It tells a complex but intelligent story. It utilizes art design to enhance the gameplay. It uses sound design to terrify the player. And it delivers it all in an easily digestible package with replay value. I would consider Claire an excellent entry into the horror game genre.
Claire: Extended Cut is a nice addition to the survival horror genre, and if you appreciate, or can at least tolerate, the pixel aesthetic and 2D gameplay, then this game deserves to be in your collection.
This game has real effort, craftspersonship and heart. It's usually on sale; and anybody willing to put this much art into five dollars can have my money. Gameplay is smooth, completely free of bugs; bravo.
Claire: Extended Cut sadly takes an iconic horror setting and tries hard, but it fails to deliver a quality survival horror experience. Sure, there are some good points, but the negatives far outweigh any good you can find.
Where 'Lone Survivor' succeeded, Claire, has trouble. It relies too much on being lost, both in terms of interaction and narrative drive. Even if it had a more interesting protagonist, the game's inconsistent ability to remain scary holds it back.
Claire: Extended Cut takes the "Silent Hill" and "Outlast" style games and adapts it to a 2D, side-scrolling, pixel art style. The game's overall art direction is well done, especially for pixel art. The environments are very dark and horrifying. You are given a flashlight and a lighter to help navigate through the levels, but you can only see a few feet in front of your character, which adds to the unnerving and scary environment the game creates. The devs ability to render hanging bodies, monsters, sinew and other scary or horrifying elements using pixel art is well done.
There are no combat mechanics in the game, so your options are either run and/or hide. Monster encounters can effect Claire's health as well as he mental fortitude. If it gets too low, she begins losing health and will eventually die. Certain health items can restore her mental state, as well as resting at a lantern in save rooms.
The game also has some puzzle elements that were pretty straight forward; the puzzle revolving around the 5 stages of grief was well done.
I personally wasn't a big fan of the tedious, meandering hallways that made up the levels. You do have to explore these hallways to find rooms that contain side quests, health items or mainline story items. You are given a map, but not much else in terms on wayfinding.
The game has multiple endings that are contingent on how many other people you're able to help throughout the game.
My overall play time was about 2 hours and 45 minutes, which is fine with me. Any longer and the game would've become pretty monotonous.
Overall, Claire: Extended Cut has some great art direction that helps create a truly scary and horrifying game but the constant meandering and back tracking through rooms and hallways became a bit repetitive and immersion breaking.
Claire: Extended Cut is a 2D pixelated horror title from Hailstorm Games that drops yon into the shoes of a young woman called Claire. A psychological horror, this is a journey into Claire’s past, the uncovering of a truth as we witness the unravelling of her psyche.
The game begins in a hospital where Claire is visiting her bed-ridden mother. She is plagued with guilt & often talks to herself about not doing enough for her sick mother. While going to get some coffee Claire begins to experience nightmarish visions as the hospital begins to twist & darken into a monstrous environment.
The similarities with Silent Hill are obvious with creatures hidden in the shadows & bloody imagery adorning the walls. As Claire’s sanity begins to slip the nightmare gets darker & darker blurring the lines between reality. You start to question just how much of what you’re seeing is actually in Claire’s head.
The 3 to 4-hour story is what makes Claire such a compelling game to play. Confusing at first, seeing the truth unravel is both elating & depressing. Claire is a character you can get behind, sympathetic & innocent but with a toughness that comes from the life she has had to live.
Unfortunately, the gameplay isn’t up to par with the story with the over-riding memory being just how many doors were opened in the end.
Claire: Extended Cut is all about exploration, make your way through the murky corridors opening doors, checking rooms & occasionally hiding from the monsters that roam the hallways. The beasties are a threat to Claire’s health & sanity but rarely pose a problem as Claire can just sprint past them. Any damage taken can be healed with the many health/sanity pickups that are littered throughout. Claire: Extended Cut is not a difficult game.
There are a few interesting puzzles about that need solving to progress but none are particularly taxing (it is clever how they tie into the overall narrative though).
The game comes with a map, a map that again is similar to Silent Hill’s style but isn’t as easy to read. Get used to staring at it because you’re going to get lost in Claire…a lot. The problem is that most of the environments look way too similar making it difficult to remember where you’ve been before. It can be a frustrating experience & one that saw me quit playing several times early on (eventually with practice you will get to grips with the map).
Claire: Extended Cut manages to create an oppressive atmosphere, one that will have you running for safer areas when the music & sound effects really start bearing down on you. It’s not scary in the traditional sense but with its dark & ominous environments it has a certain creepy style that begins to seep into your thoughts.
Short as it is there is plenty of replay value as the game has multiple endings that depend on actions taken as you play.
Stick with Claire, the story is very satisfying & enough to overlook most of the gameplay issues.
This genuinely might be one of the worst games I've ever played. I love Silent Hill and some people mentioned it took cues from that series, it doesn't. The gameplay is walk around until an A appears over something, enemies randomly spawn and attack you with no way to stop them. The game is buggy as hell with lots of collectibles not spawning and the difficulty being thrown to the max for no reason among many many other issues. The game would get a 0 if not for the pixel art for some parts being quite nice when you can actually see them because the game is also the darker than a blackhole. Please do not play this game, the hour it takes would be better spent doing anything else. Try taking up knitting.