Stray is poised to release early next week and the hype surrounding the indie title is at an all-time high. Social media is abuzz with cheeky quips, fan art, and interesting crossovers adorn the wall of Annapurna Interactive's official Twitter channel.
Players are eagerly waiting to drop into the world of Stray and land on their feet before purring, meowing and scratching their way through it.
While the various official clips available online, including a gameplay reveal, have already shown the basic premise and mechanics of Stray, there is a treasure trove of information still to unearth roaming around in the forgotten city as a cat. Sportskeeda's reviewer is having a gala time testing out the title with the nuances and depth of the title and their opinion will be out soon.
This article will provide readers with four facts for Stray, some that they may already know and some that they may not, as they impatiently wait for July 19 to arrive.
4 Stray facts that players need to know as they await the game's launch
Stray is poised to be one of the most exciting titles of the year, with its unique protagonist having captured the imagination of players all around the world. Other than the ginger cat, players will also be encountering robot citizens, Zurks, and more in their quest to reunite with their family.
1) BlueTwelve Studio's debut title had a different name earlier
Back in 2015, BlueTwelve's co-founders began working on Stray, intending to work on something original after working at Ubisoft for a long time, with the title originally known as HK_Project.
When they shared a few early GIFs from the work in progress, it garnered a lot of attention and warm feedback, including that of Annapurna Interactive who reached out to them in April 2016.
After more than half a decade, Stray is finally ready to pounce. The game is poised to steal not only the players' sleep, as they spend hours lost in the cyberpunk-infused dystopic world, but also their hearts, "for damn, the cat is so cute."
2) Greet the cats behind the game
A handful of cats, part of BlueTwelve Studios, played an integral role in the development of the movement and mannerisms of the unique protagonist cat. As a recent PlayStation blog post from the developers mentioned, the studio has a number of cat owners who really enjoyed bringing the ginger cat to life.
"Even though we knew that we weren’t aiming for a 100% precise representation, having a character that feels really believable especially for cat owners who are so used to seeing their companion everyday required a lot of work. Viv and Koola did a lot of very subtle iterations on the appearance of the game’s cat to really try and capture the cuteness but also the liveliness and playfulness of a cat."
The primary reference for the hero is Murtaugh, one of the co-founders' two cats, who "was an actual stray who was found in the streets near the city of Montpellier, France under a car." Murtaugh has been fondly nicknamed "The Boss" and was a huge inspiration for the title's protagonist.
Oscar, belonging to Miko, the animator, helped with developing video references for jumps and runs. It helped with properly realizing the fluid movement and feline grace.
The third very important member of the brood, who is "the executive chief general president commander director officer at the studio," is Jun. The all-too-important cat ensured that the development of the project was right on track.
3) Meet the robots of the forgotten city
Stray's humans are long gone; all that remains are vestiges of memories. But, fret not, the game's world is populated by anthropomorphized robots who have their own quirky personalities, habits, and nuances.
Players will come across Grandma, who has "knitted 478 miles of scarves" so far, and will knit clothes out of spare parts for players. There is also Morusque, a street musician with a petrol-can guitar who will play songs if players bring him music sheets.
If the trailers are anything to go by, the developers have done an immaculate job in integrating this humanoid robot population into the game's world. A number of interesting personalities await players during their time in Stray, with some being especially useful for progressing in the game.
4) Annoucement, delays, and pre-orders
The game was first announced back in June 2020 at PlayStation's Future of Gaming Event, confirming its PlayStation exclusivity along with Windows. In a Sony trailer at the Consumer Electronics Show, players noted that the fine print mentioned October 2021 as the release date of the title — which was later removed.
In July 2021's gameplay trailer, the release period was revealed to be early 2022, which got delayed once again when a PlayStation trailer in April 2022 stated that the game will be coming out in middle of the year.
Finally, June's State of Play confirmed that Stray is set to release on July 19.
The game will also be available for members of the Extra, Deluxe, and Premium tiers of PlayStation plus at launch. There are also two physical versions of the game being made available by iam8bit and Skybound Games. Their offerings are as follows:
1) Standard edition on September 20
- 6 full-color art cards
2) iam8bit Exclusive Edition in Q4 2022
- Premium Matte Black O-Sleeve with Holofoil Spécialité
- Oversized 14.4” x 24” Poster of the Iconic First Teaser Art for Stray
- Six (6) Premium (and Frameable) Art Cards
- PLUS a Fuzzy Pettable Chenille Patch of - you guessed it - our Feline Hero
- Region Free Physical Disc - Worldwide Compatibility
Fans can also pre-order the game's 2xLP vinyl soundtrack from iam8bit and the protagonist's feline backpack borne out of a collaboration between the game and Travel Cat merch.
Stray is finally arriving early next week on July 19. The cyberpunk cat game will be available for PC and PlayStation 4 & 5. While other console users will not be able to jump in right at launch, it is likely that the title will appear for more platforms in the near future once the exclusivity runs out.