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Stray: The Cyberpunk Cat


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Weird to finally be playing this after following it for 5+ years. I feel a bit bad that I've got it for free by taking advantage of the PS+ free trial. 

 

Only played about a hour but am somewhat relieved. I was super anxious about it several months ago when I discovered they had to rework the game to be all automated jumping due to playtesting feedback since it was the fluid cat like platforming that really stood out to me early on BUT I can kind of see why they did it. They have done a good job of adding other contextual elements around with other options, so it's not just walking to dot to dot to dot. It's still very 'on tracks' compared to the original vision but if it results in less platforming frustration, then I guess it's better that they did this.

 

Some early footage from 2016, it's this clip in particular that I'm referring to. Would have loved it to be more of a platformer like this but even here, you can tell it would lose something by having the camera so far away to support this type of gameplay.

 

https://videopress.com/v/3xuVvRRC

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Put a couple of hrs into this. The graphics and audio are absolutely fantastic. Like a lot of the PS5 stuff, it’s a whole level above pretty much everything currently on Xbox. Just looks and sounds lush and really, really high quality and big budget.
 

Playing on studio headphones and the audio is some of the best I’ve ever heard. The soundscapes and environmental effects have real depth and clarity and the ambient synth sounds that wash in on top of it all........just wow! Makes it a real chill out game. As do the graphics, which are some of the best I’ve seen so far this gen. Everything’s so crisp and vivid and packed with detail. Stunning! 

 

So far it’s the gameplay which has been the weak link. Definitely feels more of a game to stick on and just zone out with, whilst soaking up the sights and sounds.

 

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I am absolutely loving this too, especially having come from two huge games in Elden Ring and Cyberpunk. It's incredibly charming, feels really distinct and has a lovely gentle vibe to it.

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This is one of my top 5 favorite ever games. I like that you are literally a cat, and not some talking magic Disney anthropomorphized cat. I enjoy drinking from puddles and meowing in echoey spaces.

 

When I went to buy it it told me I got it free with the subscription but I decided to pay for it anyway.

 

Cat behavior is 10/10:

 

Spoiler

When B-12 puts the backpack on you and you walk around dragging your belly on the ground :lol: classic cat

 

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2 minutes ago, grounded_dreams said:

Booted the game up while on lunch just to quickly check it out. One of my cats who was sleeping in another room came rushing in and did this when the cats at the beginning of the game started meowing hehe

 

 

 

PXL_20220720_122623659 (1).jpg

 

lol my dog wouldn't stop growling

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5 hours ago, Dark Soldier said:

Ultrawide support straight out the gate on PC. Really well optimised, hitting 160-195fps. Beautiful to look at. 

 

Its adorable and exactly what I needed.

Mine seems to be capped at 60. 
The setting won’t let me go higher. 
Can I ask how you did it? 

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47 minutes ago, bignige said:

Mine seems to be capped at 60. 
The setting won’t let me go higher. 
Can I ask how you did it? 

Just selected unlocked (or unlimited, can't remember the precise wording) refresh rate in the menu.  60 and 30 were the other two options.

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I enjoyed playing this for a bit last night and it seems great. It's kinda a shame that the devs decided they needed a cyberpunk city, though. Using a real world setting would have been more interesting for me - the USP of playing as a cat in this game is enough to carry it, it doesn't need the sci-fi stuff bolted on even though it's fun so far.

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I put this on my PS5 tonight intending to get started but a few seconds into the intro I had to turn it off. The sounds coming out of my speakers were so good and crisp I decided to wait until my Sony PS5 headphones were charged before I play.

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Glad I didn’t pay £25 for this because I’d have felt properly ripped off. Really want to like it, the graphics and audio are great and playing as a cat is cool but, the actual gameplay itself.......it’s just not very good. Like a 4/10......at best, level of not very good.
 

There’s no interesting platforming, no interesting exploration, no interesting puzzles. It feels more like an interactive demo than a game. The gameplay that is there is so derivative it’s unreal. It’s basically just a series of incredibly simplistic “My First Fetch Quests” and a lot of holding up on the stick to walk down empty corridors.......before holding X to auto jump over some boxes. 4 digit key codes to find (and by find I mean they’re at the side of the keypad). Bad onrails into the screen sections that make Crash Bandicoot seem cutting edge. It even has the old “character can’t climb over knee high wall” bullshit, yet you’re a fucking Cat! 😂. Here you can jump on fences and boxes but other fences and boxes that are exactly the same........you can’t jump on them.........”oh it’s stopped me doing what I’ve been able to do on everything else because I need to use a crate on wheels instead” or “oh I need to use a keycode lock instead of just jumping over the fucking fence, which I was able to do before”. It’s really poor design. Worse still all of this is rammed together, there’s no space between any of it. Story isn’t interesting either, which is a shame because the robots and the cats are great. 
 

