In June 2022 Rogue Games announced The Last Case of Benedict Fox, a stunning, horror-based Metroidvania platformer that won an award at Gamescom this year. At EGX 2022, I got to get hands-on with this exciting new game from Plot Twist.
What started as an idea for a graphic novel, The Last Case of Benedict Fox is fully realised in stunning 4k at 60fps. The evolution from a graphic novel idea to a game is clear to see. The story, atmosphere, and art are so crucial to what makes this game so appealing. In the game, you play as Benedict Fox, a paranormal detective who must uncover the fate of a family in 1925 Boston while battling a demon trapped inside his own body. As you explore the mansion, you access Limbo, the decaying consciousness of the deceased. Full of arcane mystery, creepy occultist orders, and plenty of demons, The Last Case of Benedict Fox is an intriguing mystery right from the outset.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox plays as a 2D side-scrolling platformer. This, however, is an understatement as honestly, it’s so much more! Blending the classic feel of Metroidvania games with intriguing puzzles and ability progression. Integrated into this is free-form, Souls-like combat which promises to challenge the player as they delve deeper into the minds of the deceased.
While engaging in combat, I found the need to use the weapons I had along with the environment I was in to get a favourable outcome. Partway through, I could improve my skills, which certainly helped later in the demo.
Within the mansion, you can free-roam and search for clues about the family that will allow you to enter Limbo. It’s here that the platforming and combat happen as you traverse the mind looking for pieces to puzzles and trying to gain access to locked areas. The ability to inspect items for hidden clues gave the exploration side of things more depth which made me feel like I was the character experiencing this creepy quest. In addition, you can buy upgrades and items from a vendor that will help you in Limbo as well as visit the tattooist. This is a cool feature within the game that unlocks additional skills or enhancements while in Limbo – and what I learned quickly is that these are vital to succeed in traversing the world.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox takes classic elements from this style of game – like picking locks for example – and puts a unique Lovecraftian spin on it. In the case of lock picking, it’s picking the teeth of monsters sealing the doors! Everything felt fresh, felt well-developed within the in-game universe, and yet also felt comfortably familiar.
I was astonished by the depth this game offers, exploration, platforming, combat, puzzles, and character progression mechanics all into one package.
The Atmosphere of The Last Case of Benedict Fox
As well as gameplay being incredibly smooth and highly enjoyable with complex puzzles and challenging combat it is also achingly pretty to look at. The cartoon art style gives off Tim Burton vibes and is perfect for setting the scene of the game.
This is a game you will want to play with the sound on. With an atmospheric and creepy soundtrack paired with wonderfully acted voiceover work, the world of Benedict Fox comes alive in an eerie and fantastical way.
The atmosphere is also created with lighting states, for example when exploring Limbo, the colour palette changes quite dramatically and, in some places, even goes black and white. All these choices by the development team are for one purpose – to make the game creepy, yet still fun.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox was a fun and immersive experience, and honestly, I wish the demo had been longer because I enjoyed it that much! The puzzles were fun, the combat was difficult yet enjoyable, and the exploration was exciting. The world and characters that have been developed have certainly piqued my interest and you find yourself wanting to know more about the family and more about the demon inside you.
This is a murder mystery with a difference, and if you like platformers that offer up a whole lot more all bundled in an eerie, atmospheric, and emotional paranormal story – this is one to watch out for. I know one thing, I can’t wait to solve the case and immerse myself in this dark, twisted world.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox is slated for release in 2023 on Xbox Series X|S and PC.