I’ve been awestruck by Stray since it was first announced in the year 2020. I was intrigued by the thought of stepping into the cute paws of a backpack-wearing cat. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that, despite Sony’s decision to not include a day one game in their recently updated PS Plus, Stray was added to the catalog for Premium and Extra customers to download for no extra cost.
Stray starts with our cat’s main character and her family doing their normal lives and doing whatever they do. The first part of the game serves as a short tutorial that introduces us to the basic mechanics of the game when we race, jump, and meow across platforms and pipes. It even lets us cuddle and play with our feline companions.
As cute as everything else is, it won’t be a great game, which is why Stray quickly takes a heartbreaking turn. A mistaken leap separates our protagonist from his family, sending them down into the gloomy depths of a dystopian underground city influenced by The Kowloon Walled City.
This city, devoid of human beings, has been made the home of robots, also known as Companions. Since they aren’t human counterparts, Companions have become self-aware and have created their own communities under the surface. Initially, they’re very cautious of our animal protagonist, however, they’re usually harmless.
It’s not just the Companions that live in Stray‘s amazingly detailed cyberpunk city The city is also home to dangerous mutants called Zurks that, given the chance, can attack and devour the character, without guilt.
In the first meeting with Zurks and the Zurks, we encounter an amnesiac drone flying called B-12. B-12 promises to help our protagonists on their journey to get back on the earth. B-12 quickly proves as a valuable partner, able to translate the language spoken by the Companions, store objects, and much more. This ability will be crucial when the duo endeavors toward the top of the mountain.
In the process, we get the opportunity to get to know most of our Companions. They all have the same primary responses, while others have distinct personalities. the tech geek and the knitting grandmother are only two examples. There’s even a small band of freedom fighters referred to as The Outsiders who share our desire to get to the surface.
B-12 is able to relive lost memories, which provides more perspective into the larger storyline. Certain memories cannot be missed, and are not unlockable as you progress throughout the tale, while other memories are able to be overlooked. It’s not necessary to keep the other memories, however, they’re great for building worlds because they allow us to understand how B-12 as well as how B-12 was created.
Stray‘s main feature is its possibility of playing as a cat, and when I first started playing the primary issue I was concerned about was the game’s mechanics. I wanted to experience it like I was playing as an animal, and the game’s creators have done a great job of providing the exact experience. From the way that our protagonist jumps and moves to the occasional stumble when it doesn’t know the right time to make the jump, it truly felt as if I was playing as the cat. There was plenty of cat-related fun to be had.
From scratching carpets and doors to tripping over robots and even knocking objects over There’s plenty of entertainment to be having. There are certain things for certain reasons, such as drawing the attention of the resident robots for instance however other activities you can perform simply because you are able to. I’d be lying in saying that it doesn’t give me a sense of power.
Puzzle-solving and platforming comprise the bulk of the game’s gameplay. Our protagonist is able to climb levels that humans could only dream of with near-simple movement. The remainder of the game is focused on the need to avoid Zurks as well as security drones, both of which could kill you. It’s quite depressing that you have to be running around all the time However, our pet has the opportunity to be even earlier in the game.
With an average time of 5-6 hours, Stray is quick but tasty. Anything less could have been an unrealized opportunity. More and I’d probably become tired of the cat tricks that Stray uses so often. There are only so many instances I’m able to draw amusement from knocking robots off in the end, after all.
In a game that is set in the urban slums of an underground urban area, Stray is breathtaking. It is a game with an atmosphere that creates a world that is fun to discover. It’s just a shame it’s not more accessible. Except for areas populated by the Companions, the majority of areas were fairly linear to accommodate the crowds of Zurks that you’ll spend quite a part of your time running away from. This is logical from a gameplay perspective but I’d love to have explored it a bit more.
If I had the time to think about it I’d be able to discern a myriad of symbolic meanings that could or might not be present in this game, but it’s not an essay for college. So I’m content with enjoying Stray as it is: a great game that tells a touching story of a cat struggling for its own way back.
BlueTwelve Studio is a developer. BlueTwelve Studio
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows
The Release Date is 19th July 2022
Leave a Comment