Says a lot when the best bits so far have literally been pressing triangle to claw a rug. Pressing triangle to paw a toy. Pressing triangle to claw a tree etc. You can also finish it in under 2 hrs. Which is either a blessing or a piss take for £25, depending on how you look at it. Definitely recommend playing it for free or signing up to Plus if you’re interested in giving it a go.

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It's Edith Finch with cats. I'm not exactly gonna be upset because the gameplay isn't deep. 

 

It's a glorious, beautiful  charming mood piece. And all the better that games like this exist within the space 

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7 minutes ago, Dark Soldier said:

It's Edith Finch with cats. I'm not exactly gonna be upset because the gameplay isn't deep. 

 

It's a glorious, beautiful  charming mood piece. And all the better that games like this exist within the space 


Translation - there’s fuck all gameplay! 🤣 

 

I agree it’s beautiful and it’s got some charming elements in the cats and robots. Where you see mood piece though I just see a very shallow, derivative, simplistic, boring and poorly designed game. Reminds me a fair bit of Shadow of the Tomb Raider.......only even more “on rails” and dumbed down. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Opinionated Ham Scarecrow said:

If you don't like it that's cool, but there's a big fuck off massive place for games like this and I for one think it's lovely. Nothing about it is poorly designed, it's just not doing what you want it to, but hey, there's other games. Now I'm off to rub against some robo-legs. Miaow.


I’ve already mentioned why I think some of it is poorly designed. You can jump on a fence......but not on that identical fence, because to get over that fence, you need to “solve” a mindnumbingly dumb “puzzle”. That’s really poor design even in a years old open world game. 

 

There are locked doors that you need codes for. The code is at the side of the door. Pointless and poor design.

 

There’s a spinning fan. “How do I possibly get past it”. Remove battery that is highlighted directly at the side of the door. Pointless and poor design.

 

The list goes on and on. It’s full of stuff like that. It makes Pong seem like Astro Physics. It manages to dumb down pretty much everything from “platforming”, to “puzzling”. It even explains and leads you where to go in a single long straight corridor at one point. You get to the other end and the character has to guide you back in case you get lost! Wtf!?!? 😂 It waters everything down and treats the player as if they’re totally brainless, to the point the game becomes incredibly boring to play. It’s also totally linear which doesn’t help. That’s why I don’t like it. It’s dumb as a brick. A lot of the reviews mention it’s a 3rd Person Platform Adventure game designed for “casual gamers”.


Special mention has to go to.......

 

The pipes you roll are just replacements for crate pushing. Get in pipe, roll forwards, climb on it. Totally pointless and poor design. Stray has actually managed to dumb down crate pushing “puzzles”! Can’t believe it’s finally happened but, I guess it was only a matter of time!

 

So yeah, if this game had the graphics and sound of a PSone title, I doubt anyone would be talking this up. It’s incredibly shallow and all about the graphics and audio. If you enjoy that then great. I have done myself. However, I’m amazed that anyone would hold up the “gameplay” on offer here as being any good, especially considering the potential that playing as a cat has for innovative and interesting gameplay. 

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26 minutes ago, CrichStand said:


I’ve already mentioned why I think some of it is poorly designed. You can jump on a fence......but not on that identical fence, because to get over that fence, you need to “solve” a mindnumbingly dumb “puzzle”. That’s really poor design even in a years old open world game. 

 

There are locked doors that you need codes for. The code is at the side of the door. Pointless and poor design.

 

There’s a spinning fan. “How do I possibly get past it”. Remove battery that is highlighted directly at the side of the door. Pointless and poor design.

 

The list goes on and on. It’s full of stuff like that. It makes Pong seem like Astro Physics. It manages to dumb down pretty much everything from “platforming”, to “puzzling”. It even explains and leads you where to go in a single long straight corridor at one point. You get to the other end and the character has to guide you back in case you get lost! Wtf!?!? 😂 It waters everything down and treats the player as if they’re totally brainless, to the point the game becomes incredibly boring to play. It’s also totally linear which doesn’t help. That’s why I don’t like it. It’s dumb as a brick. A lot of the reviews mention it’s a 3rd Person Platform Adventure game designed for “casual gamers”.


Special mention has to go to.......

 

The pipes you roll are just replacements for crate pushing. Get in pipe, roll forwards, climb on it. Totally pointless and poor design. Stray has actually managed to dumb down crate pushing “puzzles”! Can’t believe it’s finally happened but, I guess it was only a matter of time!

 

So yeah, if this game had the graphics and sound of a PSone title, I doubt anyone would be talking this up. It’s incredibly shallow and all about the graphics and audio. If you enjoy that then great. I have done myself. However, I’m amazed that anyone would hold up the “gameplay” on offer here as being any good, especially considering the potential that playing as a cat has for innovative and interesting gameplay. 

 

I think the problem people will have with your hot take is that "poor design" to you means not 100% free control of the situation. It's not dumbed down to have "press to jump" or the like. It's an experience the developer choose to deliver.

