If Goat Simulator wasn’t enough goaty goodness for you, then 34BigThings has you covered with Goat of Duty. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
One of the first FPS games I ever played was Unreal Tournament. This was back when cool pads with variable grips didn’t exist and getting yelled at to stop hogging the phone with your 56k dial-up was a thing. I’d sit there, playing against a bunch of bots in frantic fast-paced action that sent my young eyeballs into the back of my skull. Then, of course, I tried my hand at the likes of Quake, Doom or whatever I could get my hands on at the time. I wasn’t brilliant at these games, but it was fun anyway.
Over the years, FPS players have been spoiled by console gaming, giving rise to ‘pad warriors’ who when they try going back to keyboard and mouse, flail around miserably until they get blown up. This just about summed up my experience with Goat of Duty. I was mere cannon fodder as people… I mean goats, danced their way gracefully across the levels, sprinkling bullets like it’s an art form and painting murderous masterpieces.
I don’t mind that so much, as I understand what these twitch shooters are and who they are for. Goat of Duty is pretty simple, you just load into online multiplayer and let rip. There’s no single player, just playing online and levelling up. You’ll unlock a few new goat skins as you do so, like Lucha goat and ‘I’m Suda,’ where a main part of the outfit is the goat’s head in a TV.
There are four game modes to sink your teeth into. Obviously there’s the staple free-for-all deathmatch and team deathmatch modes (the latter called Herd Mode), but these sit alongside Gun DM and Fus Ro Arena. Gun DM spins Gun Game on its head by sticking a Rocket Launcher in your hands from the start and changes gun every two kills. Typically this mode would start off with one of the least powerful guns in the game and build up to the heavier stuff, but Gun DM puts the power straight into your hands, and feels excellent for it.
Fus Ro Arena, however, is a whole different kettle of fish. Parodying Skyrim’s Unrelenting Force Ability, your Goat comes armed with the Fus Ro Bleat, a gun that deals damage with a strong push that sends enemy goats flying – preferably off the map. In Fus Ro Arena, it’s the only weapon you have and can only score points by batting your opponents off the edge.
That’s not to take anything away from the regular deathmatch. The game is quite polished in how it feels to play and anyone used to keyboard and mouse combat will be right at home with the tight combat. There’s no controller support so far, which is a little disappointing but understandable while the game’s in Steam Early Access and geared toward PC gaming. I understand that controller players will be at a disadvantage, but at least give us a chance. That didn’t stop me diving in though and after a few games, I found my feet… or hooves, I guess. I’ll happily take the ten kills I walked away with.
The weapons selection is quite good too. The Piercer fires lots of skewers per second, while the Roaster is just a flamethrower, but my personal favourite is the long-range Light Gun, which fires lasers and has a scope to zoom in. Each weapon has a secondary fire function that either just lets you zoom in, adds some effect or has a separate firing mode. Weapons are spawned around each of the six maps, just like the Quake and Unreal Tournament games of old. It should be no surprise if you start to see a mad rush towards various locations at the start of games.
I had quite the turn around on Goat of Duty. I started off apprehensive, but actually ended up really quite enjoying it. It takes FPS games back to basics with straight forward online multiplayer fun. As it’s still in early access, it can only mean we will see this get better over time and I can’t wait to see what the finished product is like.