Friday, July 18, 2014

PC Review #104: Claire

Title: Claire
Developer: Hailstorm Games
Platforms: PC
Price: $9.99
My impressions for Claire are later than I had originally anticipated. Perhaps that's a testament to how scary and atmospheric Claire is, since I could only play in short chunks before switching to something loud and fun like Broforce.
From the opening minutes, Claire crafts an eerie unsettling tone. The game is one best experienced without much knowledge of what happens, so I'll keep the story details vague. Just know you are Claire, a trouble haunted girl, with a sick mother and a loyal canine companion, as you explore and survive a dark twisted environment filled with nightmarish creatures. This isn't Resident Evil; fleeing and hiding is always your best option, and your meager arsenal of lighter and flashlight can only keep the things that lurk in the darkness at bay. As you explore the labyrinth-like halls of the hospital, the game provides an overwhelming sense of tension, the darkness barely illuminated by your light, distorted whispers and the sounds of movement all around you. Claire focuses on establishing lingering dread, a feeling on vulnerability, rather than jump scares; fans of Silent Hill will feel at home at among the dilapidated halls and twitching organic...things that haunt your visions. The story is revealed piecemeal, slowly coming together as you learn more about your past; Claire is designed for multiple playthroughs, offering a New Game Plus mode and multiple endings to discover.
Claire absolutely succeeds in providing an atmospheric unsettling experience, a compelling story, and fantastic sound design and soundtrack, that all work in tandem to make this a must-play for survival horror fans. You can purchase Claire on Steam.

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