Stray is a fundamentally bizarre game, with not the hostile, fleshy monsters that chase you through the sewers, giving you an edge on speculability. A race of maintenance robots that have evolved individuality and self-awareness after the death of their creators does not seem completely outside the realm of possibility. What completely obstruates the unwilling suspension of disbelief is the ridiculous notion that a cat would ever assist anyone.
Have you ever heard of a bomb-sniffing cat? Seen anyone with a guide cat? Of course you havent. Yet Stray is a story about a cat that not only actively assists everyone it meets, but follows direct instructions. This cannot longer be accurately described as Science Fiction, but make no mistake Stray is a work of High Fantasy.
Stray depicts an ugly orange cat wandering through a robot-populated quarantined city, inexplicably bringing happiness everywhere it goes. Every robot that meets it cant help but beam at it, gigantic adorable emojis on their television faces. This is why it is a demonstration of feline propaganda, resulting in a profoundly unimaginable world where even the concept of vague indifference has been discovered.
This cat will respond to every gesture and request within the first 15 minutes it has already aidted someone uploading their consciousness into a tiny drone. It doesnt just go to sleep. Or bite or scratch someone for no reason whatsoever. The entire game is like this. People are asking this cat to assist in complex and dangerous tasks and the cat is assisting out as much as it can.
My father had never met a cat that almost resembles this creature. While I was contemplating my own business, it would take you back to your feet with absolute disdain as he planned his feast. He returned to find the cat up on the counter, sitting with its arse in the mashed potatoes and licking turkey grease from its lips. My father never fully recovered.
I once worked at a cat adoption center, but I can confirm with absolute certainty that these animals simply do not care. I could spend an hour cleaning up a cats room, collecting all the pillows and blankets, getting it little toys, and feeding it tasty treats. Cleaning every scrap of dust or debris from the floor, causing it to burst behind the ear. This would not hinder them from simply choosing it would be more fun to draw my blood. A creature that is so fundamentally anti-social that it had to develop
Do you know what you didnt have to do that? Even if the creature does not fully comprehend what it is doing? Dogs. They are so good that you can get them to do literally anything in return for the dopamine hit of a ball as a reward. They see every human being they meet as another possible depository of belly rubs and chicken scraps and will do whatever they can to make us happy. A dog would not jump onto a kitchen counter and eat a Christmas lunch, but it would simply sit
I can''t believe why you might build a game like Stray around a cat. It simply does not make sense that every robot is so enamoured with it. Perhaps mechanical brains would just use their advanced techniques to develop a cost-benefit analysis of interacting with this creature and remove it entirely from their society.
Are there other dogs on the other hand? They would take a look at the value. They would see an optimistic and enthusiastic contributor, an amazing beast of admittedly limited cognitive function that would tirelessly manage to perform whatever task was assigned. The fearsome bark compared to a cats irritating meowling would keep the fascist robot cops at bay, although a cat would be a drain on unnecessary resources.
The Stray starts with a cat exiting the locked-down city and entering a quiet and peaceful forest outside. While the humans and their pets have been locked away, nature has survived and the Earth has been restored. There''s no need to worry about the sequel because the Stray immediately chases down and excercerates the last remaining birds, avoiding at least having the knowledge to eat them. So, what happened to the little orange murder-machine?
Putting a cat really is a serious process, reducing what might have been a beautiful science fiction into a magical pabulum. Efforts by modders to rectify this by replacing the cat model with an adorable little french bulldog are laudable but ultimately useless, while too much of the game''s actual failure is not enough to justify the game''s protagonist''s sharpened feet. There is simply no escape from the reality of the world''s worst pet.