Lindsay looks at Neptune, Have Mercy and The Stanley Parable
This week on my adventures through Greenlight, I continue to learn about games that no longer have that New Game smell, but are nonetheless worth delving into for a myriad of reasons. Unlike my preceding articles that seem to have some semblance of direction and organization, this week I relied on my Twitch stream chat to help me choose which game to play. May God have mercy on our souls.
The Greenlit Game this week is Neptune, Have Mercy, by developers Octopodo and Progpixel, based in Vancouver. I feel the need to share something with you all. It’s been a few weeks. Time to get personal. I have a weird, not wholly irrational fear of really deep, dark oceans. Living right next to (cosmically speaking, of course) the Marianas Trench woogs me out whenever I step foot in the Pacific. You don’t know what could be down there, waiting to suck you down into terrifying depths. As a result of this bizarre brain construct, this game caught my eye in the queue. Luckily for me, my stream agreed. Those masochistic jerks.
The trailer reminds me of Sphere/Twenty Thousand Leagues/Abyss, all of which are utterly terrifying. Because crushing blue depths. What I liked about this, though, was that instead of being passively intrusive, waiting for death to claim you in some awful way, you’re able to fight back against the monsters of the deep using Heat Waves, Harpoons, and Mining Lasers. Take THAT, evil seamonsters. The gameplay revolves around exploration (shudder), crafting and customization of your sub (hooray!) and fighting off big slimy baddies (even more hooray!) all set on Triton, which is one of the larger moons of Neptune. A big plus to the devs for doing the moons-route when naming things, because, that’s what I do (Enceladus, anyone?). I enjoy entertaining the idea that beneath the miles of ice covering some of the gaseous planets in the outer solar system there is life waiting to be explored and collected. Cough-Europa-cough.
I also dig the art-style, which to me, looks a lot like Blade Runner for some reason, and dystopian-themed anything rocks in my book. They have a Kickstarter going for Neptune, Have Mercy, with a projected release timeframe of mid-2015. You can check out their Steam page here, and their website, here.
So, for this next bit, I ran into some issues. Initially, the Stream (™) had selected Celestial Command, a sandbox space game, but as there was no tutorial offered except one on the Steam page that looked like a kid in middle school wrote it. I stopped after .7 hours and switched tracks. Luckily, I had a contingent of people ready to offer me another game: The Stanley Parable, developed by Galactic Cafe. Released October 2013, this was no spring chicken. I played through the demo, and by the end of it, I gleefully purchased the full game.
From the website, the game is described thusly: “The Stanley Parable is 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.” This game messes with you, in a way that’s almost inconceivable for a video game. The Narrator strings you along, becomes confused/irate/condescending, etc, and you’re left to your own devices trying to figure out how, as Stanley, you’re going to escape your ever-expanding office. The irreverent, meta-spinning tone is what really sells this puzzle/exploration game. And according to the demo based on a button I pressed, I am a sexual predator, which delighted my viewers.
Achievements such as “You can’t jump… no seriously, we disabled it” and “Achievement. This is an achievement”, withering Narrator quips commenting on over-thinking the game (“/sigh Ah, yes truly a room worth admiring…Stanley simply stood here, drinking it all in”) basically make this game one you certainly don’t want to miss. The thing is, the less I explain about it, the better. It’s one of those “You just have to play it…” kinda games. And you should.
The Stanley Parable has sold a million copies in the year following its release. 92% of the near 17k people who have reviewed this game, as well as a host of review sites like Destructoid and Joystiq (RIP), have given nothing but high marks. Also since its release the game has won “Awards and Stuff” and gained a cult following filled with people who have a great sense of humor. You can purchase the game on Steam here, and check out their site here.
If you have any suggestions on which games I should review for the Greenlight Special, feel free to contact me via Twitter @lindsaygeektr0n. I also stream these games every Tuesday on my Twitch channel. Come on by and check out new stuff.
Lindsay “amoril” Geektron, Brand Ambassador