PlayStation exclusive Stray launched to rave reviews, but it seems that house cats are the game’s biggest fans.
The standout game of the July PS Plus line-up, Stray places you in the furry paws of a lone cat to wander a dangerous cyberpunk city. There are charming robots to interact with, plenty of environmental storytelling to soak up, and a fair few carpets to scratch as you prance about the place as a cute tabby.
Cat lovers across the internet were unsurprisingly excited about the game, but they’re not the only ones who have fallen for the puzzle platformer. Many of their feline friends are just as captivated by Stray, as videos and pictures across social media show cats engrossed in the game.
Cats just wanna have fun
Over on the r/playstation (opens in new tab) subreddit, users have been sharing images of their cats appearing completely hypnotized by the game. While Stray’s unnamed feline protagonist waltzes about on screen, many players’ pets look on enraptured. Like this handsome fella who’s transfixed by the tabby’s movements:
another_cat_enjoying_stray from r/playstation
Or this inquisitive devil who wanted a better view:
another_cat_owner_whos_cat_is_losing_their_mind from r/playstation
And this jumpy guy who couldn’t resist peeking at two cats nuzzling:
first_2_seconds_of_the_game_and_monty_is_already from r/playstation
It’s not just cats, though. Dogs also seem quite taken by the game:
He’s transfixed #Stray @PlayStationUK @A_i @HKdevblog pic.twitter.com/V01LNqlebfJuly 19, 2022
There are many more (opens in new tab) besides. A lot more (opens in new tab), in fact. Seriously, people love posting pictures of their cats gazing at Stray (opens in new tab). It’s become something of a trend of the subreddit in the past 24 hours to show just how enraptured your pet really is.
But their obsession is hardly surprising. Stray’s protagonist was meticulously modeled and animated to authentically reflect the movements of real-life cats. Everything from the way their shoulders move as they walk, to the way they bound between platforms, to how they indifferently shove objects off the edge of furniture looks familiar.
A PlayStation blog post (opens in new tab) mentions Stray’s main cat animator spent countless hours searching for video reference material in order to accurately imitate the subtleties of feline movement. Together with the studio’s cat programmer, they worked “countless hours together just on the basic movements of the main character, iterating and fine tweaking every little jump and transition”.
It seems to have paid off. Stray has successfully tricked real cats into believing one of their own has been sucked into the television screen. That level of fidelity must be every animator’s dream.