At first glance Goat of Duty is exactly what you'd expect it to be - a multiplayer shooter in the vein of Call of Duty (you got the link in the name, we assume), but with the wacky idea of playing as a goat, which was popularised by Goat Simulator - and you'd be exactly right. Well, not quite exactly, as this is less Call of Duty than it is games like Quake, since it's a fast-paced PC shooter that's just bleated its way onto Steam Early Access.
The game's Steam page labels it as a "no-nonsense shooter experience" (questionable really, since it's all nonsense), and they aren't lying, as you're thrown straight into the main menu to customise your goat, check your stats, or play a game either in training or online. It's a no-frills experience, and once you connect into a game you're let loose to shoot everything that moves until it doesn't move... at least in the case of the free-for-all mode.
Technically it's a third-person affair, as you can see your goat's head at the bottom of the screen, but the side-mounted weapon on your animal of choice is positioned just like an FPS on your screen, so if you've zoomed about maps on Doom or Quake you'll get used to his pretty fast. You enter a map, you shoot at things, you pick up weapons, and you try not to die.
All of the maps have various platforms to utilise as well, and some have more verticality than others. This means that each map, whether you're playing 'Herd Wars' or the free-for-all mode, quickly descends into frantic carnage as goats leap around firing projectiles and darting left to right, up and down. What's even wilder is that there are copious amounts of blood when you die, and what kind of goat game would it be without ragdoll physics, which you can force yourself into with one tap of R.
Already we have a handful of maps, like the ancient ruins of Desert of Lambs and the Horror Well - which is as scary as it sounds - and with costumes being regularly unlocked for your goat as you go, there's already a reason to keep coming back to it. Lobbies were rather empty, granted, but it's almost as fun to shoot at goat bots as it is to shoot at other players, especially when you still get XP and costumes for coming first.
The costumes are just as insane as everything else, as you can dress your goat up in attire like an army helmet, luchador gear, and even a Fallgoat suit reminiscent of Fallout. Speaking of Bethesda, the most fun we had in the game was the Fus Ro Arena mode which was all about blasting enemies off the edge of a floating platform, and there are no prizes for guessing what this is referencing.
Last but not least are the weapons. Your bog standard gun doesn't do a whole lot of damage, which is why you're encouraged to scamper about the arenas grazing on firearms. The flamethrower is our personal favourite for engulfing a big cloud of enemies, but there are explosives, ricochet projectiles, and more to savour as you watch the blood spatter everywhere.
Goat of Duty offers about as much substance as you would expect from the title alone. It's a hoot, especially with friends, but even with the content in place right now and the promise of more to come, we wonder if there's enough here to keep people coming back past the joke of "tee hee, it's goats with guns". It's worth a go if you like your fast-paced PC shooters made like they were in the good ol' days, but we're not too confident as to whether this has enough about it to carve a name for itself in a competitive world of multiplayer shooters.
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