“Vagabond” is the prettiest video game of the summer: finally become a cat

"Vagabond" is the prettiest video game of the summer: finally become a cat

can go so fast. The red domestic cat is happily roaming her territory with three hairy companions that nature apparently retrieved from humans a long time ago, when a rusty pipe suddenly takes her to another world. No more bright sunshine and gentle breezes – when the cat gets its paws back, it’s in the middle of a pile of smelly underground garbage. There isn’t even a ray of sunshine behind next door, but at least a brightly colored flashing light: a cyberpunk world opens la Blade Runner. It is populated by pastoral robots that imitate humans or have been programmed to emulate them, which remains to be seen.

But where are the people? Robot kids sprayed “RIP Human” on the walls. As the game progresses, the little cat will find out if the species is indeed extinct, and soon she will not be alone. Looking for a way back to the surface, she brings to life a small drone that has lost its memory or corrupted its memory. The Cute Little Machine introduces itself as B-12, an allusion to the French development studio Blue Twelve Studio, which introduced its first game with “Stray”.

grandma knits robot cable poncho

Since the first visuals of Dystopian Cat Adventure were shown nearly two years ago at the official launch of the new PlayStation 5 game console, anticipation has remained steadfast — before its July 19 release, it was officially the most popular title. Steam game platform. That too because of the looks, but mostly because of the hero’s control. Why are there so few games from an animal perspective? Young German studio Mooney sent a wolf in the race to “Lost Ember” in 2019, also in search of a lost civilization; “Manator,” in which you go pasture as a great white shark, achieved a certain cult status in 2020. Then it becomes thinner.

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Maybe “The Stray” will change that, because exploring the city on a cat’s paw is so much fun in a cool way that the actual plot quickly becomes secondary. The developers of Montpellier, whose cat Murtaugh was the main inspiration for the game, should be aware of this, as they avoid overly complicated gameplay or excessive dialogue in “Stray”.

Almost always, players can move at their own pace, climb city roofs, solve minor puzzles, or act with all their human needs for robots. One is a little cold, she needs a cable poncho knitted by Grandma Robot. The other wants to play the guitar but has no sheet music. Not a problem for the cat, which can communicate with townspeople using B-12.

Annapurna Interactive

A Little Breath on the Pool Table at the Robot Pub

perfect start game

However, the broader target remains the surface route, where the upper class of the population once lived and from there passing their waste to the lower classes. The creatures that were supposed to swallow the garbage have now turned into dangerous, hedgehog-shaped torments that have to be shaken from time to time with clever maneuvers. A little gaming expertise is required on these points, but in general the “loafers” won’t overwhelm those who’ve never held a controller in their hands.

In good feline fashion, the little hero can’t fall, and most of the time players only have to press a button – unless they want to meow loudly in the middle, brush around the robot’s legs or an old couch. But scratch your paws. Despite the really low fall height, there is no boredom, because the developers, supported by appropriate accompaniment at the sound level, from the very beginning create a meditative atmosphere, in which alert curiosity determines what is happening, only very sporadically. Interrupted action episode. How do you imagine the life of a cat.

On the new Sony console, the adventure runs smoothly and with no load times, so little stands in the way of immersion in cat existence. After two long game nights, here’s everything even the most intense gamer should have seen and done. “Vagabond” ends when it is at its most beautiful.

Rating: 4 out of 5 points

lost For PlayStation 4 and 5 and PC, 30 euros

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