Shackpets | Available on iOS and Google Play Store

Stray is a cat & robot buddy adventure through cyber society

We take a closer look at Stray and what awaits a lost cat and his robotic buddy in a strange, dystopian world.

2

Annapurna Interactive and BlueTwelve Studio have captured a lot of people's imaginations with a simple premise. There's a lost stray cat, innocently strolling about in a wide open city set in a robot-filled future. What's amazing about Stray is that it immediately drew people in with the idea of playing as a cat. The concept alone sounds like a winner. However, there's more to this game than its main feline might suggest. Shacknews recently had a chance to check out a playthrough from producer Swann Martin-Raget to learn more about this upcoming adventure and its furry hero.

Much of the footage we saw from this Stray playthrough shows off more of the game's premise. There's a nameless cat, a stray without a home, but one with friends and caretakers. At the start of the adventure, the stray falls into a mysterious void and wakes up in a strange world filled with cybernetic beings. The main objective is to explore this world and find a way home.

Stray preview

There's a reason that Stray is getting as much buzz as it's getting and that's because of the cat at the center of the story. Stray is fully leaning into its feline nature. For example, there's a dedicated meow button that can be pressed at any time, including during cinematics. Plus, there are objects throughout the world that can be used as a scratching post. Keeping those claws sharp is an important part of being a cat. Plus, it may be a dangerous world, but there are plenty of spots to take a quick cat nap.

In addition to the cosmetic side of being a cat, movement is fully designed around what it means to be a furry feline. That means leaping from perch to perch, pawing at objects and knocking them down, and getting into some areas where cats shouldn't typically be. All of this lends itself to a different kind of platforming experience, one that encourages players to explore this world to its fullest extent. Puzzles on display included carrying around a bucket to jam a moving fan and making use of a bucket-based pulley to safely glide to a new area far below.

Stray preview

What's interesting is that the cat isn't the only character that players will familiarize themselves with over the course of this adventure. Players will eventually meet a drone named B-12, which will double as the primary means of communication to the user at home. B-12 has his own backstory and his reasons for wanting to leave the robot-filled world. This drone realizes that this lost cat can be the key to helping him flee and will assist by issuing occasional instructions, using its flashlight to illuminate darkened areas, and also by interacting with various pieces of technology. On top of that, B-12 can communicate with the city's mechanical denizens, which will be the player's primary way to pick up quests and side objectives.

While the cat and B-12 are the main characters, players will also learn more about the world that they inhabit. Over the course of the adventure, they'll discover collectible memories that open up the world's lore. By the end of the story, players should have a better idea of how this robotic landscape came to be. They'll also learn more about the mysterious nature of B-12 himself, with Martin-Raget specifically noting that he didn't want to spoil anything regarding the drone's arc.

Naturally, not everything in this dystopian world is fun and games. Martin-Raget showed off a sequence that sees the cat and B-12 sprinting through a corridor sequence, where the cat had to quickly dash through tight spaces and avoid hordes of incoming rat-sized machines.

There's much more to Stray's story than meets the eye and we'll continue to learn more about it throughout the next week from events like Summer Game Fest. However, Shacknews also had a chance to speak to Martin-Raget about BlueTwelve's cat journey. Come back to Shacknews later this week to learn more about this highly anticipated adventure from Annapurna Interactive. Stray will release on PC, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4 on July 19. PlayStation owners subscribed to the PS Plus Extra or Premium tiers can pick up the game on launch day for free.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola