The Stanley Parable is a game I heard nothing but great things about, while still having not much of an idea what the game was beyond a fully story based game with multiple narrative branches based on the player’s actions in an eccentric office building devoid of human interaction beyond an omnipotent voice. A description I find to be apt for the game beyond delving too much into what exactly entails with this interactive experience. Yet that is part of the problem, as this interactive experience is designed around the player being given very little of an idea as to what entails in their journey, a journey that, chances are, will be different than others if only due to the manner in which it is experienced. But I feel I can stretch this out beyond and introduction, so I shall.
The Stanley Parable Review
Platforms: PC(Reviewed), Mac
Developer/Publisher: Galactic Cafe
As the title informs you very early on, you play as Stanley, an office employee who has gone in every day to press buttons in accordance to a monitor, yet one day he notices that his office is completely empty. From there, however, The Stanley Parable is among the most unique deconstructions of this medium I have ever seen, as well as being an incredibly funny, bizarrely insightful, and especially charming titles I have ever played in my life. From the inflections of the games omnipotent narrator, to the delightful desire to pursue the unknown, and the very sharp and clever writing refined in what is technically a remastering of a Half Life 2 mod, The Stanley Parable is a title I believe should be pursued by anybody who respects, adores, or takes a remarkable interest in video games as a medium, and will not simply brush the title off from lacking traditional gameplay, and having decisions be the closest thing there is to what would have been a handicap in such a tightly packed two to three hour package.
My only bit of possible criticism would derived from the lack of a minimalistic in-game flowchart to assist in a player’s ability to uncover the game’s numerous mysteries, and one particular instance I am surprised was not altered, in which the player must do something for four hours. Beyond that? The Stanley Parable is a paragon of video games’ merit as an artform, while being approachable by anybody who got their feet wet in the medium.
Utter Delight (10/10)
A title that shall forever hold a super special place in my mind because everything that is may not be done extraordinarily well is merely a minor detail in a game that is not perfect, but is as good as it gets.