Stray review Meow

Stray review Meow: Few games can boast of a positive public reaction from the moment of announcement until the very release. Stray is just such a project. The adventures of a little ginger cat in a gloomy cyberpunk setting were intriguing from the first frames. And not in vain. Online on Steam breaks all records, and on Metacritic, the novelty has a solid 84 points. So what is so special about this Stray, and why is it capable of outperforming many AAA games? I have paws, but I’m ready to share the details.

What were we waiting for Stray review? Meow?

Before the release, few people fully understood what Stray was. The main character is an ordinary animal without superpowers, a mysterious backstory, and other features that add originality to the protagonist.

Crazy bee and goat simulators on Steam can be found for every taste, but they are unlikely to be of interest to seasoned players. So why should the cat be any different? By the way, there are also enough games about our smaller woolen brothers. If Stray is not enough for you, read our article about other projects with cats.

Read More: The blogger who leaked the console build of STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl spoke about STALKER 2 and more

The setting was also intimidating. Cyberpunk is so popular today that to show something new in it is a task with an asterisk. According to the first trailers, it became clear that there are no people in the world, only humanoid robots, but there will be a big intricate city in the best traditions of Blade Runner.

However, the main issue was still the gameplay. What tasks will the tailed traveler have to solve, and how big is the role of the player? The result will please not everyone.

 

Stray review. Meow?

The game is divided into chapter levels. Some of them are quite large, others are like corridors. Those who were waiting for a full-fledged open world with a lot of random events, activities, and quests will be disappointed. There is nothing similar and close in Stray.

The very city that was so often shown in trailers is beautiful, but in reality, it turns out to be a small village. The complex architecture is intimidating at first, but after 10 minutes you will find your bearings and there will be no problems with moving.

Stray review. Meow?

There are several settlements in the game. Each is different from the previous one, but don’t expect a completely open space. You always travel on rails and only sometimes you can deviate somewhere to the side, literally a few meters.

The theme of cyberpunk is worked out to the fullest. Interclass oppression, unfulfilled dreams of a better future, a destroyed ecology, and even the universal control of the “big brother” – everything found a place. The themes for the genre are not new, but the developers have filled the world with an incredible amount of detail. What is happening feels as natural and alive as possible (shame on you, CD Projekt RED). Robots imitating the everyday life of people, neon streets, and mountains of junk create a cozy atmosphere.

Such a compact and somewhat even friendly cyberpunk is rarely found in games. Only Dreamfall Chapters come to mind. The game has been undeservedly forgotten, but it remains one of the most original works of our time. The local city in which the heroine lived also combined the cold gloom of the metropolis and the comfort of the streets, where everyone knows each other.

Stray turned out to be a linear story game about a cat in a world of winning technologies, and instead of nature and the sun, there are only rusty pipes, rubbish, and eternal dusk.

Does this make the project bad? No. In an era of endless sequels and a lack of new ideas, Stray feels, sorry for the journalistic cliché, a breath of fresh air. But is it fun to play it? Or before us another “into”? We will talk about this further.

Gameplay:

You control a small four-legged creature, so many familiar gameplay features are not available. The cat does not know how to overcome high obstacles, does not open doors, and is not able to fend for itself. And you perceive the world almost always from the bottom up. However, the developers decided to cheat and added a robot companion to the mustachioed hero, who does all the “dirty” work.

While exploring the levels, you will collect a few items that are immediately teleported to your inventory. The robot simply dissolves the thing without bothering to explain where exactly it is stored. The future, what can I say?

The iron assistant will also translate, apparently, into cat language everything that the characters say. And there is someone to chat with. Every robot that you meet on the way is ready to chat and discuss the items found. Unfortunately, a variety of replicas were not delivered. If you find a plot item, then almost all NPCs will unanimously repeat where to apply it. This is understandable because there is no task diary and mini-map in the game.

In general, the mechanics work. You always know what exactly you have in your inventory and how exactly it can be used. If there is nothing suitable on the horizon, then it will appear further along the plot.

