Death Stranding Vs. The Stanley Parable: Which Game Is More Confusing?

While Death Stranding has you parading through a desolate landscape filled with questions and speculations, The Stanley Parable takes a more abstract approach.

Story Highlights

  • Death Stranding takes you through the extinction event, a concept shrouded in confusion and mystery.
  • The Stanley parable shifts through reality, breaking previous theories and confusing players.
  • Both games are sold by their ridiculous story deviations, plot points, and story elements

The idea that the truth is shrouded in mystery usually incepts a layer of intrigue into a player’s mind, forcing one to draw up conclusions and make up their own theories. This makes the experience much more thrilling and pushes the player on the edge of their seat all the way until the reveal. Now, this works if we know what to question, but in games like Death Stranding, gamers will struggle even to ask the correct ones.

As you march through a fractured America and talk to individuals, survivors of the Death Stranding, you listen to way more questions than answers, which really pulls on the player from all sides. What exactly are these BBs, the Beach, and the theory behind the extinction events? This may seem extremely mind-boggling, but The Stanley Parable has so many inconsistencies that it seems impossible even to connect these things.

Or is it? The Stanley Parable may have clear theory breakers, but it also has a lot of things to support the weird antics of the Narrator. In almost every ending and choice, factors indicate that whatever Stanley is experiencing might just be a figment of his imagination. However, there also exists proof that the Narrator is actually a living entity, torturing Stanley just for the fun of it.

The Essence To Understand – Death Stranding

Now, in the case of Death Stranding, one thing to remember is that even Kojima, the creator of the franchise, doesn’t understand the game. The actors that were cast in the game also did not understand what the game was about. If the creator and the people playing pivotal roles in the title were confused about the entire experience, then this had to be one of the most mind-bending titles to ever exist.

Even now, I don’t understand the game… Its world view, gameplay, they are all new. My mission is to create a genre that does not currently exist, and which takes everyone by surprise. There is, naturally, a risk in that…”

The concepts that occur in the universe of Death Stranding are also a topic of discussion. The game contains entities known as BTs and BBs, beings that essentially live between the boundaries of life and death. But at the same time, one of those BBs starts to move towards the living, which spirals the main protagonist into a spiral of tough decisions and encounters.

Death Stranding
Sam Porter in Death Stranding

A plethora of intriguing characters also exist, and their entire agendas are unique to their own story.
One of them can shift through beaches to reach a destination in an instant, one of them is a crazy BB specialist, focusing on the theory of the Death Stranding, and one of them, Heartman, is a character that dies every 21 minutes to go to the beaches to look for his lost family. Pretty bonkers.

YouTube video

Death Stranding can be considered a good type of ‘confusing,’ whereas in titles like Kingdom Hearts or Metal Gear Solid these games dive into a different type of element and diverging concepts, one even theorists cannot understand. So it is always better for these developers to create mystery and questions in the way that Death Stranding did, appealing but always within grasp, mostly.

The sequel to this notorious title is also in development and will feature many of our old and fan-favorite characters. The new game will feature different and new aspects of its universe and will feature much better quality in terms of graphical advancements and gameplay. Not much has been revealed about the sequel, but it will be just as deceptive as its predecessor.

The Descent Into Madness – The Stanley Parable

Now, unlike our favorite mountain climbing protagonist, Sam Porter Bridges, Stanley is a man of many features, one of these is stated by our favorite narrator, “He began to make other strange observations, for example, why couldn’t he see his feet when he looked down.” The insanity ending is one of the most speculated pieces in Stanley Parable’s history, and for good reason. 

Stanley Parable

Stanley arrives at his office, only to discover that his entire building is empty, which causes Stanley to venture out with a looming Narrator narrating his every little move. As he moves around the complex, he arrives at the step of two identical doors; the narrator says, “When Stanley came to a set of two open doors, he entered the door on his left.” This is the first of many choices one will make in The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, and it’s definitely the only simple one.

Unlike Death Stranding, the game has no clear premise; rather, it depends much more on your path. One path could lead you to become a successful author, while one could lead you to kill yourself. Defying the Narrator can take you to the darkest depth of Stanley’s subconscious, while one could have you abandon the Narrator, watching him go crazy without a person to narrate.

Many would consider The Stanley Parable to be a gag game, one with no actual meaning whatsoever, but some endings in the game may lead us to the truth of Stanley and his Narrator. In the direction of an actual game, this might be true, but the Stanley Parable takes more metaphorical approaches to its decisions and endings, with layers upon layers of meaning embedded into them.

YouTube video

The definition of the word ‘parable’ is as follows, “A simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson,” something the game repeatedly does with all of its many choices. It’s a crazy experience that players can’t really piece together, and it might be more mind-boggling than Death Stranding ever could have been.

The essence of mystery is genuinely intriguing when it comes to games like The Stanley Parable and Death Stranding. Just trying to uncover or dive more into its secrets gives way to some incredibly unique theories and always fills the player with determination to go forward. The Stanley Parable pushes this factor to its limit and is definitely the most confusing game I have ever completed.

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Ahmed Shayan is a News Writer on eXputer with decent experience writing about games. He’s a machine learning enthusiast with a passion for a plethora of gaming genres. Ahmed is fond of Soulsborne games in which he has invested more than 3,000 hours! You can follow Ahmed's gaming activity on his PSN Profile.

Experience: 1.5+ Years || Mainly Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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