We will examine Stray, the most anticipated game of the summer of 2022 and the most talked about after its release, whose main character is a cat.
The bold and creative work that emerges in the gaming industry is often the result of the departure of a group of developers working for a billion dollar company. They start their own company and work day and night to create the game of their dreams. For example, Overcooked, the most fun multiplayer game I’ve ever played, was created when Phil Duncan and Oli De-Vine, who left Frontier Developments, started their own company. It is possible to give many other examples of this.
This is how the game Stray, in which we manage a cat, comes out. The challenge of Colas Koola and Viven Mermet-Guyenet, who decided to make their dream game with Blue Twelve Studio after working for many years at Ubisoft’s Montpellier studio.
Working with Annapurna Interactive to develop the game, the buddies get to work when they provide the necessary support. After almost 7 years of development from idea to implementation, they create Stray.
That’s a pretty big deal for a small, independent firm. But luckily things go as planned and Stray, which is basically based on a cat story, gets a lot of attention.
The Story of Stray
The game begins with a cat separated from his family, who falls into a Cyberpunk-inspired atmosphere inspired by the Kowloon Wall City.
During the game who we manage the cat named Stray, we make friends with a drone, try to get out of this underground world to the surface and reunite with our family.
General Evaluation of Stray
The game has a third-person camera angle and is decorated with platforming elements. It has a cyberpunk universe that utilizes the enormous design possibilities of driving a cat.
While some puzzles are criticized for being a walking simulator for not challenging the players, in my eyes this is not a problem with the truly layered structure of the story it tells.
The cat that gives life to our hero in the game is a cat named Murtaugh, the cat of one of the developers. They always used Murtaugh’s behavior while modeling the animations. It makes us think that there is a team that is passionate about its work and the story of the game, and knows the creature that tells it.
In the game we can really see everything about a cat’s behavior. Scratching carpets, walls, drinking water from a bowl, accidentally sticking our heads in a paper bag…Our ability to scratch the rugs even serves the flow of the story in some areas. But it will be a job full of wonderful details if we have to make our cat drink water if he is dehydrated in order not to tire the player, or if we have to scratch our nails to sharpen our nails to go to higher places jump
Stray, a very meticulous game produced by independent developers, has some small bugs that will not interrupt the gameplay from the moment it is released, but they do not cause problems.
One downside: There is no animation when our cat picks up items, for example putting a backpack designed for cats on her back. Our backpack appears directly on our back. This is a situation we no longer want to encounter in new generation productions. The animations would have been more consistent and smoother if we carried that backpack with one small movement, rolling on the ground, or with the help of the drone, but I think it was not given enough attention, since it is a dimension which increases cost and increases the workload of the large project that an independent studio is undressing.
In summary, despite some flaws, Stray is an above-the-line company that manages to live up to this expectation despite the increased expectation with advertising, and manages to deliver a high-end gaming experience for ‘ to offer an independent game. Although the gaming media says “I haven’t had enough fun, more fun! more fun!“ While they complain low, its player ratings on Metacritic are high for trying out a new character, being an independent business, and telling a good story.
There are undoubtedly some lessons for big game companies. We are the players; We want beautiful experiences that tell good stories, that work, that are full of uncomplicated mechanics. Not games where we constantly kill each other and kill each other and are reborn in the online world, taking advantage of the technical possibilities of the 21st century.
By the way, the game was released on both the PC and the Playstation. the price is affordable. It was even offered free to Playstation Plus Extra subscribers from the day it was released.
Also, if I were a screenwriter, I would make the following critical choice at the beginning of the story. It might have been more unusual for Stray to break away from his human friend rather than his feline family and struggle to get back to him, which would have helped players identify better.
Briefly My Opinion
Stray is an above-the-line business that can meet this expectation despite the increased expectation with advertisements, and that manages to provide a high-end gaming experience for an indie game.