In general, the mechanics work. You always know what exactly you have in your inventory and how exactly it can be used. If there is nothing suitable on the horizon, then it will appear further along the plot.

That’s the attention to detail. Having stepped on the paint, the cat leaves traces for some time
That’s the attention to detail. You will constantly climb on roofs, air conditioners, pipes, and cabinets. Fortunately, this is very easy to do – jumps are tied to one button and are always aimed – you won’t be able to fall. There are very few active control keys, but this is understandable – you are a cat.

Getting to the level, the hero must solve one or more spatial puzzles. Sometimes they will be obvious – press the levers in the right sequence to lower all the iron structures and get to the goal, but more often the tasks are less obvious.

For example, to keep a robot warm (don’t be surprised), you need to find clothes. It is sewn by another character, who has yet to be found. You will also need to obtain materials. They need to be taken somewhere on the level.

enemies will not cause problems either. Stealth in Stray is for the show, so opponents are needed only for a change, they will not become a real threat.

In addition to the main plot, there are practically no activities. As the adventure progresses, the robot will collect memories that will tell a little more about the world and the events of the past. It is not necessary to look for such fragments at all, they play the role of collectible items. Also, once per game, you will be asked to find eight songs for a local guitarist and three flowers – that’s all the side quests.

The gameplay in Stray serves only as an addition to the story. While playing, you are not distracted from the story for a minute, and this enhances immersion. Binding all active actions to a pair of buttons are not annoying and are justified by the features of the main character. The puzzles are simple and logical, and the levels filled with details are motivating to explore, although there are not so many active objects and places.

Stray is a leisurely adventure. Everything in this game is designed to make you relax. And even a few action moments do not challenge, but only dilute the pace.

Plot

The history of the stars from the sky is lacking but works well within the framework of the created world. The cat and his brothers live among the ruins of our civilization and accidentally find themselves at the very bottom of the underground city. The task is simple – find a way out to the Outside, as the locals call the world on the surface.

The charm of a rustic plot is added by many subplots, which are witnessed by a cat and a robot. Everywhere life is in full swing, everyone is busy with their affairs. However, the appearance of the mustachioed changes everything. The four-legged hero is not chosen and does not save the robots from imminent death, however, by chance, he takes an active part in their lives.

Sometimes the footage from the game is reminiscent of the new Resident Evil
Unfortunately, even in memoirs, we will not get answers to many questions. Strange eyes in the sewers or the transfer of human consciousness into a robot will remain only hints that you will have to think out for yourself. However, this world has room to develop, and the second part may well turn out to be much larger and more informative.

Graphics, sound, animations

The developers have chosen a specific visual style. You won’t be able to see every hair on a furry hero, but you don’t have to – he still looks cool. The same goes for other characters. Of course, the robot models are very similar, and there is no need to show emotions, but each NPC has its distinctive features and accessories.

As I already said, the world of Stray is filled with hundreds of small details and optional chips that add liveliness to what is happening, so it’s hard to blame the creators for saving money on development. Each level is unique in its way and will be remembered for a long time.

 

Stray review. Meow?
The music is also a success, it further enhances the immersion in the world of neon and cyberpunk. In addition, the sound always corresponds to what is happening. In the lair of Turks, the melody is tense and exciting, and in Robovennik or Midtown, it is soothing. At the same time, you will always feel like you are in the world of a technological future, although the main memorable song is still missing.

Separately, it is worth noting the animation, there are hundreds of them. The cat does everything that an animal of its kind is supposed to: sharpen its claws on furniture, drop bottles and cans of paint, sleep in different places, and meow. It is not easy to distinguish a hero from a real cat, the tailed friend moves so naturally. Robots are also great: their actions are always fluid, varying depending on their character and their characteristics. For example, one may limp while the other waddles; someone sweeps the streets, dances, washes the floors, or tends to the flowers.

Bugs and system requirements

Stray review. Meow?
Stray does not require fancy hardware. For a comfortable game, you need a 64-bit Intel Core i5-2300 or AMD FX-6350 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 2 GB GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card or Radeon R7 360.

Leave a Comment