The Stanley Parable offers a meta-fictional interactive adventure, what the game lacks in combat it makes up for with mind messing narration that will have you guessing video games and even your own existence in the real world.
First born in 2011 as a free Half Life 2 modification this self reflecting experience saw a full release in 2013, in turn adding a number of new scenarios and paths. Actual gameplay though changed little between the versions with both giving players control over Stanley as they explore their abandoned office with each action described in real time by the narrator.
This presents one of the primary choices (or illusion of choice) by allowing the player to follow the narrators direction and guidance or opting to ignore it completely and create their own path. The Stanley Parable plays out in a first person perspective with controls limited to movement and occasionally activating various buttons or doors.
With many inflection points the number of potential endings can quickly feel endless to players as there is always at least two choices to make and sometimes more. The game does a fabulous job of creating this sense of endless adventures, although in truth there are 19, still an impressive amount.
The sheer variety in these endings is the real gem, although they won’t be spoilt here. Suffice to say each of these is equally fourth wall breaking and thought provoking as the last, each encouraging the player to explore just one more ending.
For games that break the fourth wall or can be considered meta-fictional The Stanley Parable is indeed one of the best titles around.
- A strange first person adventure with over a dozen endings.
- Every action is narrated, but do you follow the narrator?
- Will make you question video games and life itself.
- Originally a free mod and now bolstered with more content.
- Interactive adventure unlike other titles you’ve played.
Review Platform: PC