The Last Case of Benedict Fox is a platforming Metroidvania action game in development by Plot Twist. The story takes place in an alternative universe with a 1920s motif. Players take control of renowned detective Benedict Fox who finds himself sleuthing in an oversized, decrepit mansion as he looks for a lost child. With him, is a symbiotic demon that grants Benedict supernatural powers during his quest. Mostly, in tune with exploring the memories of the deceased. Of course, there will be other abilities granted to players through the powers of this entity. This is a gothic story, with varying levels of depth and mystery. This adventure will take players on a Lovecraftian jaunt where they will explore the inner workings of a person’s psyche. Thus, there will be all manners of enemies to face and environmental hazards to avoid. Benedict is just an ordinary man who is on an extraordinary mission.
Naturally, since this will be a Metroidvania title, there will be a lot of backtracking and puzzles to solve. Benedict will slowly increase in power thanks to his demonic companion. Both melee and ranged combat will be available. Giving varying layers to close-quarter battles. The entire game will take place within a mansion. However, it is a vast and otherworldly place teeming with secrets. Thus, let us not forget that players will also be able to explore the minds of different characters. No doubt borrowing elements from Psychonauts, The Last Case of Benedict Fox will be a game that takes a cerebral journey in a more physical form. Collect clues, face demons and uncover the mystery of the mansion. The fighting in this game will be in real time. Not to mention fast and unrelenting. Hence, it is a love letter to other gothic Metroidvania titles of the 90s.
Crazy Like a Fox
The art design in The Last Case of Benedict Fox is rich and well-realized. No doubt inspired by Tim Buron’s earlier works. Thus, the disjointed jazz soundtrack provides an interesting juxtaposition with the overall atmosphere. Benedict can walk, sprint, jump and collect clues. Everything from torn pages from a book, blood, broken furniture, and other environmental hints is scattered throughout the levels. Players can freely observe all the narratives surrounding them at their own leisure. This game will be separated into different biomes. Each will have a distinct set of characteristics and color schemes. There will be times when an area will be shrouded in darkness and Benedict will need a flashlight. Players will be able to freely move their light around at a 360 angle. Chances are that the flashlight will need to be found somewhere in order to have access to such places.
There will also be some light stealth mechanics in The Last Case of Benedict Fox. Slinking in the shadows and avoiding detection will be possible. However, sometimes combat will be the only way to make progress. Therefore, this is some strategic nuances to the fighting. Benedict can lock onto an enemy and dodge attacks. Only to follow up with swift strikes with his CQW. Thus, he will also come with a pistol and other projectiles to hit enemies from afar. Every enemy will come with its own weaknesses and attack patterns. Some will require supernatural attacks to break them down. While others will just need melee blows to smite. Every encounter will be different in accordance with which biome they are stationed at. It will also be possible to chain attacks to juggle enemies. Using a combination of demonic powers, melee, and ranged weapons gives this game’s fighting mechanics some room to experiment and play with.
Dreams of the Dead
Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Metroidvania game without a merchant or two to help out players. In this case, Benedict will be doing business with Houdini. Who evidently, is an associate of Benedict Fox. This is where players can purchase needful items such as the aforementioned flashlight and other tools. One, in particular, is the amplificator. This is a grotesque grenade type of object that can decimate targets. Other objects players will need will be; miracle water, a stone plate device, smoke bombs, and a kogai pen. These items aren’t cheap. Players will need to be frugal with their coinage and make strategic choices when buying things they desire. Also, it is also worth pointing out that The Last Case of Benedict Fox will also have bosses in every biome. They will take up the entire screen and will come with patterns and weak spots. Just like bosses in classic video games.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox almost has a dark Disney tale charm to it. The way the animations move is very much like the classic animated features from the mouse. The mansion will generally act as the HUB to the overall game. Providing portals to other places like the demonic realm and inside memories. It’s not without its own challenges, of course. There will be dangers to face throughout the house itself. This indie is a reminder to games of all Metroidvania types. This type of format launched into the stratosphere after the release of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Luckily, it never went away. Actually, it only became more popular due to the advancements in technology. Not to mention all the creative ways developers implemented it throughout the years. Needless to say, this title is offering a retro adventure that is seldom seen today.
Shadows and Secrets
As of right now, The Last Case of Benedict Fox is scheduled to be released in early 2023. It will be available solely for the Xbox and PC. The Last Case of Benedict Fox appears to be a refreshing indie that can be a trip down memory lane for many gamers out there. There will be an extended gameplay trailer coming out soon to help give players a better understanding of how this world will work. There is some potential here to reach cult status. Hopefully, the developers will at least provide a demo or Early Access to this game in due time.