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The Stanley Parable dated for next week

Demo out today.

The remake of Davey Wreden's masterful Half-Life 2 mod, The Stanley Parable, is coming out 17th October for PC on Steam. A Mac port will follow shortly.

Better yet, there's a demo for it out today. But it's no ordinary demo, you see. It doesn't contain any content from the actual game. Instead, it's a standalone episode that gives you a sense of the sort of reactive narrative you'll experience in the bonkers, meta-er-than-thou first-person walker about a man enacting a story the narrator is attempting to tell. Or not enacting said story. The choice is yours and the narrator will react to you, no matter how much you choose to go along with him.

The demo actually has a lot less choice in it than the main game will, but it still gives a good sense of the game's cool, quirky tone and peculiar relationship with the feeble, wannabe-controlling narrator. This standalone slice isn't a million miles away from the PAX Prime demo I played last month when I interviewed Wreden about what The Stanley Parable means to him. This version has fewer Octodad references, sadly, but there are other new gags to make up for it.

Wreden described The Stanley Parable as a first person exploration game. "You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley. You will follow a story, you will not follow a story. You will have a choice, you will have no choice. The game will end, the game will never end. Contradiction follows contradiction, the rules of how games should work are broken, then broken again. This world was not made for you to understand," he explained... sort of.

"But as you explore, slowly, meaning begins to arise, the paradoxes might start to make sense, perhaps you are powerful after all. The game is not here to fight you; it is inviting you to dance."

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Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

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