Move over Elden Ring and God of War: the game of the year is finally here, and it’s about a tiny cat.
‘Stray’, the latest release from Annapurna Interactive (Outer Wilds, Kentucky Route Zero), sees players take up the mantle of a stray cat in a gorgeous sci-fi world.
It may be one of the most unusual titles of the year, but Stray is a fantastic showcase for what indie developers can do with next-gen consoles.
From the rain-drizzled opening sequence that has echoes of The Last of Us, to the cat’s entry into the strange dystopian city populated by carnivorous blobs and friendly robots, it’s clear from the start that Stray is going to be different from your average AAA-game.
The game is full of environmental puzzles and a slow, oozing sense of mystery, but where it really shines is in its worldbuilding.
The city you explore is intricately designed down to the last detail, and it’s a joy to traverse along drainpipes, window ledges, clothes lines and more as a cat.
Accompanied by a small drone, you’re able to interact with many of the weird and wonderful androids inhabiting the city, who have evolved bizarre human-like behaviours after centuries of being alone.
Although many gamers have praised Stray for its rich environments, compelling storyline, and beautiful graphics, lots of players are more excited about just being able to do ‘cat stuff’.
This includes walking over a keyboard, clawing carpets and walls, play piano, getting stuck in a bag, and licking yourself clean.
Twitter user Xythar wrote: “The breakout popularity of both Untitled Goose Game in 2019 and Stray in 2022 shows that a significant number of people just want to play as a little critter”
Meanwhile, ‘bestofvidgames’ said: “I actually love it so much, turns out my biggest gaming dream was playing as a cat!” and another user added: “Really enjoying it. Just doing cat stuff is fun.”
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