54 people found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 1.5 hrs on record
Posted: Oct 19, 2015 @ 9:10pm

I'm all for games taking inspiration from other works, as long as they use that to build on their own concepts. Silent Hill is, of course, a brilliant horror game to take inspiration from, representing such a deep well of gameplay and oddities to choose from. Claire chooses not only to take inspiration from Silent Hill but also Lone Survivor, another indie game inspired by, you guessed it, Silent Hill. So what does that leave us with?

The game opens with Claire fighting off nightmares while dozing in her mom's hospital room. When she steps out for coffee, everything goes all ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ and she ends up running from actual nightmares, reliving several traumatic moments in her life, and trying a million busted doors. The side-scrolling gameplay is strongly reminiscent of Silent Hill games, with a huge, sprawling map of rooms you can only get into about half of. You usually have a goal you're trying to reach, but unlike Silent Hill the purpose in reaching it is never very clear. Nor is how you get there, because a great big building is really hard to navigate in 2D. It's a similar problem to Lone Survivor except way worse, because each of the three areas you scramble through is like SH3 mall-sized.

Unlike the games that inspired it, however, Claire has no combat. Instead, you are expected to flee from the strange ink-blot looking monsters that roam the endless halls. Ironically this actually takes a lot of the tension out of the game, because you have a generous amount of sprint and can run directly through and past your foes. As long as you are paying the tiniest bit of attention, you can easily avoid ever being caught. This renders most of your inventory items moot, since most are for healing your health or your sanity, a system cribbed from Amnesia but without any clear purpose. And if there are no weapons or ammo or any pressing need for healing items, there's no real reason to explore, is there?

I keep seeing this trend in indie games where they take heavy inspiration from a popular game but only get halfway to the same level of design. Much like Our Darker Purpose was to Binding of Isaac, Claire has all the parts of a Silent Hill game (or Lone Survivor successor) without actually making them work together. The enemies inspire no terror, the items are pointless, and the maps are confusing and sprawling without giving any reason to explore them. A disjointed story is laid over all of this about an angsty teen being an angsty teen because maybe bad things happened in her life? Whatever it is, it takes far too long to get to the point.

I honestly started out pretty okay with this game because it was simple and the art is really good, but after 90 minutes I could no longer push myself to finish it. The story was going nowhere, the level design was just hallway after hallway with more and more monsters, and then I found a really cool room that killed me without warning. Literally without warning, it just suddenly popped up the pause menu, except I couldn't unpause because I was dead. Well, I can take a hint, Claire.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny Award
< >
3 Comments
MyDaughterIsMyFather Dec 24, 2020 @ 4:33pm 
Outdated but, I've spoken to the dev years ago on D.A before this game was released and he said his inspiration was Silent HIll and Haunting Ground hence why you have the german shepard companion.
Idk if you were just assuming Lone Survivor or if you read that somewhere but, that's just a fact to add to this lengthy review for anyone who cares.
JBay Mar 10, 2016 @ 5:36pm 
You had one idea and you got stuck with it: i'm playing a copy of SI. I'm sorry to shake you up, but SI did not invent horror standart. Claire is an horror game, so obviously it will share string with SI, just like RE, just like Alan Wake.

yes there is no combat, so items in normal are pretty superficial, but I guess you didn't play in Nightmare where they are pretty much compulsory.


To finish, what if I told you that after reading 5 sentences of your review " I could no longer push myself to finish it." Would I be qualified to judge the quality of your review ? Probably not, ironicaly, you offered yourself the luxury to do it for this game.
The Golden Nugget Feb 9, 2016 @ 11:14pm 
Well written. Expresses my thoughts about the game to the word. Though I will plan to finish Claire since I always play my games to the end, no matter if bad or not.