You Read This Article
Okay, how do I say this? I guess I could just say it like this: The Stanley Parable is a first person adventure game, and I very, VERY, highly suggest you play it before you read this article.
You can go grab it here, where it is, as of this article, at $15 USD base price. You’ll want to play it multiple times. There is also a demo available on the page, if you want to do that.
So, this game is one of those games that really reaches out as to what a video game can be like. It does this without trying too hard. There are games that want to have such a unique idea that they find one, but then they keep pushing it to the point where it is not really a good game. Or they keep trying to shove new ideas in until the game is a mess. It’s okay to have a lot of cool ideas in your game, but don’t force it. It has to fit.
The Stanley Parable does not do that. This is a game where you play as a man named Stanley. Stanley works in an office, and one day his computer screen does not show its usual display and so Stanley must look for his higher ups to find out what’s going on.
However, what makes this game unique is that there is a narrator telling you what to do. Now obviously you are Stanley, and you as the player are free to do what you wish. That disjointed collaboration between you and the narrator is what makes this game so special. Let me emphasize this as well: this does not just make it unique, it makes it fun as well.
A lot of games trying to be unique tend to leave behind the fact that games are meant to be fun or perhaps inspiring in some way, whether that is artistically or philosophically. The experience that is played on in skits by comedy groups becomes something you get to play! You decide whether or not you want to follow the narrative. It also really helps that the narrator’s voice actor is absolutely wonderful.
This game sits at number 131 of the Ultra Loosely Thought Ranked Analysis.
I mean, that’s it really. This whole game revolves around this interaction with the narrator and I cannot say much more. If the silliness of this premise is not intriguing, then maybe this isn’t the game for you. However, as a game and experience I think it is something most people should play to see what it’s all about. Play the demo at least. It’s not my choice to make. I’m just saying things. It’s up to you. In a way, we’re already playing the game right now, because I am telling you what to do, and you don’t have to do it. For once in a video game, you don’t have to do what it says.
So… what do you choose?