Stray (PC) Review

By Neil Flynn 02.06.2023

Review for Stray on PC

Upon the announcement of Stray, the gaming world took to the internet in glee in being able to assume the role of humankind's favourite pet. Seldom has the chance been to play through any similar type of world as a cat, and Stray's cyberpunk aesthetic underworld is an interesting tale of a homeward bound feline protagonist. However, once the novelty wears off can Stray keep on entertaining?

Stray is a third-person platforming game that features traversal styled puzzles and tasks to progress to the next area. The adventure starts off with a troop of cats wondering on the surface of the planet, only for one cat to fall deep in the depths of the underworld. Luckily, managing to survive such a huge fall, the cat begins to be aided by an AI drone named B-12, which accompanies the furry feline throughout the world, communicating with the locals and giving out instructions. The relatively short adventure is filled with dystopian post-apocalyptic themes of loneliness, abandonment as well as the coming-togetherness and sense of enduring with survivors that would most likely happen in that scenario. The post-apocalyptic world is now populated with robots, each entangled with their own problems and objectives. The bi-pedal robots all have TV screens for faces and react differently to being meowed at. Some will frown, and others will be very happy to see a cat. Animation and sound design are certainly on point. Cat meows and purrs sound like the real-deal and watching the stray cat move and jump looks as majestic as watching a real cat.

Screenshot for Stray on PC

Stray very much focuses on traversal-based exploration challenges and fetch quests to pad out the adventure. Tight spaces can be crawled through and tall buildings scaled by climbing up ledges, boxes, rails and anything else present in the environment. Panning the camera around will reveal which area can be scaled or not, although this takes away the fun of movement, by reducing it down to just one button instead of having free reign of movement. Gameplay does change ever so slightly when moving from one hub area to another, as this can trigger a dash to the finish scene after being chased by mutated underworld jumping mice-like creatures. Roaming around the towns allow for random cat moment such as pushing things off ledges, scratching carpets and napping in certain spots. The mischievousness caused by cats can certainly be encapsulated in these moments in Stray.

Screenshot for Stray on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Stray is an awesome looking game, with a neon-cyberpunk world that feels like it is alive. The run-time is short enough that the gameplay loop of solving puzzles via finding random items scattered throughout the world is well complemented from sequences that require running from area to area without getting caught by local mutated predators. While Stray is pretty to look at and is fun while it lasts the limitations of movement and rather simplistic puzzles hold this back from being greater than it could have been.

Developer

BlueTwelve

Publisher

Annapurna

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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