Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical Review (PS5): An Ambitious Experience

<h1>Summerfall Studios’ Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical: A Unique Game Experience</h1>

Summerfall Studios’ Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical stands out as one of the most unique games of the year. The combination of a musical and interactive art based on player choice is an ambitious endeavor. Although it may not be perfect, this game shows promise and delivers a successful experimental gaming experience.

An Unsettling First Impression

While Stray Gods has impressive character design and artwork, the lack of animation creates awkward exchanges where characters abruptly transition between expressions. It falls into an uncomfortable space where there are more transitions than a typical visual novel, but lacks the smoothness of actual fluid animation. Although a lack of traditional animation can sometimes enhance a game, such as in The Way of the Househusband where limited animation becomes a strength, in Stray Gods it is more of an annoyance that players eventually get used to rather than a charming quirk.

But it Gets Better

The game starts to improve once the story gains momentum. Stray Gods combines Greek mythology with a modern setting, similar to the Fables and The Wolf Among Us series, and centers around a compelling murder mystery. Additionally, the game features an array of musical numbers performed by a talented cast of voice actors. Once players move past the initial disappointment of the lack of animation, there are plenty of enjoyable aspects to uncover.

The Beauty in the Ambition

While not everything in this interactive musical works as well as hoped, it’s important to appreciate the ambition behind the game. The music, composed by Austin Wintory of Journey fame, meets the high standard set by his previous work. The vocal performances are also impressive, with Laura Bailey showcasing her phenomenal singing voice. The other cast members, including Khary Payton as Pan and Troy Baker as Apollo, also deliver standout performances.

However, the songs themselves fail to fully connect. The lyrics effectively convey the characters’ emotions and express their intentions, but they lack catchiness and significance. The world-building and the dialogues in the game’s narrative are far more interesting than the songs. The interactive element sometimes leads to disjointed musical sections, as players can choose the tone for different parts of a song.

Exploring the Gameplay

Aside from the musical aspects, the gameplay itself is relatively basic. Stray Gods functions mainly as a visual novel with some light adventure game elements. Players select locations to investigate the murder, choose objects to inspect, and decide who to interact with. The strength of the game lies in its well-developed world and the detailed history between characters. Seeing larger-than-life mythological figures existing in a modern-day setting adds an extra layer of enjoyment.

Replay Value and Multiple Endings

Stray Gods offers a significant amount of replay value, as player choices influence both the story and the songs. Certain dialogue options are locked behind the chosen character traits at the beginning of the game. Players can explore romance options and engage with intriguing character dynamics. With the potential for different outcomes and endings in each playthrough, I am eager to see how the mystery unfolds. Stray Gods is definitely a game worth revisiting multiple times.

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical Review: The Final Verdict

Humble Games presents an intriguing artistic experiment with Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical. While it may not convince everyone that roleplaying musicals are the future of gaming, I appreciate Summerfall Studios’ bold idea. The end result may not be perfect, but it is still enjoyable. The excellent music and strong performances by the cast amplify the impact of a captivating mystery. It is disappointing that the animation and songwriting do not match the quality of the other elements, but Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical is definitely worth exploring.

Disclaimer: Our Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical review is based on a PS5 copy provided by the publisher. Reviewed on version 1.001.000.