Stray is an open world action-adventure indie game released in early July of 2022 by BlueTwelve Studios. It has since gained a lot of popularity, being nominated for six Game Awards and winning two, as well as a large amount of community support. In this short article, we will review Stray so you can find out if it is a game for you.
Stray is about a cat who falls into an apocalyptic cybercity filled with robots and futuristic machinery. The player is guided through the tangled and complex storyline by the cat’s robot companion, who we meet early in the game and who provides hints, helpful tools, and an in-depth narrative that adds to the plot. The cat traverses small and compact towns scattered in the eerie and vast cylindrical city that is closed off from the outside world, letting no external life or natural light in. While the story does sound long and elaborate, Stray can be completed in a staggering 5 hours when focusing on the main objectives, or around 9 and a half hours to fully finish all the activities and missions that are included in the gameplay.
Not only does our small feline friend look good, but it is also very well recognized in the gaming community. Stray has gained a lot of popularity since its release in mid-2022, with six Game Award nominations, including Game of the Year, Best Game Direction, Best Indie, and a few more. Stray was admired by many players for having a very endearing story that immerses the player, as well as for being one of the only games out there with a cat as the main character.
One of the best aspects of Stray was how it was designed and made to get our cute kitty friend onto millions of screens worldwide. BlueTwelve Studios spent a stunning 7 years developing Stray in order to make it feel so lifelike and immersive for everyone who plays. Players and game critics were very impressed by how real all the animations and sound effects were. BlueTwelve had the brilliant idea of taking inspiration from real cats around their office when designing the game. One cat was even a voice actor, which is why the “meow” sounds so real in-game. Another office kitty was studied for all the movement and jumping animations, without the designers using any motion capture technology. The last cat’s role was to be the director. Yes, literally a cat-director who walked on the developers’ desks and stared at them working. These aspects give the game even more depth and emotional elements that allow Stray to be the game it is.
Stray is available on Steam, PS4, PS5, and disc editions and is priced around $30 on all platforms, or you can get it for free with PlayStation Plus Extra. On PS5, Stray utilizes the adaptive triggers and vibration functions on the DualSense controller, as well as runs at a smooth 60 frames per second with 4K resolution. PC does bump up the quality of the game slightly, but not so much that makes it unrecognizable to other platforms.
In conclusion, Stray does an amazing job of combining an in-depth plot, beautiful neon cityscapes, a very interesting (and somewhat hysterical) development story, emotional elements that immerse the player even more, and many more aspects that prove this game to be absolutely stunning.