What’s that you say? I’ve already reviewed Untitled Goose Game on the Switch? Well you’re right (and that review is over here if you missed it) Is it really worth a review of a version of a game that’s now on Switch, PS4 and PC? How can this be any different? What was missed originally that needs writing about again? Why even play through it twice? Well dear reader. You’d be correct in asking all of those questions but here’s the thing; Not all ports of games are created equal. Shocking I know but some are created with more care than others and with that in mind let’s honking get on with this.
Now that the original launch hype has started to fade away, it’s easy to write off Untitled Goose Game as a moment in video games that simply popped and was over. The peak of the zeitgeist moment of its original release really shouldn’t be underrated though. We’ve had The Game Awards mix in the fantastic Muppet Labs characters for a skit (IGN have the footage here) The Labour Party retweeting the support from House House and although the bubbling frenzy on social media has finally started to calm down with less original ‘goose meme’s being posted, the Untitled Goose become a staple in others. It’s worth reminding everyone that the original spectacle of the video game that the media monster came from is still one worth enjoying. The core gameplay of stealing items and causing havoc still holds up well and the environments and style of a doddery old village being terrorized by a goose, really is the perfect setting for such honking madness.
Given that Untitled Goose Game was first released on the Switch how does the goose run on the big black Xbox then? Impeccably. The controls are tight and everything runs fantastically. If you braved the Epic store and played the PC version you’ll have the same experience. What little frame stuttering that was present on the Switch version is completely gone on the Xbox One and the game runs silky smooth with a slightly higher polish. It feels like everything is running at a slightly higher resolution and a level of detail that provides a subtle crispness that allows the minimalist style to pop. Everything is a delight and it really does achieve a high standard of quality.
With the shift to a system that has achievements to be gained (with the PS4 having matching trophies) the goose now has goals beyond the original list of to-do tasks handed from the start. Or at least that was what I was looking forward to going into this version. There was a huge opportunity for Untitled Goose Game to gain a little extra but unfortunately the achievements are simply the tasks from the to-do lists with the extra difficult (post game) challenges being secret achievements. There is a achievement for completing everything but this does little to add any extra incentive unless Gamerscore is your thing. There’s no hidden extras outside of the tasks the game normally provides.
I’ve seen a few players disappointed that Untitled Goose Game is a simple experience of picking up items and moving them around with a little stealth and only a mild level of challenge. I can understand that feeling as Untitled Goose Game really only has 1 trick, get the thing and hide the thing. The thing with the gameplay is that most of the joy comes from the setting and imagination at work. Donut County wasn’t an overly complicated game either but the enjoyment from the experience is still there for all to see. In Untitled Goose Game there’s barely any music but what plays when you’re being chased is a simple melody to build up tension and drive home that simple jovial mischief that the games core demands. If you go in expecting a deep tale or an indie epic you’re going to be disappointed. The ideal way to play Untitled Goose Game is to get a non-hardcore gamer to have a go and soon enough you’ll be laughing as they do something different like steal a sandwich to just plop in the lake. It’s that kind of humour that the game really shines on.
Untitled Goose Game is still an absolute gem. Honking, dashing around ruining quaint British villagers day and collecting items is still stupid fun. The Xbox One version is the equivalent port of a great PC quality experience. You can fire up the console, pop on Untitled Goose Game and you know exactly what to expect. It’s a short fun tale of mischief that still manages at some point to bring a smile to your face. At the end of it all, what more do you honking want?
9/10 – Despite what’s at stake, I am still just a rake in a lake
*Played on Xbox Console Game Pass*
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