Lying around lazily all day, feeding and being petted. Let’s face it, we’ve all thought about how relaxed it would be to lead a cat’s life. This dream could soon become a reality: With Stray, an action adventure for PC will be released in spring 2022, PS4 and PS5, in which you actually slip into the skin of a furry four-legged friend.

Even if most of them only became aware of Stray through the PS5 reveal stream last year: The project is already much older. Two former members joined forces in 2015 Ubisoft -Developers together to work on it under the working title “HK_Project”. In the meantime, their own multi-headed studio has been founded with BlueTwelve, and Annapurna has a well-known publisher behind them. Even six years later, nothing has changed in the original idea.

Stray | PREVIEW | Cat adventure in a dark cyberpunk metropolis

Stray is a third-person cat adventure set in a dystopian cyberpunk -Metropolis. Anyone who groans loudly and fears Night City 2.0 is wrong. An atmosphere with a Far Eastern touch awaits you in the game: Colorful lanterns and intertwined characters mix with broken neon signs and mountains of junk. When designing the surroundings, the creators were heavily inspired by the Kowloon Walled City, a former district of Hong Kong. In the second place, 33,000 people lived on an area the size of just four football fields. Accordingly, the cityscape of Stray is also characterized by tall buildings, claustrophobic narrow streets and above all: many, many residents. However, these are exclusively humanoid robots. There seem to be no more people in the world of Stray.

Stray: The Cyberpunk Cat Adventure Preview.  (4)

Stray: The Cyberpunk Cat Adventure Preview. (4)

Those: BlueTwelve Studio / Annapurna Interactive

You and your cat are literally thrown into this strange world. At the beginning of the game you fall down into one of the street canyons and, initially injured, have to find a way home to your family. The developers put a strong focus on exploration and puzzles. So far, everything looks relatively simple: At the push of a button, your ball of fur jumps over floating barrels or climbs up on house facades. Here and there it is also important to overcome obstacles. Then you stop a ventilation by blocking the rotor blades with a bucket. Or you push things over an edge in typical cat fashion and break a pane of glass underneath you.

The developers want to motivate you to interact with the game world in a playful way. Because this is the only way to discover what the city and its inhabitants are all about. Stray doesn’t press his story into your eyes, but tells a lot through mood and surroundings.

Your companion B12, a flying drone that you carry around on your back in a backpack, will also help you on your journey. If you find exciting things such as an energy drink in the cyberpunk metropolis, you can not just examine them more closely. Your AI buddy can also collect objects and stow them in his inventory in order to dig them out again when the time comes. A safe cannot be opened? With the associated key this should no longer be a problem!

But B12 is much more than that. As an interpreter, he allows you to communicate with the cyborg residents of the city. It also seems to have some kind of memory storage. At least that’s what the menu item “Memories” suggests. And that would go well with the developers’ promise that the little one will have a mysterious backstory that you can reveal and thus cement your relationship with him.

Last but not least, B12 is also a useful weapon in the fight for survival. Because in the world of Stray not all residents are particularly fond of animals. The developers already gave a quick look at a number of opponents: little orange crawling creatures, called Zurks, who are always in packs and look a little like the headcrabs from Half-Life. At the beginning you can only run away from them or sneak past them. In addition to parkour and stealth inserts, there are actually fights later on. From a robot doc you get a kind of UV light beam mounted on your drone, with which you can heat up your enemies – but probably not for an unlimited period of time. An energy bar indicates that you have to pay attention to the battery level of B12 here. And whether your funzel helps against other dangers, such as the already shown alien goo growth, has yet to be seen.

Stray: The Cyberpunk Cat Adventure Preview.  (1)

Stray: The Cyberpunk Cat Adventure Preview. (1)

Those: BlueTwelve Studio / Annapurna Interactive

What can already be seen is the beautiful staging by Stray. In addition to the unique perspective, the adventure also has a really great art style in store. The varied, vertical surroundings of the crumbling sci-fi metropolis, the attention to detail, the atmospheric fog, the chic mirror and light effects, all made you want more. Only the movements of our character could have looked a little rounder, more natural and well … more feline here and there. The fact that we can sharpen our claws on the sofa, meow or be petted is a good start. But we are sure: there is more!

Stray: The Cyberpunk Cat Adventure Preview.  (2)

Stray: The Cyberpunk Cat Adventure Preview. (2)

Those: BlueTwelve Studio / Annapurna Interactive

We are therefore all the more excited to see what the makers will have to show us in the future. Because all of our questions have not been answered for a long time: Are we allowed to adapt our cat’s look? Do we need to eat and drink regularly? How open is the game world? We hope for an update soon. We wouldn’t complain about a specific release date either. So far it is only certain that Stray will appear sometime next spring for PC and exclusively for Playstation 4 and 5.


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