Friday, December 2 2022

Stanley Ultra Deluxe Satellite Dish (Multi)

By: Crows Crows Crows

NOTHING could put a smile on the bespectacled cups of 1980s geeks more than typing in rude words in early text-adventure games – leading to asthmatic laughter if the developer got a head start with a concise answer.

It’s this cheeky rite of discovery that powers The Stanley Parable, a Kafka-esque commentary on free will and choice in games that first thrilled chin gamers on PC in 2011.

Expanding on the choices and endings of the original, Ultra Deluxe sees the indie darling finally land on consoles, giving cerebral gamers the chance to experience what amounts to an episode of Black Mirror.

With barely a loaf or fish in sight, this parable follows the fortunes of office drone Stanley, who discovers that his colleagues are missing – a disruption of his crippling routine that leads to an exploration of choice and interactivity in the same video game you are. playing.

It may sound arty-fartsy, but The Stanley Parable is at its core pure comedy, with a pithy voiceover providing the yucks. Our hate-loving narrator is the game’s dark and deranged emcee, and whether or not you decide to follow his instructions, it can lead Stanley down some decidedly surreal alleyways.

A game that plays you as much as you play it, The Stanley Parable invites you to have fun and get off the tracks just to see what happens, but be warned – its developers will have seen you coming.

Exploring a labyrinthine office block in search of answers, everything you do is narrated by its oh-so-British narrator, with plenty of fourth walls breaking as he addresses the player directly like Ferris Bueller or , uh, Lovejoy.

If Hitchhiker’s Guide scribe Douglas Adams ever wrote a Choose Your Own Adventure book, it’s this one, and while you’ll stumble across many of his endings in less than an hour, at least 19 possible results invite several readings.

Even his trophies are tongue in cheek, like playing an entire Tuesday or not touching the game at all for 10 years.

While it would be more comfortable as an art installation than sitting next to Call of Duty on your PlayStation, it’s easy to see why The Stanley Parable’s cult following has snowballed since its PC debut. Simultaneously silly, funny, philosophical and thought-provoking, it is a singular and superior send-off and the greatest Stanley since Kubrick. Or Accrington.


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