Cult hit The Stanley Parable’s much-expanded Ultra Deluxe edition – which introduces new bits, new endings, and hopefully a few new squiggly lines – has decided to eschews its original 2019 release date on PC and consoles and will now launch next year.
The Stanley Parable, if you’re unaware, started life as a Half-Life 2 mod back in 2011 before it was expanded into a standalone release in 2013. It tells the story of office worker Stanley as he embarks on an adventure that could, assuming the disembodied Narrator gets his way, reveal the terrifying truth behind those unassuming cubicles and beige walls. That’s not a spoiler by the way, that’s pretty much the first ten minutes of the game.
As has been discussed at length over the years, The Stanley Parable is, at least in part, a rumination on the nature of free will, with players engaging in a never-ending battle of wits with the game’s ever-present Narrator (superbly played by the velvety voiced Kevan Brighting), who just wants to tell his story. More importantly though, it’s frequently very, very funny, with much of the joy coming from the Narrator’s increasingly strained relationship with Stanley/the player, as their refusal to stick to the prescribed narrative path leads to ever more bizarre adventures.