The world needs more games like The Stanley Parable. So many games are designed to make the player think and feel very specific things. Few games are designed just to make the player laugh. The Stanley Parable sets out to do exactly that while also examining the relationship between the player and a game’s narrative.
The Stanley Parable began its existence as a mod for Half-Life 2 in 2011. It then received a full release on PC, Mac, and Linux in 2013. The game was finally brought to consoles on April 27, 2022 with the release of The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe.
Players control an office worker named Stanley. Stanley’s job is to stare at a screen and push buttons. One day Stanley finds that all of his coworkers have disappeared. He decides to go looking for them and in the process he uncovers some dark truths about his employer.
Playing The Stanley Parable
The true conflict in The Stanley Parable is between the player and the game’s narrator, voiced by Kevan Brighting. Playing through the game while following along with what the narrator says will take about 10 minutes. The bulk of the content actually comes from disobeying the narrator at specific parts of the story. This will also lead to some very comical reactions from the narrator.
The humor in the game is very sarcastic while the music is surprisingly creepy. This juxtaposition of an eerie atmosphere with comedic narration works incredibly well. The music builds the tension and the humor relieves that tension.
The ending you see will depend on when and where you decide to ignore the narrator. Altogether, if you want to see every ending the game has to offer, it will take just a few hours. The game also keeps track of all your playthroughs in a Groundhog’s Day type of loop. Your actions in one playthrough can have an impact on what happens in your next playthrough.
VIBE Score 10/10
The Stanley Parable is a brilliant game. It examines the relationship between the player and a game’s narrative in a similar way to the “would you kindly” twist from Bioshock. The main difference between the two is that The Stanley Parable takes a much more humorous approach.
The Stanley Parable is a game that is best enjoyed with as little previous knowledge as possible. It’s also the kind of game where the best time you’ll have with it is the first time you play it. Then, after a few years, when you’ve forgotten most of the endings, going back to it is just as much fun.
32, living in Arizona with a passion for video games, music and movies.