Image: Annapurna Interactive
In Stray, players are confronted with a previously untapped premise from the day after tomorrow: From a third-cat perspective, they control a stray through the neon-lit night of a mysterious cyberpunk city. Promising first impressions and a cat backpack create a little hype.
Most wanted game on Steam after trailer
Stray has been developed over the past seven years by the French BlueTwelve Studio, which emerged from former Ubisoft employees. A month and a half ago, the game got the coverage due to a new trailer announcing the upcoming release. Since then, Stray has risen to the number one spot on Steam's Most Wanted Games, overtaking survival MMO The Day Before which now sits at number two ahead of Hollow Knight: Silksong and Starfield. However, the list is not based on raw data, but is sorted by relevance by Valve's algorithm – so no absolute statements can be derived.
Impressions promise atmospheric gaming experience
Meanwhile, first impressions from critics who have already alluded to Stray or got to know it better in the context of gameplay presentations read promisingly. Stray is just dripping with atmosphere, according to GameStar, for example. In particular, the atmospheric cyberpunk lighting and a very detailed environment are praised. The game world invites you to discover, and that is what is particularly varied and interesting from the frog's perspective of a cat. IGN agrees and enjoys fun environmental puzzles, noting that the cat being played feels pleasingly authentic. Polygon is enthusiastic about the fact that typical cat actions such as meowing at the push of a button or occasional sharpening of the claws are also possible.
There are few negative impressions; However, there is some concern that some gameplay components of Stray are still largely unknown. Fights in particular are difficult to assess in advance, but the story also remains a mystery until July 19. It also remains to be seen to what extent characters can be developed in the course of the game – after all, a cat and a small flying drone don't offer all that much leeway for profound personalities.
A backpack for traveling cats
Nonetheless, interested players are looking forward to it, and two merchandise products have also been well received: The developers have teamed up with Travel Cat, a manufacturer of cat accessories. There will be a limited cat backpack with neon colors and a viewing window, in which four-legged friends weighing up to 11 kg can be taken on trips. A cat leash is also offered, but with prices of around 190 and 54 euros, both are by no means cheap.
Stray x Travel Cat Backpack
PS disk space and PC system requirements
Stray will be released on Tuesday 19th July 2022 for PlayStation 4 and 5 and PC. On Sony's consoles, the title can be played free of charge as part of the PS Plus subscription levels Extra and Premium. Stray takes up 13.4 GB of storage space on the PlayStation 4, but only 7.5 GB on the PlayStation 5. The reason is the data compression with Kraken. However, the developers have already announced that there will be a day-one patch. Stray costs 27 euros on Steam, but is sold at a 10 percent discount until the day of release.