If you enjoy Metroidvania games, especially ones with dark atmospheres rich in set and setting, you’ll most certainly want to keep The Last Case of Benedict Fox on your radar. The game, currently in development from Polish indie studio Plot Twist, is described as a Metroidvania inspired by “Lovecraft’s nightmares, noir pulp fiction, and early 20th-century jazz music.”
In The Last Case of Benedict Fox, as described on the game’s Steam page, players will take on the role of Benedict Fox, a “self-proclaimed detective bound to his demon companion.” As Fox, you’ll delve deep into the minds of the recently deceased in effort to unearth clues about a mansion that’s not only creepy and decrepit, but also the site of a gruesome murder.
Eager to learn more about The Last Case of Benedict Fox given its intriguing premise and setup, we reached out to Plot Twist and were delighted to receive answers to some of our most burning questions from creative director, Bartłomiej Lesiakowski.
Plot Twist on the development and inspirations behind The Last Case of Benedict Fox
Shacknews: First, can you tell us more about what sort of game The Last Case of Benedict Fox is?
Bartłomiej Lesiakowski, Creative Director at Plot Twist: It's a Metroidvania 2.5D Cinematic Action platformer with our own twist on the formula, but I can't say exactly what that twist is just yet. ;) Bear with us!
Shacknews: How long has the game been in development, and have there been any challenges in developing a game like The Last Case of Benedict Fox?
Lesiakowski: The idea for the game was conceived many years ago, around 2015, but it has been in production for 2 years. At first we thought of it as a comic book, then the idea for Benedict evolved into a board game. And finally, the idea evolved into its “final form” — that of a video game. And we’ve been working on it ever since.
There are challenges every step of the way, but that's the charm of gamedev — there's not a moment of boredom. You work on finding out a solution, on how to overcome that challenge. And everytime you do, you feel a bit wiser, like a bit more knowledge or XP came into your mind. It’s a good feeling to have. It keeps you moving forward, so to speak.
Shacknews: Can you talk more about the character backstory of Benedict Fox, his demon companion, and the synergy between the two?
Lesiakowski: Benedict and his demon companion are two opposites that need to work in unison. Although they are different beings in more ways than one, they will have to find common ground, and a way to work together if they are to solve the mystery that tied them together.
Shacknews: What is the game’s setting, what sort of locations will players get to explore, and what are some of the team’s favorite areas that have been created for the game thus far?
Lesiakowski: Apart from the real world, there is a parallel world which you can enter. We call it limbo. Thanks to your demon companion, you can explore the recesses of the human psyche, where curiosity and excitement merge with anxiety and fear. We are a weird bunch so the creepier the location the more fun the team has while making it.
Shacknews: The game is described as a fantastical Lovecraftian Metroidvania. What sort of Lovecraftian inspirations influenced the game, and what are some of the team’s favorite Lovecraft tales?
Lesiakowski: We love all things Lovecraftian. This is quite a broad term but inspirations would include original stories, films (especially old horror movies. Our Art Director Pawel is a movie nerd!) and games - both video and board games. When it comes to HP Lovecraft stories, I would list The Music of Erich Zann, Shadow over Innsmouth and The Outsider as my favourites.
Shacknews: Adding to that, what sort of Metroidvania-esque gameplay can people expect from The Last Case of Benedict Fox, and what are some other gameplay elements people can look forward to?
Lesiakowski: In the Last Case of Benedict Fox players will find both classic Metroidvania solutions and something fresh too. They will explore both the mansion and the worlds of limbo, fight demons and other beings, and they will have an adventure full of action that we hope they won’t soon forget. ;)
Shacknews: Can you talk a bit more about the enemies and threats that players will encounter in the game?
Lesiakowski: Players will encounter deadly demons, mysterious organizations each with their own objectives, independent NPCs both friendly and not. The limbo itself, which the players will explore, is not a friendly place either. Letting down your guard is not an option.
Shacknews: Does the game have a learning curve, and also, what sort of accessibility features will the game offer?
Lesiakowski: Of course. In addition to the standard solutions that make it easier to find your way in this dangerous world, we have prepared additional ones that will allow players to customize their gameplay to suit their own tastes and needs. We aim to make The Last Case of Benedict Fox accessible to as many people as we possibly can.
Shacknews: It’s noted that the game was also inspired by early 20th-century jazz music. Can you talk a bit more about this, the game’s soundtrack, soundtrack influences, and the sort of music players can expect to hear in the game?
Lesiakowski: It would be a crime to dive into the 1920s and not jazz it up with jazz, so to speak. The music of that era was quite jubilant, so this presents a great challenge. However, juxtaposing it with dark ambient music creates a rather unique mix.
Shacknews: The game’s art style is quite striking as well, who’s creating the art for the game and what were some of their inspirations?
Lesiakowski: Thanks! All the art is created in our studio here in Krakow. It is the result of the hard work of Pawel Czapla, our CEO and Art Director, and his team of concept artists and 3d graphic designers. The team put an incredible amount of work into making sure that just seeing the new locations is a reward in itself. And what we showed is just the beginning. We can’t wait to show you what else we have in store for you.
Shacknews: Finally, where can people go to follow updates for The Last Case of Benedict Fox, and is there anything else you’d like people to know about the game?
Lesiakowski: The game isn't finished yet, but the depths of limbo are already looking forward to you all. Whispers in the night, scratching in the walls, disturbing dreams - The Last Case of Benedict Fox is coming. ;)
If you like to find out more about our game, follow The Last Case of Benedict Fox on socials. You can also see our Steam page that’s filled with screenshots and gameplay too. Take a look at it, and if you like what you see, give it a Wishlist too.
We want to conclude by thanking Bartłomiej Lesiakowski, Creative Director at Plot Twist, for taking the time to answer our questions regarding The Last Case of Benedict Fox.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox is still in development with a tentative 2023 release window. For updates on The Last Case of Benedict Fox, be sure to follow Plot Twist and Rogue Games on Twitter, and wishlist the game on Steam!
Morgan Shaver posted a new article, Plot Twist on the development and inspirations behind The Last Case of Benedict Fox
Good article. The steam trailer looks very good, wishlisted!