Stray Review – Furry Friends – Game Informer

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Stray cat is a game. You see, explore and mess with the world the way they can. Because you’re doing this in the more densely packed video game world in recent memory, there’s plenty of room for kitty antics. Luckily, the tramps don’t waste any moment to fulfill any of your aspirations.

After being separated from his furry friends, the unnamed cat (what we call “the Stray”) finds himself deep inside an underground city, closed from the outside by a giant dome. Befriending a small drone named B12, Stray sets out to open the city, the will of many of its android citizens who have heard the rumors but have never seen the sun, clouds, and the like.

Stray makes excellent use of the fact that you play as a cat. Since you are such a small, agile creature, you should reconsider platforming. A small inaccessible ledge becomes an important passage in another video game. A gate may stand in front of your purpose, but because you are so small, you simply slip through its mesh. The animation throughout is fantastic, with a relatable feel to the minute movements the cats make – so much so that my dog ​​growled at my computer when I first started playing. Stray constantly finds new opportunities to play with his character – in both important and minor ways, like pushing things off tables and scratching at doors – and I really enjoyed discovering these unique interactions while exploring the world. .

Inspired by the now-demolished real-life Kowloon Walled City of Hong Kong – notable for its extremely dense architecture and population – Stray’s world is artistically spectacular. The underground city is consistently impressive and a joy to explore, from underground sewers to neon-filled cluttered cityscapes, from overly spacious apartments to secluded terraces. Because it’s so densely packed, the levels often felt like a maze, and I loved learning my way around their labyrinthine streets.

You spend four hours of runtime exploring Stray’s different districts, meeting citizens, and performing tasks. Stray is apparently the coolest cat ever, able to solve logic puzzles, understand language, and run super-specialized errands, and I loved this loop. Every time I entered a new district, I was excited, knowing a new set of puzzles and conversations awaited me. I enjoyed the occasional plunge into combat, stealth and theft because they never did anything more interesting with a cat. You more or less just run or hide in a corner or shine a light on enemies until they blow up and call it a day. Luckily these were few and far between, but whenever they did pop up, it was monotonous.

While its story is simple, never going beyond a superficial exploration of the relationship between humans and cities, it is affecting. As I met more civilians, each with what it means to survive despite being a wrestling robot (think Nier: Automata, which references the game), I became more invested in the overall world. I also enjoyed the fun and touching connection between the B12 and Stray, which form a solid partnership where the drone helps the cat navigate and understand the world around it.

Maverick, more than anything, is a fascinating game. Its gimmick – you are a cat, talk cat – never gets old; I consistently found it clever for the few hours it took to complete. But more than the gimmicks, it’s a pleasure to explore this dense and detailed world, enhanced by the unique gameplay that Cat has to offer. It’s a solid, brief ride through a strange world and one well worth it.

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