Stray, Game Review

Stray: Overview

The best cat game. And not only:

Do you love cats? You can not answer, I know for sure – love. Like the entire video game world, which, in anticipation of the release of Stray, began to behave like a cat that smelled the smell of valerian. The public loved the game in absentia, providing it with a solid position in the sales charts due to pre-orders, and after the release, it seemed to go completely crazy: Stray overnight became the most popular Annapurna Interactive project, steadily keeping the peak online at the level of fifty thousand users, and ratings on Steam she has such that it remains only to envy the developers.

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What is the secret to Stray’s success? Maybe in only one main character – a nameless red cat, which is so similar to the real one and whose adventures attract the attention of real pets? Or is there something else here, for which the work of BlueTwelve Studio is worth paying attention even to those who do not have special feelings for cute fluffy creatures?



Shelezyak’s planet, inhabited by robots

Even though Stray is perhaps the feline of all games, almost nothing is known about the main character. It’s… just a cat, that’s all. And his story begins quite routinely: the redhead goes about his cat business – communicates with other cats, washes, sleep, and walks by himself. The player’s eye, however, immediately clings to the fact that the world around is unusual: we have long abandoned and overgrown city ruins without a trace of people or other intelligent creatures.

What happened here? Another post-apocalypse? And, it looks like we will find out now – our hero, during another run around the neighborhood, falls somewhere into the depths of a dilapidated technological network and ends up in an underground city.

It seems that here, unlike the surface, life is in full swing, albeit with big reservations. There are mazurkas, small, mindless, and quite vicious organic creatures that prey on anyone who catches their eye. Nothing special – typical faceless enemies added to diversify the passage: since the cat is not able to kill the Turks, all that remains is to run away. You have to do this quickly – leisurely contemplative scenes (and there is something to see here) are sometimes replaced by energetic runs from bloodthirsty opponents. Sometimes, however, you have to get rid of the threat by solving simple puzzles.

Stray, Game Review
Stray, Game Review

But much more interesting is the more friendly population, consisting of humanoid robots. They behave … in a peculiar way: I don’t know if the cat understands this, but the player will immediately notice that the robots copy the behavior of people, not thinking about the expediency of their actions. They prepare food and drinks, and although they are unlikely to be able to use them for their intended purpose, they wear clothes that are unnecessary albeit reasonable, but still pieces of iron, they are sad and have fun, even if nothing changes in their lives.

And some robots have a dream – to get out. They say that it is almost impossible to do this – the way to the top is blocked by dungeons full of Turks. But despite this, individual daredevils do not stop trying. Here the goals of the fluffy poor fellow and metal fidgets intersect – the cat can do little alone, but will be a good helper for the fugitives.

Dead City

In general, I would like to talk more about the city and its inhabitants. I will express a seditious thought – it was the underground slums and clumsy iron inhabitants that sunk into my soul much more than the cat, to which everyone is touched. Well, a cat and a cat, what to take from him? But with robots and their habitat, everything is much more interesting.

Although the city is deep underground and has never seen sunlight, it looks almost like a standard modern settlement. Houses with apartments, bars, and shops on narrow streets, gateways, and cozy (especially for a cat) roofs – a common set of locations. But several nuances distinguish this city from what we have seen in other games.

Firstly, this is the angle from which the player studies the surroundings. Many paths are open to the cand at, inaccessible to larger creatures, so often you have to climb pipes, shelves, railings, cabinets, roofs, and other usually rare places, which brings zest to the study.

Secondly, the design of the city in Stray is worked out to the smallest detail. The game looks beyond praise – both in terms of technology and in terms of style. Each level, whether it’s a gloomy slum or a city center glowing with neon, has a recognizable image – despite the intimacy of the locations, the feeling of being in a real city is complete; But according to the plot, we are deep underground!

However, if you look at the local inhabitants a little closer, it is noticeable that they are nothing more than a parody of ordinary people. Their activities are just a semblance of life, and the appearance of a cat in the city turns upside down the measured life, more like Groundhog Day – the endless playing of the same roles without a clear meaning.

Whiskers, paws, and tail

Unlike in terms of style, in terms of gameplay, Stray cannot offer something original – we have a typical adventure game in front of us. To progress through the story, you need to complete simple tasks and solve equally simple tasks for reaction and quick wits: for example, escape from enemies, find an object and bring it to a key character, and solve a puzzle.



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