The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe releases today, and while it presents itself largely as a remaster and console port with some new content added in as well, returning players may be surprised to find a lot more than that last point lets on.
First, a great big SPOILER WARNING!
This article is about to dive into the details of exactly what that means. You can read my review for a less spoiler-y look at what Ultra Deluxe offers, but turn back now if you do not want to know the scope of its new content and how it is presented to you.
Still here? Okay, let’s get into it.
Ultra Deluxe opens by asking if you’ve played the original already, the entirety of which is still available within this game. However, there’s also pretty much enough new content to rival the size of the base game all its own, including a long section where the narrator details the theoretical features of The Stanley Parable 2 – a bit that eventually results in them deciding to fold that sequel into the original, making the title screen and menus of Ultra Deluxe now say “The Stanley Parable 2” for seemingly the rest of the time you play.
That means this is sort of a hidden sequel, though the bulk of the new content still seems to be remixes or alterations to the original paths and endings of The Stanley Parable. There are lots of entirely new sections too, but Ultra Deluxe has not necessarily been built to be a standalone game in the way its transformation into “The Stanley Parable 2” might imply.
To go any deeper would sort of be ruining the joke itself. Much of the new content satirizes sequels, DLC, and game updates, and it pokes fun directly at itself and the act of trying to follow up on a critical success like The Stanley Parable. There’s no point in trying to define exactly what that makes Ultra Deluxe, but it’s certainly far larger in scope than that title might imply to many.
Tom Marks Is the Deputy Reviews Editor for IGN.