The Stanley Parable Review
Platform: Available through Steam on PC & Mac
If you look at reviews of The Stanley Parable, they all tend to say the same thing.
I can understand that, and having played it myself, I agree that had I known what it was about before playing it, it might have ruined the surprise somewhat.
But what I can’t understand is the praise heaped upon it.
And no, by that I don’t mean that it’s a bad game, but rather I don’t believe it’s a game worthy of the five-star, 10/10 or near 100% level reviews it’s getting.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s very good for what it is, but it’s far from being perfect and after about an hour of continuous play, I got a bit tired of it. Then when I came back to it, I managed to pretty much finish it off in about 30 more minutes. I say pretty much, because I could do more if I entered cheat codes that force the game to offer new material, but then had I not read about them online, how would I know about them? And moreover, by watching the videos on YouTube that showed me how to actually get these alternative scenes, I ended up watching them on that and then had no desire to go back and actually do them myself.
So the question is, even if a game is as charming, funny and original as this no doubt is, can any game that has such a limited shelf life and no replay value once you’ve completed all the various endings be worthy of such high ratings when ranked on the same scale as all other games?
And is it worth paying out £10 for?
On both counts I’d say no.
The Good and The Bad of The Stanley Parable
- Genuinely funny narration
- Well thought out in offering a variety of different paths to explore
- Functional control with an Xbox 360 Controller for Windows
- Probably the most interesting and unique demos I’ve ever played (seriously, go and download the demo and give it a go. It’s a game in itself)
- A terrific idea for a game
- A poor Price-to-Game-Length ratio: £10 for around 90-120 minutes of game play is weak in 2013
- If you play much of it in one go, the narration can grate a bit
- Certain endings are there only for those who want to cheat and try to recode the game. What’s the point?