The copy of the game used in this review was provided at no cost to the reviewers.
As part of my first review for ICXM.net, let's explore the world of Claire: Extended cut for Xbox One and find out.
The main menu, unfortunately, wraps around, which is an issue common in a large number of games. To clarify, moving to up from the option you are first presented with takes you to the bottom of the menu and vice versa. However, the general solution, specifically of being careful what you press arrows-wise, should suffice to keep you where you need to be.
On looking at this achievement list at XboxAchievements.com, I realised that this game would probably be difficult. Not because of accessibility, necessarily, but simply due to the mention of a "Nightmare Mode". Fans of Five Nights at Freddy's will probably be aware of what a Nightmare Mode implies. That even if you complete the game, you'll have to do it again in a harder setting just to get all the achievements, in this case.
Unfortunately, I had to look up a YouTube video to see how to continue from my first sticking point, which turned out to be at the very beginning of this title. On clicking what I thought would allow me to start the game under the easiest difficulty, I was presented with some music that sounded like it came from some kind of 1980s TV show and not much else. I then guessed with a little help from the aforementioned video that it was story text (and it's possible that the entire plot of the game is relayed through text, thus making the game without sighted help throughout the entire experience) unplayable to the best of my knowledge. This is unfortunate since reading the premise gave the impression that I'd actually enjoy the game, were I able to complete it.
Any characters that I've seen, Claire included, are confined to conversation or talking through text, thus meaning that the entirety of the plot is inaccessible, unless accessibility improvements to allow screen readers (possibly including Narrator in the future) to read the dialogue are included. Moreover, as you traverse the game's world, you have no indication of when you are near an object that you can interact with. This would be easily improved via a small audio cue when you are on the correct position to interact with said object.
Seeing a game like this be inaccessible isn't unusual, there are a large number of mainstream franchises that are unplayable without sight, to my knowledge also including the aforementioned Five Nights at Freddy's series. In terms of Claire though, I believe it unlikely that the crucial modifications that would be needed to allow individuals with no vision whatsoever to enjoy this game will ever come into being, given that the game was released over a year ago. Hopefully though, in reading this, developers of future horror titles consider that accessibility shouldn't just be an afterthought, but should be available from the ground up, possibly even allowing the game to be improved from its original vision.
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