The Stanley Parable
In the world of video games, there are a few outliers that captivate the hearts of players. Thanks to a charming, challenging or hilarious message, some video games become the annual talk of town. In 2019, we had the Untitled Goose Game, and in 2017, there was the undeniably annoying and borderline insane anger management simulator called Getting Over It. In 2011, these sorts of games weren’t common but there was The Stanley Parable.
Unlike the other two games mentioned earlier, The Stanley Parable didn’t exactly work like a video game normally would. Instead, it did its own thing by being as meta as a game could be in its time. This resonated with players, and today, it is still the topic of video game discussions. In this review, we’ll catch up with The Stanley Parable and figure out why this interactive drama was so engaging.
The Stanley Parable follows the life of a regular office worker in his cubicle. The events of the game begin once his co-workers and everyone around him suddenly disappears. Accompanied with some narration, the player has to control Stanley to find his way out of his tricky predicament. By following directions according to the narrator’s guidance, players are expected to figure things out… or so we thought. Instead, The Stanley Parable is a game disguised as a conventional linear video game. Essentially, the Stanley Parable follows the story of a player that chooses not to follow the story. Pretty cool right?
While playing The Stanley Parable, you will encounter a number of decisions to make. With the narrator’s eternal presence, you get to experience a different version of him with the way you choose to handle situations. If you often rebel against him, you’ll find yourself facing his retribution. Depending on your behavior, you might find yourself in a lighthearted ending, an absurdity of a completion or a strangely unnerving conclusion. Regardless, the narrator is a core part of your experience. Sometimes, he can be the affectionate voice that comforts you during explorations. During times like these, the narrator doesn’t fail to keep the humor flowing.
Level design in The Stanley Parable is pretty awesome. The world is pretty alive, so things don’t always feel like a boring walking simulator. Instead, the map might glitch or restart with a false opening, and sometimes, it might just keep you on the edge. Loading screens always felt like a teeming build up for what’s next to come.
Other games with this sort of structure aren’t really comparable to TSP because they don’t really challenge players to keep their control of the game. A similar title to this aspect of TSP is Undertale during its final levels. During the boss fight with Flowey, this Undertale villain literally has the power to crash the game and prevent you from winning.
- Entertaining commentary
- Great Narrator
- Too Short
The Stanley Parable manages to keep players in charge of their adventure, even with active attempts to remain in control. The dichotomy of TSP’s gameplay makes it a memorable adventure that transcends the tag of “video game”. Instead, it’s an experience.
Download The Stanley Parable
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP