Claire, a young lady taking care of her mother, is sitting in the hospital waiting with her mom, before she goes to grab a cup of coffee so she can work on her essay. When she starts heading back up the elevator, she gets stopped on the wrong floor, and steps out to see what went wrong.
When she steps back in, instead of being in the elevator, she seems transported to a deranged form of the hospital full of gore, chaos, and horrors that all wish to end the life of this poor girl.
Will Claire find her way back to hopefully save her mother? Or could she pull up more of the past and present than she ever wished for?
This game almost seems to be lost online, Claire: Extended Cut has nearly no content online, with very few videos, guides, and general items to look at online.
This is a game that I found a little while ago and I decided to buy for the fun of it. This will have slight spoilers for the game, but I’ll avoid all I can (this game is worth the play). Without further ado, here are the ups and downs of Claire: Extended Cut.
Claire: Extended Cut is a 2D survival horror game based in multiple environments where the main character Claire must avoid the monsters and insanity caused by the world around her. This game has a mechanic seen in some other survival horrors, insanity.
Insanity in this game covers more of the border of the screen depending on the level of your psyche: Calm, Anxious, Scared, or Horrified. In any of the game difficulties except the easiest, the game causes many anxieties with this system, by draining your health if you are horrified for long periods of time.
The way that the insanity develops depends on a few different factors, but two main ones; the monsters near you and the light level in the current room. These can slightly be controlled, by either taking other paths to avoid monsters, or turning on the flashlight/lighter to increase the light slightly, decreasing the rate that your sanity decreases.
On top of the sanity, the health system in the game is classified similarly to sanity, but with this one using five names instead of four: Healthy, Great, Good, Fair, and Dying. This gives slightly more information about the health that you have, which is very useful in finding out when to use your resources.
Oh, and that is another part that I forgot to mention. The resources found in the game usually involve candies, sodas, and coffee used to either increase your health or sanity, with a few causing both to rise and one being a tradeoff, gaining health but losing a small amount of sanity.
These mechanics give a very similar vibe to other survival horrors, but this game can be completed in a few hours, and is a fun game for a decently cheap price tag.
One aspect seen commonly throughout the game is the puzzles, often relying on you picking up on hints given in the environment, either through signs in the game, to some of the dastardliest puzzles I’ve experienced in my life. The one large complaint that I will give this game is the difficulty of a couple of these puzzles.
One of the puzzles in the late game requires you to use the same info that you found out at the beginning of the game, a possible 3 hours before that, with the last time you would’ve seen the info being quite a while before the puzzle.
Except for that, a few of the puzzles are optional, and usually used to aid in you getting a better ending at the end of the game, or simply for the collectibles.
These puzzles are far from being the most infuriating part of the game, but they are something to notice when it comes to the game’s difficulty.
I’ll avoid giving too many spoilers to encourage others to play this game, but the story revolves around Claire attempting to find a way to escape and find out the mystery revolving her sick mother, missing father, and her brother Ethan.
Throughout the game, Claire will find other people stuck in this hellscape with her, from a little girl hiding in the hospital to an old librarian that only hopes she can preserve the words that others have made long ago.
The game majorly depends on these characters, by having most of them require items or certain key items that only spawn for these characters. The endings involved in the story revolve around how much of the mystery is solved, and how many of the other survivors you help in the world.
While traveling through the world, Claire can find butterfly collectibles that serve as the extra items in the game that can be grabbed for the benefit of a trophy.
These butterflies involve solving special challenge puzzles, or sometimes by simply investigating when things seem off in the world, or during flashbacks when Claire can experience something referencing her conflict at hand.
A lot of the flashbacks are related as dreams to Claire, causing them to connect very widely to the world around her.
If there is anything to mention in this game, it is absolutely the environment around the monsters, and Claire as she hopes to escape this nightscape.
Candles lighting the world around her interact with the evils chasing her, going out when a monster is near, along with a dog companion occasionally barking and growling to alert you to danger.
Certain items move slightly when ran into, such as hospital drapes, which give more life to the environment. One of the aspects in the world around Claire would be the vents, wall openings, and a few others that are treated as areas that can be traveled as shortcuts and hiding spots.
The most notable ones are open side vents, which can be slid in to move past obstacles and hide from the monsters.
All of the worlds are created to look greatly destroyed and decayed beyond belief, and they give a great interpretation of it. Flooding floors, doors that are melted shut or broken forbidding entry, and other things like blockades causing you to look very carefully for what you enter and what you can’t in a giant maze of rooms.
These mechanics are assisted because free saves are not available in this game, you can only save at certain moments and hope that you don’t waste all your resources for Claire to expire and reappear at the last checkpoint.
The graphics in the world around you have various enemies and even wanderers that simply act as obstacles to your vision, along with your sanity.
There are various pieces of gore and horror around the world that can cause fear in both the players and Claire, causing an overall feeling of wanting to escape as fast as possible, although if anyone wants to get the best ending, they have to do the exact opposite and face their fear.
Claire: Extended Cut requires a few outrageous items to be memorized to beat the puzzles, but apart from it, allow a unique gaming experience that has a beautiful story, compelling players to complete everything they possibly can, and help Claire save herself from the fear and terror around her.
I absolutely recommend this game to anyone who likes the horror genre.