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Early Stray Reactions Call the Cat Simulator Pawsitively Addictive

CBR 6/8/2022 Julia Anderson
© Provided by CBR

Reporters got a first glimpse at PlayStation's upcoming cyberpunk cat simulator, Stray, and can't seem to heap enough praise on the adorable game.

Several outlets sat in on a preview of the highly-anticipated game, and so far, it has received universal acclaim. Many reviewers commented on the bold and beautiful setting -- a cybernetic metropolis that seems lost to time, filled with robotic residents -- and the realistic cat simulation, which adds considerable flavor to the gameplay. IGN reporter Jonathon Dornbush described himself as "enamoured" with Stray as soon as the preview began, praising developer BlueTwelve for the "impressive" world and for "the many surprising ways BlueTwelve has made playing as a cat look so fun." Alyssa Mercante at GamesRadar+ seemed to collaborate Dornbush's praise, noting how much of the gameplay reflects a cat's abilities. For instance, if a player attempts to jump from one ledge to another, there isn't a chance of them falling off, as developers felt that would be "decidedly un-cat-like."

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Others praised the cat authenticity, noting how Stray lets players behave in cat-like manners even during cut scenes. Polygon reporter Michael McWhertor commented on the game's versatility, allowing players to be their "most authentic and annoying cat self." Besides having a dedicated meow button, which can be employed at any time, the game also lets players nap for an indeterminate amount of time if they want to. Players can even scratch furniture, knock over books or paint and leave messes wherever they please.

Though most reviews praised the game's puzzles and overall gameplay, all seemed to agree that the game is first and foremost intended for cat lovers. "Stray is a game made by cat lovers, for cat lovers," noted ScreenRant's Deven McClure. McClure additionally praised Stray's sheer creativity in its world and story, which the developers crafted with cat simulation heavily in mind. "A cat protagonist lends itself to the uniqueness of the world, allowing the game to contain intricacies within the landscape that couldn't possibly be navigated by a human protagonist," she said. Jordan Ramée of Gamespot echoed these sentiments, noting he felt somewhat bored at some aspects of the streamlined gameplay but found himself fascinated and eager to explore the game's story. "The preview only provided hints at what to expect, teasing the potential discovery of lore behind the world. There's this tangible sense of mystery hanging over almost everything I saw," he said.

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CBR's Noelle Corbett shared similar sentiments about the Stray preview, also noting the game's creative and cat-like use of stealth, which lets the player hide in cardboard boxes. According to Corbett, "Stray appears to capture the cute, chaotic, and quirky behaviors that make cats so endearing, creating something that's both a celebration of felines and a solid adventure game in its own right."

Stray tells the story of an adorable stray cat, based on one of BlueTwelve Studio's in-house cats, who must navigate a cyberpunk city at night to make its way back to its loved ones. Accompanying it is a robot named B-12 that can transform into a backpack for the cat to wear when it isn't defending the feline from danger or translating for other robotics they encounter.

Developed by BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapurna Interactive, Stray launches July 19 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Sources: IGN, GamesRadar+, Polygon, ScreenRant, Gamespot

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