It's a Cat's Life | Stray | PS5 Review.

Wednesday 10 August 2022

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive, Iam8bit Inc.
Developer: BlueTwelve Studio
PS5 Review

The time has come to finally speak about the much awaited Stray, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Stray due to the fact it's based on the adventures of a little ginger cat in a cyberpunk inspired world which are both my kind of genre in the gaming world. If you're unfamiliar with this game let me fill you in, Stray centers around a little lost ginger cat who must find its way around an unknown world full of the remnants of mankind. You play solely as this adorable little fluff who helps robots thanks to a little android named B-12, together they push through enemies to find a way out of tricky predicaments. 

Playing as a domesticated animal in a world that's been changed by humankind was pretty cool, it gave us a glimpse of how life can thrive amongst animals even without mankind around to lend a helping hand taking away their domesticated needs and letting them live life according to their own rules. At the start of the game I was taken in by the cat community, and although there was only 4 of them they each worked together as a little team travelling in their pack. As most of you are aware one cat ends up stranded, alone and hurt, it's our job as a player to help this cat find it's way back to it's family. I was enthralled over being able to play as a cat, seeing the world through their eyes and figuring out my next move. I often sit and watch my own cat, I see her eyes working out how to jump to a certain spot or reach a bug, it's pretty cool watching her mind at work which is what the developers of Stray was able to give us when putting us when they allowed us to play as a cat. 

When I tell you that i began to become emotionally attached to this little cat i mean it, each time it was hurt or died I would grow more and more frustrated and sad but the upside is it wad permanent and I was given many chances to try again without any consequences (unless you count not being able to get a certain trophy). There is a slight mystery that surrounds the cat too, you never get to know it's name not even B-12 who can understand this feline is able to find out yet that is what made me connect to the cat even more, I longed to get this kitty back home safely.

I was extremely frustrated at times, there were glitches I faced but once I rebooted again they would disappear, enemies can be a pain in the bum at times which caused me most of my frustration. There are two types that you face, ones called Zurks that look like giant ticks, they jump on you and i guess suck the life out of you and the others are flying drones, they they detect you they use their laser guns to kill you. I hated the Zurks most, there is a trophy where you have to run away from them without being caught and i've still not done it (I WILL!). The drones however, are a little more easier to avoid so long as you don't step into the light they're shining, you can run or hide away from them pretty easily in most scenarios. 

Puzzle solving is a huge part of the game, it goes hand in hand with getting past enemies and can take a few times to figure out, at times scratching action can lead to doors being opened for you. Scratching furniture isn't the only cool action you can do, find some water? Kitty can have a drink, found a perfect place to curl up? Watch puss have a restful nap! The Stray soundtrack is such a chill vibe, I would purposely find a napping spot and stay there to listen for a while, it kind of reminded me of the game Flower soundtrack. 

The sheer amount of thought that has gone into making this a game a mirror image of cats is amazing, so many players including myself have posted their pets watching them play, not just their cats I have seen the likes of so many pets watching the gameplay, it's definitely taken the gaming world by storm. When is comes to the control system its very simplistic, it's obvious BlueTwelve Studio didn't want to complicated anything and wanted players to be able to take in the world of being a cat with very little barriers, except for when you accidentally get a bag stuck on your head and the controls turn inverted. 

I'm trying my best not to give away much of the storyline as it will ruin it for you all and I want you, I know a lot of you will love to see the world from lower on the ground prowling your way through what humans left behind for yourself! Stray is a short game and some may say a little overpriced for £24.99, I personally felt it was worth it especially as it was made by an indie developer. Lastly what makes Stray stand out for me isn't playing as a cat, it's the fact that even in the darkest times the smallest gesture can make a big difference, one small action can change the whole world.

Have a cosy day


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