So after looking through my line up of video games and movies that I have yet to play/watch this year, it quickly came to my attention that I will not cover nearly enough that I need to in a month before the Best and Worst of 2013 that will come in January. So with that considered, I am going to bring back my Saturday reviews so I can cover as much ground as I can.
So with all that said, I thought I would start with one of the most unique games to be released in recent history, The Stanley Parable. After its humble origins being the project of 22-year-old Davey Wreden and its later remake, the video game has quickly found itself on the fast track to being one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2013. But does it really deserve all the praise that it is receiving? In my opinion… Yes, yes it does.
The funny thing is though, you really cannot talk about The Stanley Parable in any lengthy synopsis without giving away spoilers. The best I can say about the game without giving away too much is that it is the ultimate game of choices… And with that let’s get into the vague as possible pros and cons.
Oh demos… They are a strange thing of gaming. They are free of course and as always all things free are good. But at the same time they are usually small fractions of the game and typically do not adequately show the quality of the game. They are a selling point incarnate. There have been a few in the history of video gaming that have stepped forward but for the most part anyone can make an informed decision on if they want to play the game or not without ever going near the demo.
But when a game makes a game out of the demonstration itself… That is something special. The Stanley Parable Demonstration is a game within itself and a very satisfying play. Through the unique demonstration, the demo shows in detail just what the game is about as well as being a stand alone experience and a decent parody on video gaming in general.
The Intelligence of the Game (Spoilers)
The concept of choice. That is what the Stanley Parable boils down to. Instead of building a traditional narrative, the game instead tears apart the concept as well as the challenging the player with the concepts of following verbatim what the game says or choosing ones own route which can be met with both reward and punishment.
What I love about the game is the fact that there is a ‘illusion’ of choice’ more than anything. It gives the players the illusion that they have options when really their fate has been decided from the beginning.
The game is not very long. Even stated by the game’s creators, the Stanley Parable’s several endings can be accomplished in a matter of hours. It is relatively small but after several play-throughs the game will find itself only replayed on a few sparse occasions.
This review might be short and vague. But that is just because the mere concept of explaining the Stanley Parable is a damn near impossible task in and of itself. It truly is a smart, thought provoking, and unique game that you need to play for yourself to truly grasp just how good it is and is definitely in contention for Game of the Year.
Final Score 4.5/5
Thank you for reading and as always please like and subscribe for more reviews from me. Return this Sunday and Tuesday for more reviews than Thursday for the last episode of the Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth of 2013.