When it was announced, the adventure game Stray was back on the internet. It has to be said that the addition of chat + video game is enough to make people nervous. Enough not to forget? This is exactly what we see.
So we had the opportunity to try out the long-awaited adventure game Stray, the latest creation from French studio BlueTwelve Studio. Apparently, Stray already has all the cards to attract the public except ailurophobes (fear of cats). Because if it escapes you, the title allows you to include a cat, and not anything, an attractive red cat.
Wanted: The little red cat is missing
As the English name (stray) suggests Stray’s screenplay is based on a cat straying against its sandstone. Yet it all seems to be starting for the best in the world for our four -legged hero. In fact, at the beginning of the narrative our cat lives a peaceful life among his family, hugging or playing as he pleases with his furry fellow creatures. But very quickly during a regular vacation, our cat finds himself alone and isolated from his family … Here begins the great adventure of trying to find our family and as soon as we realize that the environment that seemed so peaceful was real. more against than it seems.
Cyberpunk feat le petit chat
When we think of Cyberpunk science fiction, we immediately think of implants, robotics, human dystopia, but rarely of cats. And yet this is where the first idea of the BlueTwelve studio shines, wanting to present us with a completely dystopian world or more accurately a town where people no longer exist. In this city that seems to have been abandoned by all living creatures, robots are kings. So it’s more interesting to face the cold in this world where the engine reigns in the heat with the warm part that a cat can inspire in most situations. It is also the desire of the developers, to offer a world full of variations on the side of the scenario. A contrast that also looks elegant through the beautiful artistic direction that takes pride of place in the area’s warm transitions of orange tones while traversing the greyish lifeless surroundings. An artistic genius who is not afraid of words, serving the scenery and the gameplay itself.
A real life cat
Making the player consist of a cat is a risky bet when it comes to telling us a story because naturally it is completely deprived of telling. However, the BlueTwelve studio was able to hook us from the beginning to the end of the story, captivating us by pushing our minds to imagine ourselves as a cat. Everything is done to never get away from the paper. Therefore, it is possible during our journey to touch a tree or a carpet, meow to warn of our presence or even to cover the pond of water to quench our thirst. If it’s always of little interest for the rest of the story, these little incidents are there to bring credibility to the story and make it all the more in -depth.
We can describe the game as an adventure title where we will take turns with platform stages and puzzles to solve. When it is sometimes enough to allow ourselves to be carried away by the environment and follow the natural path offered to us, it is often necessary for our neurons to function in order to successfully continue our path, which is blocked by a door or a place that is not. . too high to access. The game doesn’t change genre and most of the time we agree to see what we’ve seen elsewhere. But the game has the merit of offering a different approach through the eyes of a cat and not a human or an “intelligent” humanoid like a … Crash Bandicoot. Quoting you our favorite marsupial is no coincidence because in many respects we find if not flash, a great source of inspiration. Specifically in all the stages that use mouse robots (we’ll get back to this) and in general in level design some levels where you have to go from point A to point B while avoiding “getting caught “as much as possible. the enemy.
When rats chase the cat
It is very easy for our tomcat to realize that this dead world is more resistant to living creatures and you yourself will experience its bitter experience from the first hour of play. This is where the famous mouse robots come in, once again a clever variation of play. iring. For some vague reason we’re starting to understand as the scenario progresses, the town is inhabited by tiny robot rats that won’t hesitate to kill you by jumping on you. The little cat ballad is about to turn into a horrible passage where the machine wants YOUR death.
But the world of Stray is no more Manichean than ours and there too, we find allies at unexpected times like a B12. A small flying robot that will seek to guide you on your journey and give you vital information about the world around you. Whether it helps you get something from a height or explains to you how another robot behaves, the B12 is your unique ally in this cat adventure.
If we take every element of the game independently, we can never say that it shines on his imagination. No, what makes Stray genius is the way the puzzle is put together. How to contain a cat, move in space, play around to find a solution. That’s the beauty of Stray. Create an epic and poetic adventure with a cat. What seems very simple and at the same time very complex. Because let’s not just play cat silly just to embody the stellar beast on the internet. We play a cat that goes through a test story to the point that the player recognizes it. Stray was able to bring empathy in a subtle way without forcing the line and so the bet was successful.
And then it’s hard to ignore the joy of moving our ginger feline sets, of tapping on paint pots to break the window at the bottom, of hitting something to make it fall … that cat animation is perfect. made by hand and with no motion capture used. It’s incredibly realistic in moves and overall Stray plus a nice little artistic slap is a real delight for the eyes in technical terms. We play in 4K on a big PC with all the options turned on, but without a doubt the game is also good and beautiful on the PS4 and PS5. There isn’t much to complain about other than a few collision problems and a difficulty that is sometimes a pretty bad dose when it comes to chasing robot rats. Nothing dramatic or damaging to the party. Stray remains a great adventure game with flaws but above all strong and good qualities.