Clid The Snail Review – PC & PS5

In my forty years of gaming I have never played a videogame where the main character was a snail.  I guess I can cross that off my bucket list thanks to Weird Beluga Studio and their new game, Clid the Snail.  Originally released to PlayStation back in August, Clid has made his way onto the PC and we’re here to review them both.  Set in the miniature world of bugs and other small critters, Clid will explore a futuristic landscape absent of humans yet full of wonders and danger.   Along for the ride is Clid’s companion, Belu the firefly, who offers up insights and playful banter throughout their adventure.

You are introduced to the characters and their miniature world during a short opening tutorial where you learn how to move, shoot, and tumble.  Clid has the standard health and stamina bars and can heal and save his progress by finding dandelions scattered generously through the environment.  It doesn’t take long for Clid to get into trouble.  Apparently he’s been killing slugs and now the slugs are threatening his home at the Citadel in retaliation.  Clid is forced into exile, wandering about in search of a new home and purpose, which he finds with an unlikely assortment of outcasts.  A shy hedgehog, a shaman turtle, a mute bat, a ninja frog, and a one-eyed chameleon; these are the members of Alastor.

While the premise and crazy assortment of critters seems preposterous, Clid the Snail is actually a pretty awesome game with a solid top-down shooting mechanic, excellent level design that enhances combat and encourages exploration, and a delightful art style that somehow manages to work in ancient human trash into intelligent world design.  Once you’ve joined Alastor you’ll work out of your home base branching out on a variety of exciting and dangerous missions across diverse environments and landscapes in order to defeat the slug plague threatening the world.

Clid the Snail mixes up combat with exploration where you can find seeds to increase your max health along with plenty of chests full of currency that can be spent at the local trading posts to resupply.  There’s nothing terribly original about the core game design; we’ve all done this same stuff in dozens of other games, but Clid puts a unique spin on the design with its visionary creature design and the microcosmic world they inhabit.  There is a fun assortment of weapons that encourages close and long-range combat along with tactical use of the landscape.  There are also some fun puzzle-solving and traversal challenges that require you to navigate these deadly lasers.  And don’t forget about some insanely creative boss fights; that rat with the flamethrower and rocket launcher is only the beginning.

I originally played the PS4 version of Clid the Snail on the PS5, which doesn’t have any benefits of doing so other than it simply works.  No enhanced graphics or performance other than some slightly faster loading times.  Actually, the graphics on the PlayStation were slightly annoying once their initial charm wore off.  There was this mist or haze that was diffusing any natural light (like the moon in the first section) and just washed out the entire screen with a low contrast effect.  Framerate seemed questionable at times, especially in scenes with lots of special effects, and overall textures and resolution detail seemed lacking.  I suppose it’s okay for a PS4 game but PS5 and PC have really spoiled me.

The PC version, on the other hand, is fantastic.  The contrast issue has been fixed and my RTX3080 card is quite capable of cranking out 4K visuals with all the settings maxed out.  Movement and combat is fluid and even the most subtle details in the world design spring to life in pristine detail.  I only wish there was a way to zoom in from time to time to appreciate it even more.  Thankfully, the game camera works surprisingly well and never caused me any problems.

The only issues I had with Clid the Snail were minor and were on both console and PC.  The overall difficulty is pretty tame and doesn’t seem to increase as you progress the story.  Boss fights are pretty easy too once you figure out the “gimmick” for each.  I suppose this is a god design for younger gamers looking to simply pass the time.  There is also a lot of dialogue in the game, conversation and exposition, and it’s all spoken in gibberish, which means you get to read a lot of text.  You can skip it with a button press but there is often important info lurking in those text boxes.  Some text boxes will auto-advance while others make you click a button between sentences.  I wasn’t expecting voice acting, but this much reading can really mess with the momentum of the gameplay.  I did appreciate the French accent for Clid.

Expect 15-20 hours to complete Clid the Snail with little reason to return once finished.  I did find the pacing/balance of the overall game a bit odd in that they give you this massive weapons dump near the end of the game with little time to play around with them.  Considering the lack of challenge and how tedious the combat becomes leading up to this point those new weapons would have help liven things up if they had been spread out across the entire adventure.  As it is, there should have been at least 2-3 more levels between this infusion of new weapons and the final boss fight.

Overall, Clid the Snail is a fun and imaginative shooter that younger gamers will find just as engaging as any of those Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks movies and games.  While there is certainly enough content to justify the $20 price, more discerning gamers may want to wait for the game to go on sale, and those who own both a PS5 and a good PC will likely want to opt for the PC version.

If you want to see Clid the Snail in action we have the first hour of gameplay for the PS5 and the first two hours of gameplay on the PC for you to check out.

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