Game Review - by David Hutchison
Claw is a 2D side-scrolling adventure where players search for magical items and special weapons through 14 levels of puzzles, traps, and sword-slinging duels. Claw is the world's first up-to-64-player, internet capable, arcade-style action adventure game for the PC!
Claw follows the story of the notorious pirate Captain Nathaniel J. Claw, who finds himself imprisoned by the Cocker Spaniard Kingdom. Death seems inevitable until an ancient parable is unearthed, and the quest for the mythical Amulet of Nine Lives draws Captain Claw on the adventure of his lifetime.
Claw uses the standard InstallSheild system, and does not require individual system configuration. The storyline of Claw is presented with seamless animated cut-scenes, which can be watched over and over again from the menu screen individually or as one single movie. The game can be continued from the start of each level or from one of two save points per level or the game can just be restarted with a fresh supply of lives from the start of each level. This is a bonus for young players, for which this game is primarily geared, who find it irritating to start the game over from the very beginning. As an added feature, screenshots can be taken during the game for kids to preserve their best moves. There are three styles of multiplayer action where players can race through a level of the game, or one designed by the players, or just fight each other in the games characteristic sword matches. Up to 64 players can compete this way on the Internet, over a Local Area Network, or head-to-head via a modem.
The graphics of Claw are breathtaking with its use of overlays, fog, high-resolution backgrounds, and animation. The characters have several facial expressions as they seek Captain Claw for the kill, or meet their fate at the hands of Claw himself, or Claw's face as he hangs over the edge of a cliff and flails his arms. The spells, treasures, and special weapons the game offers are some of the best offered.
The sound effects of Claw are amazingly fun. The explosions of boxes, the shattering of windows and the clanging of swords are extremely realistic. Each character has several different phrases such as: "Scoundrel," "You are not the fighter I expected," with the best being an impatient Captain Claw saying "get me something form the kitchen while you're up" if the player leaves the game along for a minute or two. The humorous aspect of these phrases is the cartoon text bubble that appears over the characters' heads when they speak. The music is lively, upbeat, and at times spooky, depending on the scene.
Claw's gameplay is average with its variable secondary weapons and the ability to pick up foes and barrels and tosses them to their doom. The swordplay is fun, but a block button could be present. Jumps sometimes fall shorter than the same jump successfully attempted before and this provides some frustration. The controls can be alternated between the keyboard or a joystick and can be configured to the player's wishes.
Claw is an incredibly fun game for all ages. The exquisite graphics and sounds support the exciting storyline. The game is entertaining for all ages and a must have for young players.