Game Reviews PlayStation

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical Review – An Almighty Mystery

Growing up as a kid, I have always been fascinated by beautifully drawn 2D animated movies with captivating storylines and memorable musical scores. This was one of many reasons why I wanted to check out Summerfall Studios’ debut title Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical. While I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, the creative minds behind this project piqued my interest enough to give it a shot.

Now that I have completed Stray Gods, I’m pleased to say that this overall experience was a pleasant surprise. In a year already filled with so many great games designed for various audiences, this unique title stands on its own and is absolutely worth checking out if you love narrative-driven adventure games. Here are more of my thoughts on what you can expect should you decide to check it out for yourself.

Laura Bailey puts on another strong performance as the main protagonist Grace.

Full of Grace

Originally titled Chorus: An Adventure Musical when crowdfunded on back in 2019, Stray Gods could be best described as a narrative-driven roleplaying musical written by Dragon Age Lead Writer David Gaider and scored by Journey Composer Austin Wintory. Players take on the role of Grace, a college dropout with a gift for singing. Grace is voiced by the one and only Laura Bailey.

After meeting a mysterious woman named Calliope (voiced by Ashley Johnson) during an audition, Grace acquires her muse powers while she dies in her arms and is immediately accused of killing a god. With other Greek gods the likes of Athena, Apollo, Persephone, and Aphrodite keeping a watchful eye on her, Grace must now use her new abilities to find the real killer and prove her innocence.

Grace becomes the prime suspect in a murder and must do everything in her power to prove that she is innocent.

One aspect that I really enjoyed about Stray Gods is the premise and the unique way in which it explores Greek Mythology through its multi-layered cast of characters. This sophisticated approach to storytelling results in a mature-themed fantasy musical set within a modern world where Gods live among us and have the same complexities as an everyday normal person.

There’s a retelling of familiar stories about some of these gods/goddesses and how key life events and failed relationships molded them into who they are today. All of these iconic figures are portrayed by some of the best and brightest video game voice actors and actresses in the industry today which in turn makes them three-dimensional and expands how we might have viewed them previously.

In Stray Gods, how you approach every conversation and decision greatly matters.

Choose Wisely

If you’ve ever played any of the Telltale games titles or critically acclaimed classics like Life Is Strange, or Dragon Age, then you’ll absolutely love how narrative structure and choice are intertwined within Stray Gods. From the moment you start playing and at various points throughout the story, you can decide to use your charm, thoughtfulness, or take-charge attitude to dictate how you approach conversations with other characters.

What starts out as simple conversations to move the narrative forward quickly evolves into critical junctures where you’ll have to engage in thrilling singing battles with those who try to hinder your investigation. Whenever these confrontations occur, your response times are cut shorter to increase the intensity. Since these decisions are vital, it’s highly recommended that you replay these moments to see how your responses alter the storyline. Dissecting each interaction is fun and will leave you wanting to see what happens if you choose a different path.

Participating in these crucial singing battles impacts the storyline in multiple ways.

Aside from the battles mentioned above, Grace has dialogue options to pursue romantic relationships with one of four key characters. Freddie, Apollo, Persephone, and Pan all aid in your investigation, and you can decide if you want to make things more risky by getting closer to them. As expected, there are consequences to every decision that you make. Therefore, I would strongly recommend thinking before taking action.

Stray Gods is split up into various acts and takes about several hours to complete one playthrough. Graphically, the comic book art style matches perfectly with both the music and brilliant performances by such a wide array of characters. If you have any interest at all in music or choice-based narrative-driven games, then you owe it to yourself to give this title a chance.

Stray Gods full cast of characters features the likes of Janina Gavankar, Troy Baker, Khary Payton, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, and so much more.

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical launches on August 10th for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This review was written based on a digital review copy of Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical for the PlayStation 5 provided by Summerfall Studios and Humble Games.

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