The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe: an Experience that will Never End


Lucien Ferris, Staff Writer

The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is a first person interactive storytelling game that was made on April 27th, 2022. It’s a remaster of the original game made in 2013, The Stanley Parable, both written by Davey Wreden and developed by Crows Crows Crows. It is able to be played on PC and various consoles such as the Nintendo Switch. The game follows the main character Stanley, an average everyday office worker, who discovers all of his coworkers are missing. While Stanley explores the office, a witty voice with a British accent known as The Narrator, who is voiced by Kevan Brighting, narrates Stanley’s movements and thoughts. The player can make Stanley obey or disobey The Narrator’s instructions, which branches out into a variety of endings for both. The game resets back to Stanley’s office after each ending, which lets the player go on different paths and make different choices to get different outcomes. This follows the game’s famous catchphrase: The end is never the end is never…


 It is overall a very enjoyable and entertaining game. When you first look at it, it just looks like a simple silly game that takes place in an office. But as the game goes on, you can see there is an actual story behind it all. Each of the endings are as interesting as the last and develops the personalities of both Stanley and The Narrator.


One of the things I liked about the game is the story in general. At first, the plot is very simple. Stanley works at an office and discovers his coworkers are missing. He then branches out into various parts of the office looking for them. But as you continue playing and getting various endings, the story and the characters are still simple, but very diverse at the same time. Some endings stick with the missing coworkers story while others branch out into a different story of their own. There are a lot of silly gags and jokes in the game, but they add to the story and make it more enjoyable. The story makes you think about how important characters and narrators are to stories. You can’t have one without the other. The head writer, Davey Wreden did an excellent job of writing the story and all of its enjoyable moments in The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe.


Another thing I liked about the game was its one and only gameplay mechanic: choice making. Being an interactive storytelling game, the game is almost filled to the brim with making choices. And as it goes with most choice games, your choices will have meaning and consequences based on their different outcomes. Even the silliest of choices that you may not think twice about, will sometimes lead to the most meaningful and emotional endings in the game. The most major choice in the game is one of the very first ones you make. Stanley comes to a room with two doors, each leading to different locations. The Narrator says that Stanley takes the left door to look for his coworkers. However, Stanley isn’t bound to The Narrator’s word and can take the right door if he chooses, which leads to a whole bunch of other choices. After you pass through rooms where a choice is about to be made, the door closes behind you and is locked. This makes your choices set in stone and can’t be undone until you restart the game. The game has very little replayability since most of the endings can be achieved in just under an hour, but all of the endings are really interesting that make me replay and almost never become bored of it. Choice making is such a simple mechanic, but an interesting one as different games approach it differently.


A small but interesting thing I also liked is the game’s environment. The game takes place in a bland office building with a color palette of yellows, whites, and tans and consists of hallways, different kinds of rooms, and office cubicles. The environment is bland and boring, but adds a sense of loneliness and existential dread once you figure out how alone you are in the game. The game only consists of Stanley walking around an empty office wondering where his coworkers are while The Narrator narrates his actions and is the main voice you hear in the game.


Last but not least, the part I loved the most was The Narrator. Voiced by Kevan Brighting, The Narrator narrates Stanley’s actions in the game and often reacts to what the player makes Stanley do. The Narrator’s relationship with Stanley differs depending on the choices you make. Some instances he can be quite antagonistic, while other times, he can be a neutral or friendly character. There are times where the player can feel sympathy for the Narrator, as in one ending where the Narrator pleads to Stanley to not jump to his death to prevent The Narrator from being happy. The Narrator is very humorous and self aware, which causes him to be very well liked by the game’s audience. Kevan did a phenomenal job voicing The Narrator and he became one of my favorite video game characters. Almost every day I am just quoting The Narrator’s iconic lines in my head. According to the developers, Kevan is half the reason for the game’s success. Kevan has experience voicing narrators for other video games and is a well loved voice actor. I can’t blame him. With a voice like Kevan’s, you have no choice but to become a narrator.

All in all, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is a brilliant game and does a good job with its storytelling, choice making, environment, and characters. I heavily recommend this game as a nice chill experience to play when you are bored or looking for a game to play. It’s a game you won’t ever forget.