Rarely has a game been promoted like ‘Stray’: it was one of the most popular games on Steam and Sony has been promoting the console world for several months with its Playstation time exclusive to cats. A kitten’s adventure in a distant post-apocalyptic world seems to strike a chord with players. In testing, the futuristic genre blend proves to live up to early praise.
Sometime in the distant future: people died, the plague killed them and nature exacerbated the former cities. Players take on the role of a kitten that is chasing through the abandoned ruins. When she accidentally ends up in underground sewers, she suddenly encounters humanoid robots desperately searching for a way out. With the help of a tiny robot and a high-tech backpack, the cat sets off on an incredible adventure through slums, tree houses, and deserted cities to finally reveal a big secret.
There is a lot in Stray: an exciting dystopia, a climbing game and a stealth adventure. The story tells about the post-apocalypse, about human arrogance and horrific mutations. Even if a few tears are shed at the end, despite all the horrors of the plot, there is still a positive message to the cohesion of an unshakable friendship. Fans of “The Last Guardian” or “A Plague Tale” will be pleasantly surprised.
At the touch of a button, the cat elegantly jumps over rooftops, talks to robots and discovers funny and touching stories from a bygone era in dark corners. Sometimes, the initially lovable genre mix also turns into a creepy horror adventure when a cat has to sneak through breeding sites and mutated bacteria that look like “alien”. However, the game rarely becomes particularly difficult or challenging. The adventure ended after nearly six hours. Those who want to spend more time in this world can cuddle up with robots, navigate TV channels or get a guitar player sheet music.
Diverse and exciting
The development studio constantly comes up with a variety of tasks that our cat has to solve. Once he urgently needs to steal a bottle of cleaning tools, but first distract the store owner. Later, she has to wake up a lazy factory worker to sneak into a restricted area. The solution to these problems does not always appear immediately and requires a little bit of brains and attention.
Then again, you must sneak through the sewers and escape from the greedy giant bacteria in pursuit. Or the cat simply climbs over the roofs, searching the apartments for the so-called “memories” that reveal the mystery of this slightly mysterious world. Although gamers have seen all this in a similar way in other games, the diverse mix guarantees hours of fun in front of the screen.
In addition to the entertainment value, “Stray” also offers something for the eyes and ears. Beautiful landscape facing frightening streams, cat follows huge eyes. In the background, water falls to the ground, while strange sounds announce monsters from the darkness. Despite the supposedly harmless main character, the game offers heart-pounding shock moments in these moments. In other sections, the cat wanders through neon-lit city centers reminiscent of the cyberpunk genre. Combined with realistic cat animations and sometimes quirky robots, players are presented with one of the most original game worlds in recent years.
A wonderful scenario, skillful execution of well-known game mechanics and an unusual main character – Blue Twelve does almost everything right in “Stray”. There is hardly any free time, the development studio constantly surprises with diverse and clever tasks. Disappointment seldom comes when invisible walls get in the way of discovery or the short playtime ends the fun too quickly. The sneak and climb mechanics are also a bit worn out compared to the main character and scenario. Players shouldn’t let that stop them: “stray” makes you want more. It takes you to an exciting futuristic scenario, touches and charms with an extraordinary main character and great audiovisual background.
“Stray” was released as a download for Windows and timed exclusive to PS4 / 5. It costs about 30 euros. The game is included for free with PSN Plus Extra and Premium. The retail version will be released on September 20. USK from 12. We ran a PS5 version test.