Who doesn't love a good moggy? Or tabby, pussy, kitty, if you prefer. Their funny furry ways have brought joy and delight to millions around the world for centuries. Yet it appears video game makers are not as enamoured of our feline friends.
One irate gamer drew attention to the fact few games seem to have the option for attending to a cat like any sane human would - by petting it. "I'm playing Life is Strange True Colours and there's a cat early game and you have 3 options of interaction with the cat", the clearly annoyed player wrote. "NONE OF THEM ARE TO PET THE CAT. I've had enough". This outburst proceeded to inspire debate around this seemingly egregious oversight on the part of games makers.
The list of video games where you can pet your pet isn't extensive. In Assassin's Creed Origins/Odyssey you can pet your hawk/eagle. In Red Dead Redemption 2 you can pat and groom your horse, an advanced mini-game of petting that affects bonding stats with your steed. Meanwhile, there are a number of games where you can pet a dog. In fact, there's even a dedicated social media account that charts which games allow you to pet a doggo - Twitter's 'Can You Pet the Dog?'
However, this is exactly what led to the outburst of alleged cat neglect, a claimed favouritism toward dogs in games, but from the looks of things it might be a valid point. In the Resetera forum, members were quick to point out the discrepancy as well as bringing up games that have done right by Felis catus.
These include Shenmue, AC Valhalla, Stardew Valley, Cyberpunk 2077, Yakuza 6. However, people were annoyed that Red Dead Redemption 2 allowed players to pet dogs but not cats, which sadly plays into the doggo conspiracy (although it's rumoured that this was because Rockstar couldn't get mo-caps onto the cats).
However, some games did do right by our feline friends. In AC Origins, if you stand still the cats come closer and Bayek will pet them after a moment or two. Meanwhile a number of Yakuza games and spin-offs feature a variety of cat interactions that might satisfy cat lovers.
However, there's one upcoming game which will allow players to actually assume the role of a cat that we at TheGamer are very much looking forward to. Developed by BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapurna Interactive, Stray will see players inhabit a stray cat in a world populated by robots. It's coming to PS4, PS5, and Windows PC sometime this summer although it's yet to get a definite launch date. But for feline fun it's definitely one to watch.
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