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Average User Score: 8.0Oct 19, 2013The Stanley Parable is a remarkably polarizing game. Some may dislike or deride it for its somewhat minimalist gameplay and unorthodox plotThe Stanley Parable is a remarkably polarizing game. Some may dislike or deride it for its somewhat minimalist gameplay and unorthodox plot structure; I personally found it to be an utterly enjoyable game that reminded me very much of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" novels from my youth.
Before I go on, I must stress two things: First, this is a game with little gameplay other than walking around and sometimes clicking on things; if you primarily play games for their gameplay, then this is not the title for you. Second, it is almost impossible to go into anything with much detail without majorly spoiling an ending and possibly the entire experience.
I loved The Stanley Parable. The first and best thing about the game is Kevan Brighting's wonderful voice acting as The Narrator. As the only character in the game other than the titular protagonist, The Narrator will describe, comment upon, and even try to shape your every move in the game. He will scold, ridicule and even plead with you depending on what you do in response to his ever-present prodding.
The premise of the game is probably best exemplified by the first Choice: As you step into a room with two doors, you enter through the one on your left...or so the narrator says, anyway. This and other Choices with a capital C shape your experience: will you follow the narrated plot to the conclusion planned out for you, or will you rebel and try to go off the rails into the unknown?
For me, the strongest elements in the game were those of exploration and discovery. I would always try to pick away at random bits of scenery in the hopes of discovering a hidden secret or hang around in a room to hear some extra narration. Another plus is that the dev team seemed to think of everything: for a game that is seemingly so confined and linear, there are seemingly endless permutations in the gaming experience, and there are no bugs but merely features in disguise.
The Stanley Parable is an excellent choice if you're looking for a game that messes with your head, makes you chuckle, or simply spins a good yarn. It doesn't offer any elements of difficulty, combat, strategy, or even jumping, but it does tell you a story, even if you're trying to make things difficult for it.… Expand