Review The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe sold 100,000 units a day, but the game has lost its luster

Finally released for consoles, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe also evokes the most embarrassing sensations in the veteran of the original game. He no longer feels he is on the verge of a hilarious mystery, but rather at the depressing stand-up gig of a Douvlas Adams fan from Kouvola who draws beer monology.

Date of issue: 27.4.2022
Studio: Crows Crows Crows
Julkaisija: Crows Crows Crows
Available: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles (tested on Xbox Series X)
Players: 1
Age limit: 7
Game played for review: 3 hours

The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is a dissertation on the interaction between the game and the player. The game makes fun of how completely involuntary the player is in video games, as the games constantly tell you which piece to press and which direction to go. The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is a peculiar, but also unfortunate boring game in that its replay value is a full zero percent.

However, the first time was great.

When I first played The Stanley Parable in 2013, it was anything but numb. At the time, the set-up of the game, where the roles of player and game had been turned upside down, felt refreshing. In addition, the endless monologue of the narrator, who is the second protagonist of the game, seemed interesting, in some places even witty. The labyrinthine office that served as the milieu of The Stanley Parabel was nice to explore. At the same time, solving the mystery fascinated me, and the diverse rest of the game took with it. I was looking forward to the sequel.

The protagonist of the game, Stanley, works in an anonymous office and is responsible for obeying the commands of his computer. The machine regularly tells Stanley to press certain pieces, but one day the computer is completely silent. The office is also silent, as all of Stanley’s work enemies have mysteriously disappeared. Instead, there’s a narrator’s voice somewhere that tells Stanley what to do and where to go. The narrator comments on Stanley’s choices, usually in the sarcastic style of the Perienator.

Does it sound familiar? There may have been something to borrow from the still life Ben Stiller created by Severanceseries (2022-). Its protagonists are also working in a maze-like office, and the only job is to press computer-commanded keys, and it’s not at all clear what the press of the buttons even means.

The Stanley Parable condenses into its initial setup and doesn’t laugh for very long. The narrator directs Stanley in a maze-like agency, and acting on the orders quickly ends the game. In this case, the player’s actions have no bearing on the course of the game. Stubborn gameplay has completely different effects, with 19 pieces left in the original game. In Ultra Deluxe, there are a total of 42. The number is hardly a coincidence, as it is known to be very relevant Douglas Adamsin Milky Way Handbook for Hitchhikers book series.

The Stanley Parable desperately tries to channel Adamsma’s very peculiar humor, but it inevitably remains a mere attempt. The game gets bored quickly, as it offers nothing but the same thing, that is, word-of-mouth and knocking out the same places that almost a decade ago seemed entertaining. One of the amusing aspects of the game is its brazen funding, with which it downright retouches. Ultra Deluxe brings many new endings to the game, which is the purpose of this release, but externally, the biggest innovation is the metal bucket that Stanley carries. Good and relevant choice.

One of the hooks in the game is what kind of clichés there are in the games and especially in the sequels.

The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe takes off in a fairground-like area that tells you what The Stanley Parable 2 really is, and later the game turns into a sequel all the way through the menus. Among other things, collectible Stanley characters that are irrelevant to the game are glowed in the fairgrounds. In addition, there is a machine whose button gives the player free Trophy points. Here, too, the first minutes cause a soft smile, but while I support repetitive humor (repetitive humor), even this shaky whimsy quickly begins to saturate.

Also troublesome humor is how the game talks about the incense and criticism of the original game. Praise for prestigious game releases is not being curbed, and Crows Crows, the developer of the game, also highlights the negative reviews the game has received on Steam. Negative Steam critics in the game are packed in containers in a miserable area with “Pressured Gas Reviews” on the sides. The narrator reads these negative reviews aloud and scolds those where he thinks they don’t understand what the game is all about.

The Stanley Parable is not any abstract ambiguous art, but a game that jokingly deals with player choices and their relevance to games. This is not to say that The Stanley Parable is a bad game. It’s an unusual and easy-to-approach, but ultimately very simple walking simulator with an unreliable narrator at its center.

At least at the time of release, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, which was a great bargain, is a game worth trying, or rather an experience. For the first-timer, it can be recommended without reservation if walking simulators, light words, and absurd jokes happen to be close to your heart.


Rating: 2/5

“The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is a return to the cult game, but it no longer works for the experienced gamer. The game is not enchanting, and it is impossible to look for its various endings, nor to listen to the narrator. ”

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