 

But this isn't an action adventure game. It's a primarily a walking simulator. It's not really watered down. It's not trying to present Elden Ring: Feline Edition. It wants to tell a little story. Reveal a little world. It's not less of a physics simulation than Pong because of development failure or limitation. But one of vision. It doesn't strive to be a platformer (as much as part of me really wants someone to make a cat-former).

 

You don't enjoy that as an interaction model or gaming experience. Not an issue. But your phrasing makes it only clear it's not the game you expected or desired.

 

That's not to say of course that there cannot be faults in the puzzles or interactivity. But your comparisons to games in very different genres and offering a very different level of agency just make them irrelevant.

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Somebody doesn't like cats. How is it derivative?

 

Cats are very tired ALL OF THE TIME and you can jump on everything, been jumping on loads of stuff.

 

Yeah, it's a linear game and not grand theft sheeba but it's better that way.

 

FOUR OUT OF TEN TWENTY FIVE POUNDS BASTARDS

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I think CrichStand is the banger who goes around complaining about FromSoft’s Souls games having “bad design”. I don’t think he knows what “bad design” actually means. I certainly don’t whenever he bangs on about it.

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4 hours ago, thesnwmn said:

 

I think the problem people will have with your hot take is that "poor design" to you means not 100% free control of the situation. It's not dumbed down to have "press to jump" or the like. It's an experience the developer choose to deliver.

 

But this isn't an action adventure game. It's a primarily a walking simulator. It's not really watered down. It's not trying to present Elden Ring: Feline Edition. It wants to tell a little story. Reveal a little world. It's not less of a physics simulation than Pong because of development failure or limitation. But one of vision. It doesn't strive to be a platformer (as much as part of me really wants someone to make a cat-former).

 

You don't enjoy that as an interaction model or gaming experience. Not an issue. But your phrasing makes it only clear it's not the game you expected or desired.

 

That's not to say of course that there cannot be faults in the puzzles or interactivity. But your comparisons to games in very different genres and offering a very different level of agency just make them irrelevant.


The game is literally described by Sony and its developers as a “3rd Person Platform Adventure”, which it is being advertised and sold as! I can see why people are talking about it being a walking sim or a mood piece though........because that gets around the fact the gameplay is wafer thin and poorly/lazily designed.

 

I love Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and stuff like Dear Esther, even the first person sections of Returnal. Last time I checked they didn’t consist of auto pilot crate pushing “puzzles”, into the screen sub Crash Bandicoot chase sections, tedious fetch quests, 5 of these to collect, 7 of those to collect etc etc.
 

Also, if you’re going to have puzzles involving spinning ventilation fans and crate pushing (this in itself tells you all ya need to know about the game design) don’t have the solution be to unplug the fan from the power, which is highlighted directly at the side of the fan..........or put a bucket in it which is highlighted directly at the side of the fan. Or have a keycard door with the code you need to find directly at the side of the keycard door. Or if you need to figure out how to get over a fence don’t put a pushable pipe 2 steps from said fence. Or if you’re in a corridor don’t put arrows you need to follow, or have something else designed so that you don’t get lost.........in a single fucking corridor. 😂 Oh and make sure you can jump on all of the things that you should be able to jump on......obviously. Oh and also, don’t have characters that give you fetch quests, placed after the fucking things they want you to fetch, that have all just been placed on the linear path you’ve been funnelled down, so that when you meet them you just repeatedly  click “have that, have that, have that” - “quest completed”.  A lot of the way things are designed just renders them as being pointless.

 

Again, the above stuff is why i don’t like it. It’s not a big conspiracy. I just think the gameplay is poor, lazily designed and derivative. Quite a few of the reviews have said the same thing but, bizarrely, have still given the game a high score based on its graphics and sound (which I also enjoyed). For me, it’s a 4 or 5/10 game wrapped up in 9 or 10/10 graphics and audio.

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People have bonded over this game. People like pretending to be their pets and solving little puzzles together in a way that games haven't captured before. Something doesn't have to be purrfect to make an impact. It introduces games to new people a bit like The Goose Game did. Instead of laughs it has cat action. It's not just some shitty puzzle platformer, it means something.

 

 

 

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I’m enjoying it but I get @CrichStand criticisms. If this was The Last Of Puss it would be getting way more criticism for its very basic gameplay - but cats. 
 

But you know that’s it’s greatest achievement too, really. To present a world as bleak and depressing as this yet still make people bond over it and express their humanity. 
 

Those robot rats are shit though. 

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7 hours ago, Calashnikov said:

I think CrichStand is the banger who goes around complaining about FromSoft’s Souls games having “bad design”. I don’t think he knows what “bad design” actually means. I certainly don’t whenever he bangs on about it.

I think 'Bad Design' is the name of Crichstand's upcoming rap album 

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