Stray Game Review: The Game Literally Takes You Up

Stray Game
Photo: Collected

Stray Game Review tells you how the Stray Game is. It comes out on July 19 for PC, PS4, and PS5, has no people in it. Either they moved to another world or they died out as a species. Stray gives you bits and pieces of its story that you can put together. Even though the humans are gone, their marks are all over the world of Stray. Stray is a cyber city that is surrounded by a giant dome. You’re safe as long as you stay inside, but dangers lurk, or zurk. In Stray, the outside world, the one that’s open to the sky, is thought to be uninhabitable, just like in the Wachowskis’ groundbreaking movie.

Length of game

BlueTwelve Studio, the company that made Stray, says that if you want to play it all the way through, it will take you about eight hours and at most ten hours.

There are guardians, weavers, bartenders, programmers, market sellers, and trash pickers. Some people are happy just to throw paint buckets from one roof to the next. On Stray, the robots are pretty much the same as people.

And you, a cat, are in the middle of it all. Stray is a game where you play as a stray cat that finds its way into the dome world. If you didn’t already know this or if the cover image didn’t give it away, you play as a stray cat. You will get a floating droid friend in B-12 very early on. This droid can help you carry an unlimited number of items, use gadgets, scan and translate text, and give you hints. As the unnamed cat, you set out to figure out what’s going on in the dome world with the help of B-12, whose memory has been messed up. What happened to it, how to get out of it, where the humans went, and why the world seems to be lifeless.

Who would be scared of a cat?

Stray is soft-spoken and likes to be alone. First of all, the cat doesn’t talk, but you can make it meow by pressing the “O” or “circle” button on the DualSense or DualShock 4. And even though B-12 is with you, it doesn’t give you running commentary. When you tell it to do something, it only makes beeps and boops. Most of the time in Stray, you feel like you’re just floating around the game world as you try to figure out what happened there. The AI robots, on the other hand, don’t know much about their 7-foot height. When they first see you in Stray, they are scared to death, which makes no sense at all. Who would be scared of a cat?

Fair enough, but there’s more to it than that. The robots think the cat looks like a zurk. In that they are both big and have four legs. What’s a zurk, you say? I don’t want to give away any more of the Stray story, so I won’t say much. Zurks are in some ways Stray’s main enemy. They are small, four-legged creatures that move in groups, can run fast, jump at anything that moves, and can grab you with all their strength. They drain your energy, so as the cat, you should try to stay away from them as much as possible. And if they grab you, press a button (“O” again, by the way) to throw them off and run to safety (“R2”, right trigger).

Because cats are smaller and more agile than humans and Stray’s robots, they have a better chance against zurks. Also, because it is so small, it can get into small spaces and walk where people can’t because they are too big or too heavy. Stray is a game where you climb your way through and between levels. The game literally takes you up. But climbing isn’t normal, and you can’t do it unless Stray lets you. You have to move around until the “X” (or “cross”) button appears, which you can then hit to make the cat jump. I would have liked something more natural and free-form, like in Assassin’s Creed, where you push the left stick in a direction and the cat just climbs in that direction.

It can get in the way when you’re in combat and need to move quickly to stay alive. Waiting for “X” for just a second or half a second can mean the difference between life and death. Even more so when a swarm of Zurks is behind you. It’s annoying to have to do a part of the level over again just because the prompt didn’t appear. (For what it’s worth, Stray’s simple puzzles aren’t too hard to solve because they are based on prompts. Stray is a mix of moving around, fighting, solving puzzles, and talking to other people. The first and last parts of the game take up most of the time.

Size of the Stray game download

Stray was about 7.5GB to download on the PS5, which is what we chose. Steam says that to install Stray on PC, you will need 10GB of free space.

But the bugs are a much bigger problem. One of them pretty much stopped my progress. An NPC got stuck in the air, a few meters away from where they should have been. It didn’t help that they never talked to me about the entrance they were trying to lead me to and that the entrance they were trying to lead me to was dark. Even a full restart of Stray didn’t fix the problem. The bug seems to have been saved as it was. 

Stray really gets how cats move

through the Stray game review you really get how cats move, from how they walk to how they jump. Surprisingly, they didn’t use motion capture. Instead, they used good old-fashioned hand animation. Stray also uses well-known cat memes, like how cats like to put their heads in bags which makes them lose all sense of direction and is very funny and jump into cardboard boxes used in stealth-driven combat scenes. Stray has a lot of different styles, like that spectrum. It goes from heartfelt anime to eerie horror and from quiet backwaters to heart-pounding thriller.

In the history of video games, animals have been used as human companions, attack helpers, and Easter egg distractions. However, Stray is one of the few games that asks you to play as an animal. It’s not even close to purr-fect, but it’s still fun.