DEEEER Simulator impressions: This game doe

DEEEER Simulator is truly an action-packed city-destruction sim that you'll positively fawn over.


Let's get one thing out of the way: DEEEER Simulator has nothing to do with living out the life of an actual deer. Sure, you're controlling a deer, but this is no ordinary animal. This furry forest creature can dual-wield pistols and take aim at sheep "cops" with two rifles strapped to its head. It's this kind of absurdity that makes DEEEER Simulator such an all-out hilarious, fulfilling experience. I spent some time with an early build of the game, and came away absolutely thrilled with what had been accomplished so far. There's still a lot of work that must be done, but it's certainly on the right track.

This sandbox-styled game is, much like Goat Simulator, about letting you loose in a world that you can explore all on your own. There's no handholding here or instructions to get you started, and no objectives, at least in my time with this build of the game. That means it's up to you how you want to spend your time within its confines. No matter what you do, though, you need to make sure you're making a nuisance out of yourself. That's kind of what the game depends on. You'll have to rise to the occasion by destroying things across the entire map.

The map is a pretty modest one at this time, but you can wreak havoc on just about everything you see. In fact, if you want anything of note to happen, you're encouraged to destroy everything in sight. To do this, you can run around and jump into any vehicle you see (even on the back of a horse), zoom around the city, and then run into things (or over people) to make trouble.

You can stretch your neck out to reach faraway objects, interact with items scattered throughout the map (like an enormous cow you can change the color of if you shoot it) and also "deerify" people with the push of a button. This basically makes them part of your little deer posse, as they'll begin following you around the map and destroying things for you. One of my favorite things to do when I played was make rounds to deerify everyone I saw in the city until I had a veritable deer gang following me everywhere I went.

They would Naruto run behind me and just crash into everything, which in turn made me cackle. I even stumbled upon some guys with TVs for heads (just like FLCL's Canti) and added them to my menageries. Having a deer gang is severely underrated. I only wish they'd stopped running long enough for me to approach the next person without knocking them over or making them run away. Not being able to control their movements made things a bit frustrating, but that's how it is when an entire city's worth of people are under your control, I guess.

As you run into buildings and damage them enough to eventually destroy them, your Deersaster Level will raise from E, where it begins, all the way up the rest of the alphabet. When your Deersaster Level begins to rise, you'll trigger the city's "police" that'll try and wrangle you into submission, much like the Wanted system in Grand Theft Auto. The first level of defense against your reign of terror consists of a wave of sheep in police hats. They'll come to swarm you and try to stop you, and you can mow them down with weapons you find throughout the map.

Police level 2 spans a wave of polar bears with police cars on their backs. They're a bit more formidable than the sheep, and there are several of them hitting the map at the same time. Finally, police level 3 prompts a rabbit with a laser gun to come run you down. It's pretty easy to eliminate the police, especially with a deer gang, so all you really need to do to get the price to back off, in this build at least, is shoot a lot and have others do your dirty work.

Unfortunately, the build didn't have any other police to send my way after I eliminated all the cops and stole the rabbit cop's gun. I was basically unstoppable at that point, and the only thing left for me to do was try and take on the Giant Koala chilling and not bothering anyone on a skyscraper in the middle of the city. It only attacks you when you attack it, and when I made that mistake, I died immediately as it sent out a one-shot attack with laser beam eyes. I tried several times to best it with the rabbit's laser gun, but I was always too slow to escape from its seemingly never-ending laser attack. You don't want to mess with the koala.

Otherwise, I had decimated everything else I could at that point throughout multiple playthroughs (all ending when the koala took me out), and couldn't go much further because the outer bounds of the map were blocked off by a hilarious caricature of a construction worker keeping me away. Oh well. There were also fun things to seek out, like a cow-themed board game and a basketball court. They were fun diversions, but the build I had was far too limited since I felt I was just scratching the surface of things.

I've seen some truly hilarious examples of things to come from DEEEER Simulator in previous screenshots and trailers, like additional waves of cops, and other bizarre ways to interact with the map, so I can't wait to see what's still under wraps in the game. I'm hoping there's a larger map and other areas to explore in the future, as well as additional side quests and fun secrets to explore.

Right now, DEEEER Simulator is trumping the fun I had with Untitled Goose Game or Goat Simulator, two of its most recent contemporaries, even in this smaller play area. I'm excited to see where it goes next...and what kind of police crews I can decimate going forward. You don't want to tango with the deer gang. 

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

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