In Review: Stray (PC, PS4, and PS5)

Lost and separated from his/her family, a stray cat must untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten city. 
stray

Synopsis:  Lost and separated from his/her family, a stray cat must untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten city. 

 

The Story

The game begins with a small group of stray cats who are moving together as a family unit. But when the group looks to move on one of the cats, which is your character gets separated and falls down from a great height and unfortunately is unable to make a jump to follow its family. From there you get a brief cut scene of your cat struggling to walk because it has hurt its leg. Thankfully a good sleep helps the cat heal and the next day the game and all the puzzles and adventure begins.

The first order of business is figuring out your surroundings and making the right jumps and employing the necessary game mechanics to get through what appears to be a city that is occupied by robots. The story doesn’t really start fully until you have searched through the flat and connected with a small robot A.I. that helps you communicate with the robot denzians of the city.

 

The Graphics

The graphics in this game are really solid. My only complaint is not being able to choose a cat to play through the game with. In the game, you play a ginger cat. I am personally owned by a Black cat. So it would have been cool for me to have been able to have that choice. But as far as graphics go. The locations and things that you interact with look as close to reality as you can get. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the look of the city and its various locations manage to be both eery and beautiful at the same time. Especially as the game opens up and you see more of it as you interact more with the robots.

 

Gameplay & Playability

Controlling your cat was pretty easy in that you jump with the X Button, Meow with circle and interact with things via triangle and use left and right shoulder buttons to scratch. Depending one what you want from a game. It might be perhaps a little too easy in terms of moving around the world as all the jumping from one thing to another is all predetermined. So all you do is hit the X button when it prompts you and you make the jump. Whereas in a proper platform or RPG game no such prompt exists. So if you looking for really challening controls and difficult jumps and so forth. You are probably best sticking with something like Uncharted or even the God of War games.  As this is more of a gentle narrative driven adventure game.

In terms of the movement. There are certain parts of the game where the movements of your cat or cats as in the case of the opening cut scenes can look a little stiff. But that doesn’t in anywhere effect the gaming experience. Its just an observation.

As far as machanics go. I quite enjoyed playing around and knocking things of of balconys and so forth. Like an actual cat would. In fact my little cat enjoys nothing more than to knock stuff off the coffee table when she is wanting attention.

But the fun part of the game is speaking to the robots and running little errand for them like retrieving some sheet music for one robot, which enables him to play music on his guitar to you. As you do more of these interactions. You get closer to solving the games story. So it does have its rewards.

 

Overall

Stray is a fun little adventure game that you will likely manage to get through in five hours or less. Two if you are really speed running it. But I wouldn’t recomend that. To me this game works a treat when you say do one or two chapters per day. Its a game and a world that is best savoured and not rushed. I’d also say that it felt a little like a hybrid of a modern adventure game mixed in with some point and click type elements that some might remember from PC games of the 90s and early 2000s.

In regars to the music. I loved the soundtrack and soundscapes in this game. And the brief cut scene at the start where you see you cat get lost and seperated from his or her family. Well lets say that I got a bit emotional at that point and was pretty determined to runited my little feline with their kin folk. As to my own cat. She has no comment on this. She was sleeping.

 

  • Stray is available to buy now in the Playstaion Store for consoles and on Steam for those on PC. At present the game is only avilable to download, but a physical version will be released for consoles in due course. 
9.3
Stray (PC, PS4, and PS5)
  • Story
    8.6
  • Graphics
    9.7
  • GAMEPLAY & PLAYABILITY
    9.0
  • SOUNDTRACK AND SOUND EFFECTS
    10

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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