Comedy works best in threes, which is probably why so many comedy sequels suck. The list is long: Caddyshack 2, Clerks II, Airplane 2: The Sequel, and many more. A joke is rarely as funny the second time around. Maybe this is why Coffee Stain Studios, the creators behind the 2014 smash-hit game Goat Simulator decided to lean into the rule of threes and skip right ahead to Goat Simulator 3 as the title for their second game in the franchise. It’s a fitting joke for a game that’s all about subverting expectations. But is it enough to break the comedy sequel curse?
Goat Simulator 3, which dropped on Game Pass on Dec. 7, gives a huge new audience access to one of the funniest games of this generation, or any generation. The original game’s premise, a ragdolling goat with a sticky tongue runs amok in a physics-driven sandbox, is intact. This time, the world is bigger, the objectives zanier, and you can even bring a friend along for the ride.
The most obvious improvement in Goat Simulator 3 is the upgraded graphics and physics engine. There’s a heft and feel to objects that wasn’t there before, all the more perfect for launching objects (and goats) into each other. Make no mistake, this is still a game about enjoying chaos and first-time players can have an awful lot of fun just roaming around doing whatever they please, objectives be damned.
Of course, there are objectives this time, too. Lots of them. Almost too many. This new quest system does provide some much-needed structure to the game, but your mileage may vary when it comes to actual completion. The freewheeling creativity you can use to disrupt the world isn’t applied to objectives, which often have a one-way path to a specific solution.
However, if you’re a trophy-chasing type, Goat Simulator 3 offers more variety than most games. Whether you’re finding a secret rave or spearheading an alien invasion, expect the unexpected.
Completing objectives does unlock more skins and items. There are nine playable goats, each with unique abilities you can experiment with as you work your way around the map.
Speaking of maps, one of the strengths of Goat Simulator 3 is the range of environments and scenarios you can explore throughout the game. There are cozy little villages and bustling urban areas, each full of interactive objects and unsuspecting people to use them on. It’s a bigger and better playground than its predecessor, and its dedication to randomness is a nice antidote for players who have grown tired of the deeply serious, often tedious AAA open-world experience.
Goat Simulator 3 is a perfect fit for Game Pass. It’s a curiosity that likely intrigues a lot of players who don’t necessarily want to bother with the price of admission just to see if the joke wears thin or not. It doesn’t, especially in multiplayer when you have another player’s energy to feed off, but the polish given to this sequel does undermine some of the charm the original had. Regardless, it’s still funny as hell and a delight to play for a few hours or a full-on trophy chase. Embrace the madness, you won’t regret it.