In 2013, The Stanley Parable marked its time with a work that wisely broke the fourth wall. Here it is back in a modernized version.
One year after the release of Dear Esther, The Stanley Parable added its stone in 2013 to the Walking Simulator’s still stuttering building. The creation of Davey Wreden and William Pugh, who is an independent of an old Half-Life 2 mod, becomes a now cult embodiment of the illusion of choice. With a confusing ingenuity in its level design but also an effective simplicity, the title is a Madeleine de Proust for any lover of the narrative genre. And its Ultra Deluxe edition in no way stains the sweet memories of the first players.
Does it make any sense to get into the Ultra Deluxe Edition of The Stanley Parable when you are already thoroughly familiar with the original work? Yes. Even before the intro, you are asked if you have ever reviewed the 2013 game, so as not to force too many sequences on you. The experience is intact, retains its special aura, but is filled with new levels and branches. Newcomers are also very well received; the extra content will only reach them once the hallways of The Stanley Parable have been adequately explored. The game also improves visually and implements some accessibility additions, including text translation in the universe and options for color blindness.
The reason for the story is laid again; Stanley, employee number 427 in a corporation, applies in an irreconcilable bondage to pressing keys on a keyboard. The model student reacts silently to the orders that roll on his screen until the day when no more instructions appear on the screen. When Stanley finally turns his back on his workstation, he discovers a deserted, open space. And then actor Kevan Brighting’s impeccable voice returns to inhabit the places where his always so attractive presence is.
Equipped with his faithful licked humor, the narrator’s omniscient and charismatic character tells the story of Stanley and guides you towards the paths he draws. If you already met him in 2013, he will still remember it. And when he calls you to take the right door while the left is also available, the allegory of illusory free will that made Stanley Parable a spectacular experience is recalled to our fond memories. In such a tirelessly crossed environment, the game further multiplies the skill of the level design. And when he knows how to adapt to his time, he satirizes his time, discusses the evolution of the video game landscape, flashes one after the other. There are still morals and metaphors that are difficult to decipher in certain branches. But that’s also what makes the title’s hazy charm.
Admittedly, regular customers are already used to the narrator’s tricks. The mechanics are now expected, utilized in a decade of productions, including There Is No Game: WrongDimension as a worthy heir. So newcomers may have a hard time considering the game to be honestly unique and can only imagine how unique it must have been in its time. But the tale of Davey Wreden still manages to surprise us. The narrator acts as a unit that has never left the halls of The Stanley Parable; its lines adapt intelligently to your movements, its actions seem really controlled by yours. And begins an always captivating duel, where player and narrator try to tame the other. Only a few unfortunate loading times are going to stain the journey. In total, you can explore the experience in both two hours and six hours. The universe seems to be doubling its secrets and willingly invites you to unlock them. Restart the game and you will be treated to some personal greetings from the menu. He knows when you are coming back to visit him and almost thanks you for it.
- A modern version that is definitely worth returning
- A level design still just as ingenious and still surprising
- The narrator, his charisma and his retorts
- Well-controlled replayability
- A game that is necessarily less unique than back then
- Loading times
Always ingenious, fun and captivating, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is definitely worth lingering in again for the 2013 cult experience. Today, it is still expanding with a level design that is still smart and surprising. And what a pleasure to rediscover the narrator’s irreconcilable humor.
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By TiraxaJournalist jeuxvideo.com