Ultra Deluxe is a real second part, not a simple remaster – DTF Games

A re-release that turned out to be a sequel, pretending to be a re-release, pretending to be a sequel, pretending to be a re-release, pretending to be a sequel, pretending to be a re-release, pretending to be a sequel, pretending to be a sequel, pretending to be a re-release, pretending to be a sequel, pretending to be a re-release,,.

Do not be afraid!

There are no spoilers, no lasers, no walks, no bears, no links to Never Gonna Give You Up, no handshakes, no kittens, no eyeglass wipes, no inverted y-axis, no dream or waking flights. Well, or just spoilers. Probably.

Before talking about The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe and why it’s actually not Ultra Deluxe, but a full-fledged sequel, you need to remember what the original was like in general. Even if the first part has a cult status, it was released almost ten years ago, in 2013, so many modern players might not have heard about it or have forgotten it a lot.

Another important thing to note is that the first game itself was a remake, because the real original is a modification for Half-Life 2, released in 2011. And let me immediately shoot a spoiler, but according to the plot of the independent The Stanley Parable, you can get to the locations from the original mod. That is, the integration of the old version into the new one is a technique already tested by the authors.

Sounds a bit confusing? Not a little? Welcome. The Stanley Parable does nothing but confuse things. Of course, I will try to describe it in a less abstract way, but I do not promise that it will turn out. I will do this in two versions: with spoilers and without.

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Now for the spoiler-free version. The Stanley Parable is a first-person walking simulation where your actions are directed or simply commentated by an off-screen Narrator. You can obey his orders, or you can go against his will. After each decision for or against the plot that the Storyteller constructs, a new choice follows, and then another, and another.

The narrative is ostensibly non-linear and very post-modern… or already meta-modern? It makes fun of clichés, genres, game conventions, itself. And when I say “narrative” I mean the Narrator who fully embodies it. That is, the script speaks to you, explains itself to you, appears to you as a living and feeling being.

Basically, the game is funny, but it’s not clear to call it a comedy. Some choices lead to psychedelic endings, some to touching and dramatic ones, some elements are dreary, some are terrifying. For example, after a few hours of playthrough, the Narrator suddenly drops a comment that “if Stanley turns around quickly, he will see who is following him.” It gets a little uncomfortable.

“Unreliable narrator”, breaking the fourth, and maybe the fifth wall, pop-cultural references and homage to intellectual art, the already mentioned non-linearity – all those screenwriting techniques and tropes that impress story gourmets even now were in The Stanley Parable back in 2013- m and have not lost originality and relevance years later. The game is still witty and amazing, and it has never been able to find any comparable competitor. There was a similar “post-post, meta-meta” in There Is No Game, but at the same time, when its authors seized on the narrative with voice-over, the game was doomed to secondary.

The last thing you need to know about The Stanley Parable is that the story is endless. Even if you reach the finale, in which credits crawl across the screen, after them you will not return to the main menu, but back to the starting location. Game design will never tell you that it’s time to stop, that the content is over, that you have found the “true” ending – the decision to exit the game can only be made by the player himself. And only the player can get out: Stanley and the Narrator are locked in history forever, no matter how many paths they pass, no matter how many doors they open.

But if the story is endless, and some kind of logical ending contradicts the very concept laid down in the slogan “THE END IS NEVER THE END”, then how did the game get a sequel? After all, the sequel is supposed to continue something, and in order to continue something, the previous “something” had to end.

The answer is hidden behind a door labeled “New Content”. Before you set foot on its threshold, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe will exactly repeat the plot of the original game. After that, welcome to the sequel.

Hiding under the title of Ultra Deluxe, The Stanley Parable 2 is a five-hour story that continues and complements the 2013 game. That, by the way, took place in a couple of hours.

At first, the sequel pretends to be a meta-joke, a parody of itself, but don’t be fooled – before you is a completely new work. This is acknowledged by the Narrator himself. He doesn’t seem to be serious, but the longer you play, the more often you remember his words.

I’m going to take the original Stanley Parable and just, well… put a few new features into it. With taste, of course. Sincerely. With concern for the vision and integrity of the first game. Could this work? Perhaps it can. But the screensaver with the name needs just a grandiose one. Such that she confidently conveyed to everyone: “This is The Stanley Parable 2.”

The narrator

tells

Grand title screensaver, is that you?

I would say that the first game was about the author’s self-criticism. Narrative that satirized storytelling hid behind it thoughts about how difficult it is for a creative person to deal with uncertainty about talent. How hard it is to compose in general, what personal cockroaches interfere with writers and screenwriters.

The Stanley Parable was not limited to just this, it was generally packed to capacity with philosophy, which is interpreted and interpreted, after all, the Narrator almost did not shut up. But the inner experiences of the creator were at the forefront.

The sequel is almost the same, but with one amendment. Now self-discipline has a reason. If in the original the Narrator was his own critic, then in the second part, real players in The Stanley Parable become critics. And this reality no longer obeys the Narrator.

That is why, by the way, the door to New Content does not appear immediately. Without passing the original game, it is impossible to feel the new one. First you need to wander through the old corridors, get to know the Narrator “before”, and then dive into the disturbing “after”.

The first Stanley Parable had a lot of hard moments. Recall the same ending where Stanley methodically killed himself in order to restart the cycle: he climbed up and jumped down, climbed up and jumped down. After each fall, the character moved more and more slowly, and the Storyteller spoke more and more confused. Torture for both, or for three, is to consider the player as a separate side.

But the general tone was rather positive. There were more ridicule than bitter comments. In the sequel, the situation has changed. If you have followed the work of the developers, then you may know that after Tha Stanley Parable, the game’s scriptwriter released The Beginners Guide, an emotional game design confession. And from her mood The Stanley Parable 2 learned a lot. So much so that the game can also be called The Beginners Guide 2.

Here, listen to the main theme from the first part.

Mystical, mysterious, but not sad. It awakens curiosity in the player, as if something new is waiting for us ahead, and we need to follow it.

Now let’s turn on one of the main themes of the sequel.

It’s hard to talk objectively about music, but do you hear? Something broke. Mysticism and mystery remained, but now they coexist with some kind of decay.

Reminds me of the soundtrack to Mister Robot.

The Stanley Parable 2 is a funny game. Maybe even funnier than the original, but the humor is increasingly black. Jokes built on an unexpected escalation of the situation at some point cease to be jokes, because the situations are too aggravated.

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For example, you are given a button to skip dialogs. You start by skipping a single Narrator line and end up skipping decades, maybe centuries. You are locked in a room with a button and all you can do is press it.

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Time flies by unnoticed only for you, while the Narrator remains conscious. And at first his loneliness lasts a moment, then a minute, then an hour, then an eternity. By the end, he goes crazy. You’ve been gone for too long. It’s not funny anymore.

And all the cross-cutting plot jokes work in the sequel like this: they start with a smile, end with hopelessness. While there are just cute gags like the “jump circle”, they’re just uplifting.

Much more can be said about the game – it is full of interesting things. And it wants to be thought about and discussed. And in general, you can catch me on inaccuracies, because I omitted a lot of important details in order to avoid spoilers …

But I already said too much, I don’t want to take away even more impressions.

If you were surprised by the first The Stanley Parable, and Ultra Deluxe seemed nothing more than a remaster, a re-release for the sake of consoles – try the game, be surprised. If you like The Beginners Guide and want something similar, try the game, get inspired. If you are just a script geek, you are inserted from an experimental narrative – try it, insert it.

It’s one of the best story games out there and it’s back in a better version.

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