stray – zero punctuation

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What is this? I cry as I get out of the masturbation basement. Game? An actual new game with some buzz around and graphics and no dreaded deck building at all? Get up from your graves, industry reporters! The drought is over! The sun has risen in a new age – I finished it in four hours. Well, that was hardly worth turning off the air conditioner in the basement. Yes, it’s Stray, a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk adventure with the central point of sale playing as cute wutey ickle wickle kitty witty and there’s a dedicated special meow button. I guess the game where you play as a cat has never seen – a non-anthropomorphic cat is faster to add, before Blinx the Time Sweeper’s loyalists came irritating my bollock sockets – dogs have had Okami and this level of Call of Duty Ghosts but so far There was no equivalent for Garfield readers in the world. Perhaps because video games are by nature task-oriented and while your dog will follow commands as long as you feed her, praise her, or continue to be in the same room as her, your average cat will not lift a paw to connect her to a life support device again if he thinks you were instructing him to do so.

But anyway. While Stray opens our lovely wutey ickle wickle protago-wotagonist he wakes up in some kind of abandoned industrial facility with three of their siblings and immediately we move and control very convincingly like a cat because the only thing we can do is walk up to one of the other cats and press the button contextual “spaz out for no reason”. After shooting them all one by one wholeheartedly, the proper game kicks in and we travel through the facility pretty much by pressing forward and searching for the contextual “go here” button. We quickly lose our feet and go down a big dark hole while our siblings watch and do everything to help because they are cats. You seem to say when you wake up in a sewer and start an adventure through a walled city online to find a way back outside, at first by pressing forward and searching for the contextual “go here” button. And the whole time I’m doing it, I silently pray “Please don’t be silly walking. Hell. I’ve been waiting all summer. Provide a basic mechanic where we have to avoid rolling when a hostile robot tries to spray us with the water bottle.”

With the string of contextual instant searches going on, it wasn’t looking good. It’s somewhat incompatible with what we can and can’t jump into. Being a clever kitten in terms of rights, we should be able to navigate whatever terrain is most convenient from the side of an open bean can, sometimes we can but sometimes we can’t because they forgot to put a contextual jump prompt in there. As time goes by things get better, however our hero makes friends with droney wutey ickle wickle droney who won now so now we can interact with the robots that populate the city as well as collect inventory items and solve puzzles some parts of the game take place in open hub cities that are full of missions Sideways and scavenger hunts. However, we never settle for a solid core game mechanic to focus on. Sometimes we do inventory puzzles in the style of a classic adventure game, sometimes we run from monsters, sometimes we fight monsters with a killer flashlight, and then we drop it all and sneak some ghostly items when we’re faced with an evil oppressive regime, which I think was closer to what I would have hoped for a game You play as a cat. A sneaky stealth game where we irritate a big scary guard by jumping on a shelf out of their reach and shoving their dead mother’s ashes on their heads.

But no matter what gameplay you immerse yourself in, Stray remains a slave to prompting contextual buttons. And sometimes she plays a naughty joke because she has trained you to always press the button prompts but every now and then you find one that makes the cat turn and go to sleep. Which is just as annoying as the brand. I think it’s for people who want to do the self-imposed narcolepsy challenge. If you think about it, the lack of a solid core to the gameplay means that there are quite a few things it does only for its own good, like side quests in the open parts. There is one where you have to find the hidden song pages of street musicians, but there is nothing the game can reward us for doing so. There is no RPG system where we can put experience points into our gravity or gravity stats so all you really get is the chance to hear a few shots of lousy chipton I could have gotten at home by putting my head in a box of cellphones from The early first decade of the twenty-first century. vibrate, what are you talking about? Why does the cat game contain RPG elements? Can you imagine yourself holding a sword hilt between your adorable fingers? Thank you for staggering clumsily in the general direction of my next point, viewer.

See, as the game opens up to the Quest City and battles the oppressive regime at sea, I feel like our status as a cat is becoming more and more incompatible with where the story is trying to take us. I don’t know what those friendly robots saw when they reported me asking me to collect three cans of Red Bull but it looks like it’s not a silly cat who doesn’t have an opposite thumb and a blank look on her face. Reminds me of that time I came home from wisdom tooth surgery and found myself crying in the garden because squirrels weren’t bothering me with a cigarette. So it gets even more ridiculous when we get him Red Bull cans. There’s this whole thread in the second half of the game where we join the valiant resistance against the oppressive regime and when we show up at the rebellious contact’s house, they’re all like, “Aha, you must be our rookie, get ready to show dedication to the cause!” rather than “Why did you wander this around?” The stray cat in my house? Stay away from the curtains.” It makes me feel at this point that the protagonist can be anything. squirrel. Roomba. HP sauce bottle mounted on the back of a very ambitious ant.

I don’t even know if this is a point against the match. I think it’s kinda funny. And it might be about the whole idea where robots imitate human behavior without fully understanding it, but in the end the plot tries to have strong emotional moments that don’t really work with a cat. Like, a character pushes you through a door and says “I’m going to stop them! All hopes of resistance are with you now!” Then we cut a cat reaction shot and it looks like she’s not upset because she’s a fucking cat and may have betrayed the whole reason for her belly rub. This also affects the emotional payoff of the ending – WOO WOO SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT STOP WATCHING NOW OR RENEW YOUR RIGHT TO CALL ME Dick – when the fugitive rune sacrifices his killer self so that only you can escape. I mean, the drone was conscious and the cat was the thing she was walking around in, it’s like sacrificing yourself for a fucking wheelchair. I guess he was freeing up the robots too, but the drone still made a candid deathbed speech bouncing right off your stupid, insipid, cat-like face like a fluffy bird. Then in the last shot before the credits, the cat looks back over her shoulder as if to say “What the hell was all this? Why was my game so squeaky trying to take the time?”

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