A game featuring a stray orange tabby seems like a genius idea, and Stray (PS5) is fun despite being short. This third-person (or third-kitty) action adventure has you dodging monsters, solving puzzles, and doing what cats do best — knocking over stuff. You'll have a blast on your journey, but don't expect this game to be groundbreaking in any way.
- Camera for jumping up ledges can sometimes be a bit janky
- Environments are pretty
- Cat feels somewhat realistic and cute
You start out as the titular stray cat, along with a litter of three others. An unfortunate accident sees you falling into a sealed underground city, which requires you, as the cat, to find your way out. Obviously, the game takes some liberties. Despite being a cat, you can understand directional signs, and is smart enough to converse and solve puzzles. I know my own two cats aren't that clever, sadly.
Gameplay is simple. You can sprint, jump ledges and aircon compressors, and knock down bottles and books. You can also scratch carpets, couches, and walls just like a normal cat would. The most important skill of all, however, is to meow. While it does mostly nothing, it's just way too fun to spam it, even in cutscenes. The objective of Stray is obviously to reunite with your litter, and you'll have to make your way through the city to do so. You will meet robots, who are called Companions, and a drone called B-12 will end up tagging along with you. You'll have to sneak through some parts, dodge enemies, while also solving the mystery of the city you're in. I found combat sections tense, but mostly not fun.
You can finish the game in half a day easily — it's that short. But you can also take your time to explore the great-looking environments, collect stuff and complete achievements. One achievement requires you to beat the game in under two hours, which I'm guessing will make this game popular with speed runners. The ending of the game comes pretty quick, and leaves the story a tad open-ended. But given the reception of the game so far, a sequel will likely be welcomed.
Stray retails at S$28.50 on Steam, and S$41.90 on the PlayStation Store. You can also pick up Stray (PS5) for free, if you have a PS Plus Extra subscription. You can also sign up for a free seven day trial for PS Plus Extra. That alone makes the subscription worth it. Otherwise, it's a bit too expensive to get it on the PS5 for such a short game. The PC version already has mods to change your cat's colour, adds a split screen for multiplayer, and more. It may be the better buy, if you want more third-party features.
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