During today’s Annapurna Interactive showcase, French developer BlueTwelve Studio finally gave us an in-depth look at its first game, Stray.
Stray puts you in the furry body of a stray cat who, through some mysterious circumstance, has arrived in a bleak, futuristic city inhabited by humanoid robots. Along the way, you’ll explore and solve puzzles as only a cat can, navigating an inhospitable world with the feline’s natural acrobatics and wit. Despite its grungy trappings, however, the game doesn’t always take itself too seriously.
“It was important for us to show a glimpse of all the playful interactions that [the cat] can have with his environment,” producer Swann Martin-Raget explained via PlayStation Blog. “Some of them are useful and will help solve puzzles as you progress, and some are just here because cats will be cats—and as most cat owners know painfully well, no sofa can be left unscratched.”
Stray’s fuzzy hero eventually comes into possession of a small drone that allows him to communicate with the city’s robotic inhabitants and interact with the environment. I gotta say, I’m not a huge fan of taking attention away from the cat, the good boy that he is, but there’s something very adorable about the harness he wears to control his flying buddy.
Of course, being a video game, Stray eventually expands to include more combat-focused elements. But from what we’ve seen so far, it’s clear the game’s most special moments will come in the quiet between these encounters, when the cat is simply looking for some collected rainwater to drink or snoozing on a pile of pillows next to a busking musician. That’s the kind of thing I’m looking forward to, at least.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more intrigued by a title than I am by Stray, and this afternoon’s demo, while brief, only furthered my hunger for this beautiful-looking adventure game. Stray is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC in early 2022, and I need it, like, right now. (But seriously, take all the time in the world.)