With a rising trend in players recording there games to put onto youtube in the form of lets plays or general reviews, it’s not a surprise to see new video capturing software pop up every few months. Some work fantastic, and some not so much, mostly because of being overly convoluted UI or performance issues. Of course right now most video capture software needs to compete with FRAPS, which is popular due to its ease of use, and good performance when recording videos.
With all that PlayClaw needs to be one hell of a program to try and compete with FRAPS, which they clearly know, offering possibly one of the best deals currently available, if you own a video recording software , Playclaw are offering a 50% off their software. So if you do own FRAPS and you want to try, well it suddenly becomes a lot cheaper for what you are usually offered.
Apart from being able to record what is currently on your screen, you also get access to many different overlays, you can turn on a display for your current FPS in the game, GPU and CPU temperature and usage. You can also get a team-speak overlay which shows you who is talking to give you a hand remembering peoples name, those of you who like your MMO raids, this will be a big help. You can also record web cams, which comes with a pricier version (These guys know what you will be using it for), and being able to output your recordings as a virtual webcam. This could be used for streaming as well, instead of just showing someone game play over Skype.
Though the default settings are a little, obnoxious, very large yellow text which seems to take up a large portion at the side of the screen, first thing I did was make the text smaller. Thankfully it was easy to do this; the UI here is very simple, and very easy to change basic settings. Resolution, start and stop key, save location, all of these are right there and quick to change. When you compare the UI to FRAPS, I like PlayClaws UI a lot more, and I just find it much easier to navigate.
Performance wise, PlayClaw is very light on the resource when its running in the background, usually taking between 50-100mb of RAM, of course for those who have lower end computers this might seem like a lot, but if this amount of RAM is pushing your limit, you’re not really going to have the specs to record game-play either.
With recording video, from what i’ve used so far it seems to be hit and miss, I recorded some game-play onto both a separate hard drive and my OS Drive, there seems to be random jumps in the footage. These are not demanding games being recorded either, one is Spelunky. Other times the game-play that is recorded is perfectly smooth and looks great. I do not know if this is a performance issue on my end or the program itself, but there is no indication when you are recording that there is a problem, meaning that you could waste a lot of time finding out the video is pretty worthless due to how jumpy it is. When comparing it to FRAP’s there does seem to be better videos outputted by FRAPS, but it takes a bigger performance hit when recording in comparison to PlayClaw. Though one part I did enjoy was the sound quality that was recorded, when I’ve used FRAP’s in the past its always sounded dull to me, after the compression. When using PlayClaw the sound quality was very good.
The quality of the videos outputted is noticeable lower than what was recorded, it looks as though the videos have been compressed, and have lost some quality, but if you are uploading to Youtube it won’t be as noticeable, due to you tubes compression. File sizes are pretty low too, 30min recording at 1080p clocked in at around 16 GB which is pretty small considering the resolution.
Overall PlayClaw is an easy to use program with mid-way performance, but the lower price point of this software and the 50% off offer that is currently on makes it one of the cheaper versions at the moment as well. The trail version is worth a look at if you’re in the market for a new recording software. From what I’ve used PlayClaw gets a 4/5, mostly for good use of resources and ease of use.
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Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.