The Last Case Of Benedict Fox Review - Fair Deal
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The Last Case Of Benedict Fox Review - Fair Deal

Like my favorite metroidvania games, The Last Case of Benedict Fox is built around solving a mystery. It can go too far in its efforts to be deeply mysterious, especially in its first half, but engaging puzzles and unsettling art direction pull you along, even when mediocre combat and platforming mechanics get in the way of the fun. There's an interesting story in The Last Case of Benedict Fox, one wrapped up in an interesting world of supernatural intrigue that I want to know more about. It just takes a while to fully uncover its best parts.

In The Last Case of Benedict Fox, you play as the titular detective, who breaks into a strange manor in order to investigate a ritual he wants to perform. The answers he seeks, unfortunately, reside in the minds of a young couple who are now dead. Thankfully, Benedict is connected to an eldritch-like demon who grants him supernatural powers, including the ability to go into the minds of those freshly dead. Going into Limbo--as Benedict calls it--transports you into a space of sprawling mind palaces, each filled with the deceased's worst nightmares, insecurities, and traumas transformed into physical monsters. As you explore further and farther, you find the necessary memories to unlock new parts of the manor in the real world and piece together the steps to the ritual.

If all of that sounds a little convoluted and leaves you with many questions, that seems to be what The Last Case of Benedict Fox is going for, simply dropping you into a densely layered situation without the necessary build-up to fully grasp what's going on. The game holds its cards too close to the chest, unfortunately--going so far as to hide for the entire first half of the game what exactly the ritual that Benedict is researching even does and why he's looking for it. The plot swings way too far past intriguing and mysterious into confusing territory for the first half of its runtime. This makes for a deeply unwelcoming opening, which sets up a story and character motivations that are difficult to parse, with names, dates, lore, and jargon quickly thrown at you with little in the way of explanation. Once you manage to get a ways into the game, The Last Case of Benedict Fox graciously begins answering a few of the questions it poses, giving you more of a reason for wanting to explore its riveting Lovecraftian-inspired world, but it still just takes way too long to get there.

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