It’s been nearly ten years since Stanley’s Parable stuck a fork into our brains and spun it around like a bowl of spaghetti. The first-person adventure, a seemingly simple story of an employee dutifully following the instructions of an off-screen narrator, quickly branched off into absurd, bewildering, hilarious and sometimes disturbing paths as it explored the nature of choice and the free. discretion in video games.
“Effortlessly inventive, often surprising and consistently hilarious,” we said in our 2013 review. “Stanley Parable shows you how to make a story about game stories.”
And now comes Stanley again, only new and improved. The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe will put you in the shoes of Employee 427 once again on April 27th. Let the trailer above get you acquainted with Stanley, a simple office worker who dutifully pushed buttons until one day he got up from his chair, left his office, and started pushing the limits of the strange world around him.
Ultra Deluxe is an “expanded reimagining” of The Stanley Parable, though seeing as how the game has taught us not to trust what we’re told, it’s hard to guess what that really means. It feels like so much more than a remaster of the original with a few extra bits added and one more chance for the developers to confuse us more, surprise us more, and mess with our brains and expectations even more.
“The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe dramatically expands the world of the original game with new content, new choices and new secrets for you to discover,” says Crows Crows Crows, before the press release becomes a tangled web of its own. “You will play as Stanley, not Stanley. You will make a choice and you will have your choices taken from you. The game will end, the game will never end.”
The developers say that “the script for the new content is longer than the script for the original game”, an exciting and harrowing thought. Once again, Kevan Brighting’s delightful storybook voice styles will serve as Stanley’s narrator, although like the original, the fun and confusion begins when you stop doing everything that’s said.
“We’ve been here before, haven’t we?” read the game page at Steam. “Is Stanley still the same as he was back then? Or was it you who changed?” Find out on April 27th.