The Latest, Greatest First-Person Exploration: “The Stanley Parable”

The Latest, Greatest First-Person Exploration: “The Stanley Parable”

Are we sensing a trend here? It seems that along with games like Dear Esther, Gone Home, and MiasmataThe Stanley Parable is part of a new, growing genre called FPE’s, or better known as first-person explorations. No longer are the best games about shooting people with guns; our new goal is wonder and discovery, and our weapons are our minds.

Okay, I’m getting off my soap box. But seriously, The Stanley Parable is really cool, and I’m glad these kinds of games are growing steam and giving us something to think about other than typical Call of Duty violence. In the game, you play an office worker who wants to breaks out of the mundanity of being an office worker. Like many other exploration games, The Stanley Parable doesn’t give you much. No objective, no motivation. Just wonder and discovery. Even the game’s description is cryptic:”You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley. You will follow a story, you will not follow a story. You will have a choice, you will have no choice. The game will end, the game will never end.”

That is enough to hook me. But the game itself still has substance. The graphics, using the Source engine, are pretty and make up purposefully bare environments, every hallway and dead-end tinged with some symbolic meaning. It’s up to you to figure out what that is.

The Stanley Portable is available now for Windows PC.

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