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Stray Preview: Taking On The Role Of A Cat Has Never Looked So Good

Stray Preview– Stray is a PlayStation console exclusive title where you take on the role of a cat in a cyberpunk world inhabited by robots as you try and find your way back home. Stray is the first game developed by BlueTwelve Studios and published by Annapurna Interactive, and I recently got to witness a small playthrough of the game to see just how it’s shaping up.

Stray Preview

Help A Kitty Cat Find Its Way Home

During my preview, BlueTwelve Studios didn’t talk much about the game’s story outside of the fact that you take on a role of a nameless cat that finds itself in a strange new place and must find its way home.

You aren’t able to create your new cat in any customization, which is a shame as many people would have loved to modelled their cat into the experience.

best upcoming ps5 games stray

Though a lot of the story is being kept hush-hush, we did learn that the cat will be accompanied by a small robot called B-12 that’s used to communicate between the cat and the robots populating the world. But of course, this communication is more for the player as B-12 can’t speak to cats.

As you explore the world, you’ll take on quests and requests from the robot citizens, who will, in turn, help you on your way to reaching your home. BlueTwelve Studios promises a lot of collectables in the game that help provide backstory to the world. I got to see some of these collectables in plant life and even graffiti on the walls.

Platforming Is Automated To Make It Feel Smooth

Stray is a platformer at heart, and the cat’s traversal is relatively automated. From what I got to see and how it was explained, instead of just jumping on whatever platform you wanted like in a traditional platformer, every time you approach something that can be jumped on, a prompt will appear, indicating a jump action.

It sounds simple, and it looks simple, and from what I saw, it’s a great way to approach the platforming, so you don’t spend so much time trying to jump on things that have no purpose.

The cat can also pick up small objects and use them to solve puzzles. In my demonstration, we saw the adorable fella pick up a metal basket and carry it to a large fan when they dropped it in to jam the fan to get through. This is just one small puzzle of many, some of which will be a lot more elaborate.

The cat can also perform things that you’d expect, such as sharpening its claws on couches and rugs, meowing its heart out and even taking a nap whenever you want. What’s so impressive is that the entire cat’s animations were hand-crafted by a single animator for the studio, and no motion caption was utilized.

Run, Hide And Battle The Zerk To Survive

Combat was an important question raised during the demonstration, but not was showcased. However, we were introduced to some of the game’s enemies called Zerk, which look like small crabs with a single eye.

Their origin is unknown, and I wasn’t told why they’re after the cat. The game also features stealth elements having you avoid detection and using objects in the environment to distract enemies. You’ll also be subjected to plenty of chase sequences, and we got to witness one with the cat running away from the Zerk in the sewers.

Unfortunately, our presentation was short, and not much was shown that could spoil the story. We were informed that the game would take between seven to ten hours to complete and about twelve hours to collect and experience everything. It won’t feature any loading times or screens outside starting the game up and respawning if the Zerk catches you.

After witnessing the 30 minute presentation on the game, I was totally sold on Stray. While it would have been great to see a bit more on the game, like the combat and stealth sequences or some of the more complicated puzzles, what I saw was more than enough to leave an impression.

Playing as a cat sounds fantastic and looks even better. The unique cyberpunk world is exciting, and I can’t wait to explore it and unlock all of its secrets when I get my hands on the full game.–F5E

Stray is scheduled for release on PS5, PS4, and PC on July 19, 2022.