Last week in our character highlights series we took a closer look at the mysterious Ada Wong and discussed how her rules evolved over the course of Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game’s development.
We came back with a special treat for you guys again on Thursday – this time to show off some of the production models that landed here in the office. We know from your comments and responses that you were just as excited to see them as we were, and that’s quite a statement considering the Resident Evil™ superfans we have around here! If you missed the update, don’t worry. You can find it here.
This week we turn our attention to a character we’re surprised more haven’t yet asked for. This seems long overdue…
Name’s Claire. Claire Redfield. I Came to Find My Brother.
Claire Redfield is a young woman Resident Evil™ veterans have seen go through dramatic changes and overcome immense challenges over the years. The pragmatic and battle-hardened veteran we’re now familiar with feels very far removed from the character who nervously shied away during her first encounter with a zombie, after all.
When we first encounter Claire, she has travelled to Raccoon City to search for clues as to her missing brother’s whereabouts. Unbeknownst to Claire however, Chris is long gone, his own investigation into Umbrella taking him to the other side of the world. Worse still, by entering the city Claire unwittingly puts herself in the very danger Chris was trying to protect her from.
It isn’t long before Claire demonstrates that she’s no less determined or resourceful than her brother. After learning Chris has fled the city, Claire quickly changes focus upon meeting Sherry Birkin. Possessed of a compassionate streak despite her nightmarish surroundings, she frequently puts herself in danger first tracking down Sherry, and then protecting the young girl as they make their escape. In doing so she frequently butts heads with Leon, but despite his protests, Claire’s heart always wins out.
And in the end? Claire’s resolve is undiminished. She leaves the ruined city vowing not only to continue the search to find Chris, but also to bring down Umbrella.
My Goddess Protected You
The first character we created for Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game, in many ways Claire became the template for our development team when designing survivors. A large part of this were our early steps in identifying how to make the character feel unique from her allies, but also be recognisable as Claire Redfield. We knew having a model that looked like Claire but had rules that didn’t feel flavourful would be a disaster, especially for such a fan favourite!
As one of the survivors in the core game we knew we wanted Claire to be one of the more straightforward characters to use. We also wanted to make her extremely forgiving for players who were learning the game or just new to tabletop games in general. The core game characters will likely be the first characters most players will use, so it made sense to keep simplicity foremost in our minds before adding layers of complexity via other characters further down the line.
We began with the simple mechanical identifiers which would be instantly recognisable to Resident Evil™ 2 veterans. Claire has an inventory size of eight, and a weapon proficiency allowing her to use the handgun, bowgun, and grenade launcher to make attacks. These might seem like small things, but both are great for more reasons than theme. Claire is tied for the largest inventory capacity in Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game, giving her excellent utility. This is further enhanced by the weapon selection she is able to bring to bear, a versatile mix for dealing with large crowds of enemies or single targets which are harder to put down.
Both of these elements fed nicely into creating a solid, well rounded character. Achievement unlocked!
Next, we approached the slightly less obvious topic of theme. To get a feel for Claire as she appears in Resident Evil™ 2, our design team watched through every encounter and cutscene, in what soon became a familiar exercise for each of the other characters in turn. More than anything else we kept coming back to Claire’s role as a protector. The ability Made in Heaven reflects this, a once per scenario ability which allows Claire to heal another survivor by two levels. Representing the memorable moment Claire removes her jacket and gives it to Sherry, this emergency heal ability is extremely useful in almost any situation – and very simple for even the most inexperienced player to get the most out of.
Claire Redfield is a great beginner character, a forgiving, purposefully designed all-rounder who remains a dependable choice for veterans. But you already know we’re not quite done with Claire yet…
Advanced Claire Redfield
When it came to creating some of the extra weapons our community unlocked during the campaign, we reached something of an impasse with the Colt S.A.A. For starters, unlike most weapons the Colt S.A.A. isn’t canonically encountered during the original videogame, and only appears as bonus content – making any situation and location a character might find the firearm slightly awkward. We also questioned how much of the weapon’s identity was intrinsically tied to the character, and whether we wanted it to be used by anyone other than Claire as a result. Our eventual solution satisfied not only this, but also a secondary concern that veterans might want to play their favourite survivors and experience a little more challenge.
Enter Advanced Claire…
Whereas Claire Redfield is a supportive healer, Advanced Claire is instead orientated towards damage output, sacrificing Made in Heaven for the mighty Colt S.A.A. Capable of cutting through zombies in seconds and packing enough punch to put even a licker down, Advanced Claire is a powerful early game character, able to clear away all opposition between the survivors and their objectives.
The only drawback to using this powerful weapon? While the Colt S.A.A is deadly, it has an extremely limited ammunition capacity, meaning Advanced Claire isn’t great in a prolonged encounter. If she doesn’t kill her target in a hurry, or the survivors don’t find weapons quickly enough? Well, that’s when you might wish you still had Made in Heaven after all!
Which version of Claire are you more excited to play? Let us know in the comments!