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Stray PS5 review, a journey never seen before

We had the pleasure of previewing the latest BlueTwelve Studio title distributed by Annapurna. Let’s find Stray together in our PS5 version review

A cat, a ruined world populated by droids and a special travel companion. These are the premises of Stray, the boys’ latest masterpiece BlueTwelve Studio or as they define themselves as “a small team composed mainly of cats with a handful of humans in tow”. The history of video games has seen creatures of all kinds engage in titanic adventures and exploits. Today, however, we will tell you about a simple cat discovering the unexplored. While waiting for Stray to be available on the market, we want to tell you about it previewed in our PS5 review.

The unusual story of a poor stray

Stray catapults us into the shoes of a small stray cat in the days of a deadly bacterium called Zurg. After exterminating humanity, the Zurgs also threaten the post-apocalyptic world populated by robots in which our adventure takes hold. For a series of unfortunate events our little four-legged hero will find himself lost, hurt and alone, grappling with an ancient mystery. In fact, legends tell of a world outside the walls of the robots called Beyond, with endless expanses of water and pristine clearings. In short, nothing that Shōnen lovers have not already heard …

In parallel to this we find the story of the little one B-12, a faithful drone that will accompany us on our adventure in search of its lost memories. In addition to keeping us company and serving as an inventory, B-12 will reveal itself a very good right arm also in dealing with the numerous (and precious) NPCs that populate the game world.

Stray PS5 review, a journey never seen before

Oh, Annapurna… – Stray PS5 review, a journey never seen before

Let’s start with the basics: Stray is the classic title of Annapurna, like so many others we have loved. Anyone who has played What Remains of Edith Finch, The Outer Wilds or Journey knows exactly what I mean. We are talking about a puzzle game with an extremely marked and detailed narrative component, where all the elements of the story and lore they are revealed as you search the game world and the relationship between the characters deepens. In this case our hero’s story doesn’t have much to tell, but everything around us (including B-12) it has incredible revelations and hidden secrets that it is up to us to unravel.

Consequently, the macro-areas that we will find ourselves exploring are extremely detailed, full of collectibles and scattered with key objects. Each object has its usefulness, from those that can be traded with the merchant to others useful for progressing in history or delving into the droids’ past. The vertical development of the maps is amazing and keeps our cat constantly engaged in small parkour sessions to climb the buildings and sneak into every nook and cranny to discover hidden areas and apartments full of valuables. The alleys of the city also teem with elements of the old civilization of the gods Malleable (humans), who will help B-12 reconstruct his memories.

Stray PS5 review, a journey never seen before

Meow – Stray PS5 review, a journey never seen before

The first thing that catches the eye from the first minutes of the game (obviously) is the incredible work done in the “construction” of the cat. In Stray it is possible to do everything a kitten does, from meowing to nailing on the sofa through napping on the pillows. These elements, however, are not only goliardic, but they include real gameplay mechanics. For example, scratching on a door could unlock a new area, as well as pushing a bucket off a shelf with its paw. Stealth sessions, in turn, involve distracting voracious Zurgs with meowing or the hide in boxes until the danger is avoided. In short, all the typical behaviors of cats in Stray have a utility for gameplay purposes and it drives us crazy.

Technically, a few problems of interpenetration aside (we are still talking about a preview), the cat is practically perfect. The animations are extremely well done as well as the interactions with the game world and with B-12. We also understand the issues of constantly having a fur ball on screen and appreciate the work done in making the fur, justifying the resulting downscaling from the extreme details shown in the trailers. Really great work.

Stray PS5 review, a journey never seen before

A feast for the eyes and ears – Stray review for PS5, a journey never seen before

It is clear, from what has been written so far, that we have remained extremely impressed by Stray. The thing that takes the game to a higher level, however, is certainly its artistic sector and the aesthetic choices adopted by the guys at BlueTwelve. Stray is beautiful to see and hear from start to finish. The game environments, in addition to presenting an excellent vertical developmentare extremely accurate and detailed. The models of the droid and their variants are really successful and perfectly contextualized with the lore. Interactions with your cat more than once make you smile and there is no shortage of easter eggs and quotes (a robot even got a screwdriver in his knee). Added to this is a perfect handling of volumetric lighting, particle effects and ray-tracing which, in combination with the game palette, enhance the entire graphics package.

Icing on the cake a particularly apt audio sector. We loved the choices made, both in the sound design and in the composition of the music. The sound design, however essential, fits perfectly with the mood of the game and does not fail to excite in the decisive moments. The music instead, composed by the Dutch Yann Van Der Cruyssen, perfectly follow the aesthetic line of the game. The cyberpunk context of the cities is enhanced by synthesizers and shamelessly synthetic sounds, while in the wildest contexts we are accompanied by long and smooth textures. On the subject of the game we do not even dwell on compliments. A particular mention, moreover, goes to the guitarist robot for which Van Der Cruyssen composed the various melodies. Our friend will ask us to retrieve scores scattered throughout the city in exchange for a reward, and with each score delivered he will perform the performance of that particular composition. Hat.

Stray PS5 review, a journey never seen before

A 10-year-old cat? No, but almost – Stray review for PS5, a journey never seen before

It is not at all easy to find fault with Stray by contextualizing the game, but by wanting to nitpick there would be a little something to say. First of all, in some particularly excited sessions the frame rate it’s not really statuesque. During the chases with the Zurgs, for example, our PS5 had a couple of moments of fainting (strange for a new gen console struggling with an indie). In the jumps on some surfaces we have found some minor bugs, such as the inability to go down or an accentuated interpenetration in some game assets. The camera, moreover, in some situations is a bit ‘the tantrumsmaking it slightly problematic to reach some points above.

Some longevity purists may find Stray to be overly short (about 8 hours to complete the main story), but for us in this case durability is not a problem. The game is based on a single dynamic: to bring an object A to a character A, to unlock an object B to take to a character B, and so on. This dynamic would make the game boring and monotonous in the long run, which does not happen in the Stray package. The duration leaves no time for boredom and the beauty of the game world compensates for the repetitiveness of the quests. And then, in all honesty, trotting around the city purring robots it’s really funny.

Stray PS5 review, a journey never seen before

Let’s sum it up

Net of what has been analyzed in the course of this review, we are ready to sum up the PS5 version of Stray. In summary, Stray is a game absolutely to try, both for freshness and for the validity of the title. The novelty of impersonating a cat gives way, after a few minutes, to an exciting and engaging story, a beautiful game world and a respectable artistic sector. As already mentioned, the work done by the guys of BlueTwelve in the realization of the cat it is almost flawless in all its aspects, with the exception of some very small technical problems. If you love cats, cyberpunk or both, Stray is a must in your collection. If not, it is equally so. Really well done.

Stray will be available from tomorrow 19 July 2022 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 e PlayStation 5. In addition to the physical and digital purchase possibilities, the game will also be present in the PlayStation Plus Extra subscription. As always, we greet you and invite you to follow TechGameWorld.com for more reviews, news, guides and much more from the world of video games. Also, don’t forget to check out the Instant Gaming catalog for always discounted games. Hello and good gaming!

A breath of fresh air!

Points in favor

  • Extremely loyal kitty
  • Exciting and engaging story
  • Lots of secrets and collectibles
  • Flawless artistic sector
  • Technically very solid …

Points against

  • … but with some minor bugs
  • Rare and very small drops in the frame-rate