Review: Claybook (Xbox Game Preview).
A game that I, until a few days ago, had NO knowledge of being a thing, is releasing tomorrow as part of the awesome program that Xbox started a while back, Xbox Game Preview.
Platform: Xbox One.
I'm of course talking about the simple, yet amazingly beautiful and creative game called Claybook. The developers were awesome enough to send a review copy for me to, well...review. I litterally had NO idea that this game was a thing! "Have you been living under a rock for the past months, Jesper?". Wait, you don't live under a rock? Oh.
To more serious matters: in Claybook, you control different shapes made out of clay (obviously), while being able to change to a different shape whenever you want to. There's all kinds of different levels that you can try out, and many of them will be a challenge for some people.
The second level in particular, was a bit tough for me to overcome, at first. You have to fill three tanks with the fluid of a much bigger tank. At first, I didn't get anywhere with the objective at all, pretty much but later on I managed to fill the smaller tanks enough for me to complete the level. The control system is pretty well developed, but the shapes might be hard sometimes to master. The game starts off with a simple and great menu, where you'll easily find what you're looking for. I start my first challenge level and I immedietly LOVE the game. Why haven't anyone thought about this concept before (or maybe someone has?)? The game, visually, looks amazing. It seems to be running in native 1080p at a, right now, unstable 60 frames per second (it doesn't really drop a lot at all, it leans more to the opposite, it goes beyond 60 fps at times).
You're able to play local co-op (up to 4 players) but I haven't tried it yet. While playing the first level, I realize that literally EVERYTHING in the playable area of the level, is made out of clay. Seriously. That's just awesome! I see a tree and I just carve right through it, like as if it was nothing (trees are important, though, guys. With that said, DO NOT carve through trees in real life, just don't). I see a bunny made out of clay and I just bash into it, demolishing it as if it was nothing (they're important, too, though!)! Get it? It's all clay! How amazing isn't that? It's like they made a game that is made for people that are grown up, yet don't really want to accept it, so they play with clay. I guess that's a thing, at least?
The game is definietly made for everyone, though. With a game like this, you expect there to be some sort of editor/map editor where you're able to create your own playable area full of, you guessed it: clay! Well, there definietly is, and it is really awesome! I've only tried it for some minutes but I can already say that it is really deep and well thought out. It was a bit too advanced for me, since I I'm not used to it but I sense that I'll be a master of building with clay in no time!
Surprisingly, the game doesn't have that many bugs, even though it's in the Game Preview Program. At least not for me! Second Order have done a great job optimizing it, for sure! The game will of course most likely be a different experience once it's off the Game Preview Program! I think it's safe to say that the developers are confident that their game will deliver and that the game will get a lot of support for a long time. I literally just noticed that the game's achievements are now released. There's 10 achievements in total and they're worth 100 gamerscore, each. Awesome!
Now, how can they extend on this type of gameplay and experience, you may ask? In my honest opinion, they don't need to do much. The game, already, is in a great state and there's already a decent amount of content for it being such a newly released game. The most important additions I can think of, at this moment, is for them to introduce online multiplayer (even though it might be a tough task) and add more levels, as well as add more to the level editor. It doesn't need more than that. Oh, I forgot, they need to add a Battle Royale mode, too, of course (obviously) (sarcasm: activated).
Bottom line: Claybook is a lovely game, both visually and content wise, that will definietly fill all your needs when it comes to having fun, feeling a sense of childhood still being in you again, being challenged, and seeing something visually gorgeous. Is it worth your time? Yes, definietly. Is it worth your hard earned money? Yes, absolutely. Will you love this game? Count on it.
My score: 4.5 out of 5.
+ Visually gorgeous.
+ Decent amount of content.
+ Great level editor.
+ Local co-op.
+ Very low amount of bugs.
+ Good controls.
- No online multiplayer.
- Needs a bit more content.
Reviewed by: Jesper Ingemansson.