The Stanley Parable is a renowned walking simulator game available on PC that was first introduced in 2013. It began as a mod for Half-life 2 created by Davey Wreden and William Pugh. Since then, the game has gotten overwhelmingly great reviews, and it has even been dubbed “the best walking simulator game ever made.”
In Stanley Parable, players will take on the role of an office worker, Stanley or Employee 427. The journey begins as you find yourself alone in the office or rather, the labyrinth. A narrator, voiced by Kevan Brighting, joins you along the way to instruct the paths of the story and often acts as your subconscious. There is no right or ideal way to play the game. As such, the possibilities are almost endless behind every door of the office you step in.
As with the original edition, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe provides players with freedom of choice. In the same way, the game begins once you respawn in cubicle 427 and every door in the facility represents a path to a story with a variety of unpredictable endings. Meanwhile, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe expands the previous edition by including new content, choices, endings, and mysteries. It also improves the previous design and introduces new locations which can be reached by choosing the appropriate story route. The Ultra Deluxe includes more than 20 different endings with a restart and others which requires players to restart it themselves.
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe can not be confined to only one genre. It is a gaming experience designed to deviate from the logical nature of video games with its substantial amount of compelling narratives and comic relief. While some may think that videogame can never be considered an “art,” The Stanley Parable is here to disprove that notion.
In The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, the British-sounding narrator serves a general-purpose and, perhaps more importantly, contributes to the game’s uniqueness. As you work your way through the facility, the narrator would speak and give background knowledge on Stanley, hinting that he serves a deep connection with the protagonist. The narrator may also display sarcasm, impatient, and exert control over a situation in a particular story path.
At times, a statement from the narrator may often ring as a parallel to the players themselves. In one story route, the narrator would emphasize that he does not need validation from Stanley, whose job is to push buttons, just the same as players do during the course of the game. Often, you may feel an urge to outplay the narrator by “speedrunning” a story path through completing a task before he has finished the dialogue piece. However, he finds ways to boost your frustration. For instance, if you attempt to encode the passcode at the boss’s office before he reveals it, the entrance to the Mind Control Facility will not be accessible until the song he is playing ends.
Hilarity and mystery
Apart from its genre-defying gameplay, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe extends its distinctiveness with its hilarious antics and enigmatic storyline. Its mystery derives from the fact that it does not present its story in a linear fashion, but rather provides several paths that lead to unforeseen conclusions. Nonetheless, the Stanley Parable offers much more than simply exploring alternative paths and outcomes. It is also intended to evoke feelings, such as amusement, confusion, or even sympathy.
In certain scenarios, the narrator may often break the fourth wall, such as expressing frustration at leading you down the wrong path and even restarting the game for you. If you have ever arrived at the Mind Control Facility in an unusual manner, he may tell you that you have come across a spoiler. In the new content route, the walking-simulator game would allow players to jump for only 30 times. Furthermore, a new location will be available, which will show player reviews that have been published on websites and platforms such as Steam.
Another hilarious content of The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is the Bucket and No bucket endings. The newly added Reassurance Bucket item adds to the randomness of the title. While it is intended to provide comfort to Stanley as he travels through the labyrinth, it also alters conversation and has a significant impact on the majority of the story’s endings. Despite the fact that it looks to be nothing more than a bucket, the item is sometimes referred to as an animate object. Meanwhile, the No Buckets Ending is the ending that follows when you attempt to bring The Bucket into a room that does not allow them to be brought in.
Generally, a parable is a brief story with the intention to impart a moral lesson. Likewise, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe retains the elements of a parable in its gameplay. While it may be loaded with a humorous narrative, it does not neglect to convey a lesson in each story path.
The concept of The Stanley Parable relates players to Stanley’s experience as Employee 427. He is an office worker who is always seated in Room 427, pushing buttons on a keyboard. He receives orders via a monitor on his desk, telling him what buttons to push, how long to push them, and in what order – a soul-rending task that Stanley relished and continued to perform throughout an entire year. Stanley’s story resonates with certain people in real life who are overworking and excessively reliant on commands. When your brain is hardwired to do the same task over and over again, it is difficult to break free from your pattern.
The Final Word
While The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe may come off as a game about the decision-making process and significance of making choices, the unpredictable nature of its story endings can leave you perplexed and perhaps doubt your rationality at times. Ultimately, this game provides a beautiful experience that you may not find in other titles. It is an engrossing, amusing, and beautifully created work of art in every way. A game as clever as The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe may not be released for another decade, as such, it is worthwhile to get your hands on it now!
Our The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe review was written based on the PC version of the game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!