The Stanley Parable might not hold a place in the Hall of Fame for the most popular games, but it’s a dead cert for a spot in the top 10 list of the most iconic ones. It may be a first-person exploration game, but it’s more of a narrative-driven festival. Particularly with the Ultra Deluxe Edition, it’s managed to push the boundaries even further. No wonder some gamers can’t resist considering: Is The Stanley Parable a horror game?
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Is The Stanley Parable a Horror Game?
The short answer is no — The Stanley Parable doesn’t entirely fall into the horror game category. To be more precise, it doesn’t quite align with the traditional tropes of the horror genre. Some scenes you’ll stumble upon during the game might tingle your nerves. In truth, it’s these unique elements that really set it apart from other games. Before we get into the details, let’s define Stanley’s journey.
As you can glean from the title, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe Edition zeroes in on the adventures of a character named Stanley. A standard, somewhat grey office worker, Stanley one day finds himself alone in the office, thanks to the guidance of the Narrator. And so, the game commences, with what follows being an absolute masterclass in storytelling.
You can choose to heed the Narrator, acting as directed. Alternatively, you can throw caution to the wind, reject the suggested path and make your own decisions. Regardless of your approach, this game, masterminded by Davey Wreden and William Pugh, is bound to astonish you. But bear in mind, if you experience The Stanley Parable sans spoilers, you’ll likely enjoy it all the more.
Now that we’ve given you a broad overview of the game, we can explore why some players perceive it as a horror game.
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Some Endings Are Creepy
The main reason people believe The Stanley Parable is a horror game boils down to some of the game’s endings. We’ll avoid any specifics to avoid spoilers, but the game’s final version has 42 different endings. A handful of these conclusions are not so cheery. They may not reach the levels of fright found in Dead Space, but they might leave some players feeling uneasy.
What sets the game apart is how tough it is to stumble upon these endings without actively seeking them out. So, it’s a real hoot to play through, making choice after choice, wondering where you’re headed. But this also adds a creepiness as you’re venturing into the unknown.
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The Narrator Is Trying to Get Into Your Head
One of the highlights of The Stanley Parable is its splendidly crafted dialogue. The Narrator’s voice acting is so top-notch, and the script so well-written that you can’t help but be drawn in. Given that the nature of the game is to anticipate player actions, you’ll be astounded by the writers’ depth of thought.
This admiration inadvertently elevates the Narrator to a rather dominant figure. The following dialogue prompts you to consider life, philosophy, humanity’s purpose, and other weighty subjects. This isn’t a negative aspect — far from it. It’s an extraordinary experience.
However, the fact that some people find themselves mulling over such deep thoughts within such a superb game is the most unambiguous indication of why The Stanley Parable is considered a horror game by some.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Is The Stanley Parable?
The Stanley Parable can be a brief 10-minute binge or a full 10-hour marathon, depending on how many of the game’s 42 endings you aim to explore. However, it’s about something other than an engaging gameplay experience but rather the depth of your curiosity and exploration.
Why Is The Stanley Parable So Popular?
The Stanley Parable’s popularity comes from its uniqueness. While it may not bring revolutionary technical features, its narrative style and dialogue writing are top-tier. Particularly after the initial two hours of play, what you uncover will leave you marvelling at both the Narrator and the game’s creators.
Does The Stanley Parable Not Save?
In short, you can’t manually save your progress in The Stanley Parable or the Ultra Deluxe Edition. However, this is part of the game’s mechanics — essentially one giant loop. When you reach an ending, the Narrator restarts the game. But this isn’t a genuine reset — it’s more of a progression to the next part of the story. You might need to reset the game eight times to reach certain endings.
- My journey into the world of video games began at four, when I was first introduced to arcade machines in 1996. Over the past decades, I've been fortunate enough to witness the incredible evolution of gaming, as it has grown from a niche hobby to a thriving art. Today, I'm dedicated to creating content that celebrates all genres of games. We will talk about them at Player.me.