Sci-fi game Stray delivers the ultimate fantasy: a listening cat

Sci-fi game Stray delivers the ultimate fantasy: a listening cat
Written by admin_3fxxacau

There is a dedicated “meow” button in WanderDeveloper BlueTwelve Studio’s next cyberpunk adventure featuring a stray cat, and you can tap it as many times as you want.

When you play as this nameless orange cat, you can be your most genuine, annoying cat — or you can take a nap, pausing your adventure in a sci-fi city populated by machines, for an indefinite amount of time. Stay there, doing nothing, contributing nothing.

These actions (or inactions) highlight the developer’s commitment to chat authenticity in Wandera game where players will experience a sort of power fantasy of laid-back feline life.

The PlayStation and PC game developer seems to be exploring all aspects of moving through a world as a cat, platforming – there’s a lot of verticality in Wander— level design to communication with other characters. There’s the aforementioned meow button, but players can also scratch doors to get the attention of residents of apartment buildings and businesses. The cat can use its mouth to pick up small objects, such as a bucket, or its paws to knock objects off edges, as cats are used to doing. In a puzzle-solving sequence we saw during the demo, the cat knocked paint cans off a roof ledge, smashing a glass enclosure and gaining access to a new area.

Image: BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive

Not all of WanderCat behaviors are strictly gameplay related; players can claw carpets and sofas, the same way they would claw doors, using alternating L2 and R2 triggers on a PlayStation controller. Or they can knock over stacks of books or cans of paint as they please, wander through the mess and leave colorful paw prints across the levels.

It seems that much of the appeal of Wander will simply do cat stuff.

But there is an overarching narrative in Wander, and an “ancient mystery” to uncover, according to its developer. The mission of the cat in Wander is to escape the fortified cybercity he inhabits, and he will enlist the aid of a small drone named B-12 to achieve this goal. The flying robot buddy, earned at some point in the game, is worn like a harness and can interact with technology. He serves as a flashlight and translator, communicating with the humanoid robots in town and helping to fetch quests and errands. Through these quests, the cat will unlock memories to learn more about the world and its inhabitants.

The producers at BlueTwelve Studio have retained much of the plot and unlockable memorabilia from Wander secret during our preview in an effort to preserve the story. Our look at the game was more focused on mechanics, like puzzle solving and contextual jumping. As for the latter, Wander is not a difficult platformer, but will allow players to safely jump from a platform to a beam to an air conditioning window unit to makeshift gondolas without fear of falling to death. (There was also at least one thrillingly teased chase sequence, in which what looked like half life the crab larvae chased the cat into the sewers.)

Stray's nameless cat, wearing a harness, licks himself sitting on a pool table.  A humanoid robot wearing a down jacket looks on, annoyed.

Image: BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive

The efforts that BlueTwelve Studio will make to sell the opportunity to be a cat in a video game feels rare and awesome. WanderThe star feline struts like a cat, jumps like a cat, cleans like a cat, and even gets the zooms like a cat. Being able to lazily explore a semi-open 3D world with the style and sassy behavior of a cat is an incredibly compelling starting point for a game. The rest is like gravy. Or, if you’re a cat, wet food.

Wander is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Windows PC, courtesy of publisher Annapurna Interactive, July 19.

In the meantime, discover the image gallery of Wander below. There are some really great things in there.

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