stain Publishing

Goat Simulator 3 is the GOAT of Gamescom

Goat Simulator 3 licks the competition

Of all the games on offer for fans to try out at Gamescom, nothing stuck out more than Goat Simulator 3.

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That sounds strange, right? You have major budget games like Sonic Frontiers, The Devil in Me, Skull and Bones on the show floor, but out of all the games I played during Gamescom, none stood out as much as Goat Simulator 3.

But before you raise your pitch forks and throw out your own ideas on how I’m wrong, allow me to explain.

Like no ‘udder’

My expectations on the second day of Gamescom were pretty low. Gamescom this year has seen a wealth of developers miss the event likely due to COVID’s impact on game development. We are seeing the pandemic catch up to game devs this year, leaving them without any new reveals or upcoming releases that are big enough to warrant being at the show.

The likes of Nintendo, Sony, EA, Capcom, and Activision Blizzard are notably absent, which is giving the chance for indie developers and other game publishers to showcase titles that might have otherwise gone unnoticed at usual Gamescom events.

Lies of P, Moonbreaker, and more standout small-studio games have all been given a bigger showing and platform than they might have had in previous years. And while all these games are great, Goat Simulator 3 is in a world of its own.

I was fortunate enough to spend nearly an hour at Gamescom playing with one of the intriguing minds working on it. In Goat Simulator 3—just like in the previous Goat Simulator—you play as a goat with no objective other than exploring and causing chaos. But it’s clear from talking and playing with the developers that they took the overarching idea of the first game and amplified it.

The features available to you in this game from the get-go are simply unreal. You can equip your goat with different costumes that offer unique and silly power-ups, ranging from a magical seed you can place anywhere in the world that you can grow to the heavens, to X-Men Cyclops glasses that will laser anything you look at.

It becomes abundantly clear as you explore the world just how many secrets and collectibles there are to find. Walking up a path, I came across a Lord of the Rings Hobbit Shire that housed a Ring that made you invisible. “That’s cool!” I thought, only to walk down a path next to it and suddenly find a secret dungeon that transformed the game into a Doom-like world—pixel graphics and all.

There’s a ton of attention to detail in the pop-culture references and hidden secrets, including a Manhattan-like town with huge billboards advertising fake blockbuster films, like Mambels Fly-Man (a play on Marvel’s Ant-Man), and a streaming service reminiscent of Twitch.

But despite all these references and memes, the most important takeaway I had after playing this game was abundantly clear: the game is incredibly fun.

Ahead of the pack

Multiplayer is a massive addition to the game. The world is completely open, and any friends or strangers you play with won’t be tied to the main host. You can explore the city, complete quests, and unlock things at your leisure no matter where you are. While there are some functions that require players to be in the same area as each other, that doesn’t mean you still can’t play the game how you want it to play.

With a member of the Coffee Stain team, Santiago Ferrero, I was whisked around the world, shown many secrets and cool features, and was constantly told to not “worry about the bugs,” to which I quipped any bugs were just part of the experience.

I found myself enjoying the multiplayer portion more than had I played the game alone. There is something just enjoyable about headbutting your buddy off a building and seeing them flying, or finding God’s forbidden fruit and picking it from a tree—which then causes God’s hand to literally come onto the screen and smite you down to inflict random curses that last as long as the game session is going.

Then there are mini-games to play, unlockable skins to find, and a lot more content than what could be said in one article. But the main takeaway is just how enjoyable and memorable the Goat Simulator 3 experience was. The improvements made to the experience of the original game only has me eagerly awaiting the official release of this title in November.

Goat Simulator 3′s release can’t come soon.

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Image of Adam Newell
Adam Newell
Assigning Editor. In 2015, Adam graduated from the University of Aberystwyth with a bachelor's in Media and Communications. Working in the industry for over ten years. If it has anything to do with Nintendo and Pokémon chances are you will see me talking about it, covering, and likely not sleeping while playing it.