Stray: We saw the most anticipated cat game of the year

Play news Stray: We saw the most anticipated cat game of the year

It’s probably one of the most anticipated games in the indie scene this year. Stray showed us more fully during a long presentation.

By the summer of 2020, lovers of felines and more broadly of all sorts of cute things had languished in front of the images of Stray, a narrative adventure game carried by a cat. The four-legged protagonist progresses in a futuristic city populated by robots with difficult lives and must find their way home under the glow of neon lights. It represents the first attempt by BlueTwelve Studio, a young Montpellier studio driven by the steely reputation of its publisher Annapurna (Outer Wilds, What Remains of Edith Finch). The idea, which emerged seven years earlier in the co-founder’s head, comes to life this year on our screens.

Preview Terms

We were spoiled with a presentation of about an hour of the game.

A cat in the city

No name, no story given to our magnificent red cat during his presentation. He has creatures of a wandering cat emerging from nowhere, lost in the infinity of a cyber city. However, the story will be the cornerstone of the adventure, assure us of the representatives of BlueTwelve. The environments are attractive and juggle between busy city centers and more disturbing wastelands. An unknown language stands along the walls of dilapidated alleys. The décor is inspired by the ancient cities of Hong Kong. Still hard to know if they want much to tell. In any case, it is promised that the inhabitants of these places each have a history that defines them.

The first steps are taken in a fairly linear progression, which can be worrying. And every leap to a new platform is strictly monitored; missing a ledge is not suitable for a cat, so ”we have agreed on a compromise where all leaps will be successful, justifies BlueTwelve. A look at the following chapters eases the worries a bit: movements seem less controlled and benefit from a certain verticality. To what extent one must show. In particular, the cat can rappel from an elevated space by climbing down into a bucket pulled by a rope. It’s also up to him to attract the attention of passers-by, so they tell him a few anecdotes where the cross follows your rhythm. It also promises that curious players will be rewarded. Another reassuring point: the camera is mobile and can take the hero’s point of view for a simple manipulation. Finally, haptic feedback is utilized and will be dedicated to making you feel the animal’s physical characteristics.

Immersion in the skin of a cat

For the first match for this small team, “Building a cat was really the hardest partFrom the use of the camera to the collision systems, it was obviously necessary to reinterpret the space according to the main character. In that sense, the availability of the platforms must be just as credible because the cat, dexterous, can generally easily sneak in. BlueTwelve Studio claims to have provided this premise. Here, no motion capture was used to animate the cat, each paw stroke is sketched manually. And the result is amazing. Role-playing requires a button to allow the little hero to let go of meows at any cost, even during interludes. If you feel like it, you can also let it snooze in a ball for a moment.

Stray: We saw the most anticipated cat game of the yearStray: We saw the most anticipated cat game of the year

To expand its capabilities, the cat is equipped with a backpack that acts as a shelter for the B-12, a very helpful drone.. It interacts with technologies, can pile up objects and even has a flashlight. But most of the environmental puzzles and action steps seem to be solved by the protagonist’s natural talents. A short hunting sequence with strange creatures resembling fluorescent rats is required to implement its agility. Other obstacles prompt the cat to use its innate habit of throwing all the objects it finds over a ledge. The promised life in a straight line is seven to eight hours, nine to ten hours for completion experts. BlueTwelve relies on a variety of rhythms and content, from simple crossings to small puzzles, moments of action and investigations. Let’s wait and see if the execution proves to be convincing.

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