Game Review: The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe for Consoles

The Stanley Parable by Crows Crows Crows has been expanded on and, on top of that, is ready for every modern console out there…and PC too, technically…if you’re into that sort of thing. This game will be hard to review, so I’ll share what I liked and what worked. Then I’ll also talk about anything that I did not like and did not work. The other issue is it’s damn near impossible to talk about this game in detail, so I’ll keep my points brief. Maybe they’ll make you curious instead of knowledgeable. Follow me. This way.

Trailer:

Description:

‘The Stanley Parable is a first-person adventure game.

When a simple-minded individual named Stanley discovers that the co-workers in his office have mysteriously vanished, he sets off to find answers.

You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley.

You will make a choice, and you will have your choices taken from you.

The game will end, the game will never end.

Contradiction follows contradiction, the rules of how games should work are broken, then broken again.

You are not here to win.

The Stanley Parable is a game that plays you.’

Features:

‘The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is an expanded re-imagining of the critically acclaimed, award-winning indie game The Stanley Parable from 2013.

Everything that was in the original Stanley Parable is here, preserved just like it was back in 2013. But The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe also dramatically expands the world of the original game with new content, new choices, and new secrets to uncover. The labyrinth has just gotten bigger.

In addition, the game has been visually upgraded to reflect modern technology while faithfully preserving the tone of the original game. Accessibility features have also been added to the game, including localization of in-world text, colorblind options, and content warnings.

And just as before, the impeccable voicework of Kevan Brighting will accompany you every step of the way.

In The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, everything you remember has been recreated, yet it’s different somehow. We’ve been here before, haven’t we? Is Stanley still the same as he was back then? Or is it you who has changed?’

Pros:

  • This is a walking simulator through and through. What I love about that is that nobody has to remind you of the controls. I have ADHD and constantly stop games and start a new one. If I come back, I usually have to figure out the controls again. And even if I do, there’s still a muscle memory that I have to feel for again in terms of combos or abilities. Something simple like this is a treat.
  • The game truly has a lot of options to sift through from beginning to end. You’ll find that there are endings that you get, but there are more to have. To do so, you can do replays of the game and see if you can change things up enough to get said endings.
  • You know that you’re headed the right way or doing something correct easily in this game. If the narrator starts sharing out loud what you’re doing, then you can tell that you’re moving along nicely. That doesn’t mean that there are wrong choices or even no wrong choices for that matter. Whatever the narrator says goes! …or does it? The dynamic here between you and the godly voice is so fun.
  • Which is a perfect segue to maybe my favorite “pro”. Fantastic voice-over work. I feel like this was something of a given. There’s not too much to expand on here, I hear people like Kevan talk and hear their cadences and become inspired to be a voice actor! His sarcastic, punchy, and at times blasé English attitude is so much fun!
  • The story is bigger and deeper (and more meta [against toxic gamers]) in this game than its original. It’s probably due to the fact that the first version was a mod of an existing PC game. Maybe you’ve heard of it, it’s called Half-Life 2! I won’t spill any beans whatsoever about the story. Stanley realizes everyone is gone from work and goes searching and discovers lots of surprises. Surprises exist around every corner and pop up in the story.
  • I love the accessibility options. It helps players out there that would normally be deterred be able to join in the fun. This is an easy “pro” to give Crows Crows Crows kudos for. It’s a necessity that I see more indie developers doing than big companies like Nintendo.
  • The game looks incredible too. Not only are the levels trippy at times, but there is so much mood and atmosphere at play. I don’t know if anyone else has ever been in an empty office before, but it’s eerie. The game goes beyond an office space later on (that’s all the spoilers I’m going to give). But still, every area fits the same theme and uniform lighting. I can’t speak to how well this looks on the Nintendo Switch though, I reviewed it on the XBOX One S, and it looks good on there for sure!
  • Okay. Anything more than what I’ve said would ruin the throughline of the story. It would ruin surprises baked into the game for you to find. In fact, it would ruin so many things. But at the same time, if I tell you what happens in the game, I would be lying. Our experiences and perception of free will decisions are different. The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe is a game that is deep and heady no matter which path, door, jump, etc you choose to do or not. That’s what makes this game unique because it doesn’t just speak to gameplay itself, but the demand around games and content.

Cons:

  • I feel like the game is relatively short, I would say 5 hours on average. And while you could play it again and experiment by heading in other directions, you can really only do that so many times until you’ve seen it all. You should only buy this game if it’s entirely new to you, I feel.
  • In that same vein, we need to talk about cost versus necessity. Yes, there’s a new game overall, but I’m not certain I want to see our readers pay twice. The marketing of this game doesn’t paint this game as a sequel. So it’s risky to you to buy it if you’ve played the original. As someone who hasn’t, I honestly can’t say if I’d recommend buying this or not. Because I can’t confirm how much of a retread it is or is not.
    .
    Even on Steam, this version of the game is separate from the original. The original is $14.99 and if you’ve already purchased the original, you don’t get a giant download patch for $10 more. You’ll have to buy the whole new game at $24.99. I understand the reasoning and I get that it’s a small studio. I just think you shouldn’t bother unless it’s entirely new to you or if they can clarify that you’re getting an entirely new experience for $25 more.

Final Thoughts:

I’ve said my peace! Just buy it if it’s new to you. It’s a treat among treats. I’m surprised that you even read this without scrolling right past it to the purchase links.

Purchase Links:

Steam

PlayStation

XBOX

Nintendo Switch

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