Reviewing The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is borderline impossible. Not without spoiling everything that makes the game so unique, at least. We’ll do our best, but know that this is absolutely one of those things you should experience with no prior knowledge. Frankly, you should probably stop reading this and just play it for yourself. You should really take our word for it here.
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is a jazzed-up port of the cult hit PC title. This goes far beyond a simple remaster, adding a vast amount of new content on top of everything from the original first-person adventure. You play the titular Stanley, who realises that all his colleagues have inexplicably vanished. Accompanied by narration throughout the game, you explore the office building to find out what’s happened.
From that starting point, you’re able to reach many different conclusions depending on your movements. The gameplay is very simple, but by walking around, interacting with objects, and testing the game’s limits, you’ll inevitably discover what people love about The Stanley Parable. The interplay between you and the Narrator, voiced brilliantly by Kevan Brighting, is the real draw, and it’s within myriad endings and meandering paths you’ll discover hilarious, thoughtful, and even unsettling revelations. The game doesn’t so much break the fourth wall as vehemently demolish it, gleefully tearing down every brick and rearranging the rubble before doing it all again.
Visually it’s definitely an improvement, although it’s behind the curve by modern standards. It makes up for that by doubling the size of the game with all-new content, alterations to existing endings, and more that fans will adore. If you’ve played The Stanley Parable before, Ultra Deluxe gives you lots of reasons to revisit the experience. If this’ll be your first time, well, lucky you. Once the element of surprise is gone, there’s little reason to return — but while it lasts, this is easily among gaming’s most unique and memorable journeys.