Jumping the Bandwagon: The Stanley Parable

More like it’s own genre then a Mod, The Stanley Parable will hopefully trigger a new era in gaming where actions are just as important as the story written out to them.

This is one of the few moments where I could say I was a hipster and found this mod before it was cool. It was deeply embedded into Reddit comments and after a few glances, I decided to download later on when I had the time and do a review.
And how much has changed! The Stanley Parable has exploded in popularity since it’s quiet release and has been covered on many sites, most if not all of the reviews keeping quiet on it’s content and what to expect when playing. Naturally, seeing how I love to jump on the bandwagon I at last opened up the game and started to play.

And as I started to play, it was radically different then what I had come in expecting. In fact, I can easily say I’ve never even played a game like this before, much less a mod. As I began to make my way through the levels I came to understand the reasons why none of these modding sites chose to divulge what happens… It’s just too good to spoil.

What I can tell you is that every choice you make has been ingeniously and amazingly pre-planned out by the developers. Sometimes they mean nothing and sometimes they mean everything, with the story moving onwards entirely depending on what you choose to do next. It’s tricky to attempt to explain this mechanic without throwing spoilers, but the fact that the creators of this mod put so much love into such a complicated action of predicting players movements/behaviors is worth recognition in itself. The voice acting is also incredible, easily some of the best I’ve seen and is at a professional level. The Mic quality was fantastic, almost sounding like it was all recorded in a studio. The voice acting and game mechanics mesh wonderfully and make it for a very unforgettable experience.

Mapping wise, it’s nothing special to be quite honest. But, the point of this mod isn’t to look incredible of jaw dropping. It sets the scene and gives you a framework to work within. Half Life 2 assets/models/textures are used freely and a first playthrough will require the player to get used to seeing these things and not associating them with the Combine or anything else attached to the Half Life universe.

But really, this Mod shines in it’s story and the brutal message it gives, often breaking the 4th wall and speaking directly to you. At the end of many of the multiple endings it left me feeling strange, sometimes with a cold realization mixed with hilarity for being read so easily by a computer game. As time went on the hilarity left, and the final message of The Stanley Parable was left clearly to the player to digest: How much freedom do we have in the choices we make? How fair is the world we live in? And how much do we ever not choose to follow the status quo? The questions where something people choose not to dwell too much on, or outright avoid, and this mod shoved in our faces and forcing us to look internally and find out.

I’ve never once played a game that caused such an introspective feeling in me, which I’m sure to someone on the outside must sound silly, but it’s true. The Stanley Parable is a masterpiece, a true masterpiece of storytelling and even gaming, and I sincerely hope the community will soon latch on to similar ideas and implement immersion and such creative and cerebral ideas.

So, get up and get this Mod. Right now. As far as I know, there are 6 radically different endings.

Download the Mod here: http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-stanley-parable

Want to scream at me? Tell me how much you love me? Have a mod request for me to review and look at? Email me at [email protected] !


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