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The Last Case Of Benedict Fox’s Setting Isn’t Enough To Hide Its Janky & Awkward Experience

Platform(s): PC, Xbox Series, Xbox One
Genre: Search action game set in 1930s and features Cthulu-like vibes

I do love a good murder mystery-type game mixed in with the supernatural stemming out of H.P. Lovecraft’s scribe work. On the surface, The Last Case of Benedict Fox seems to do it for me with its mansion setting, the inner minds of the denizens involved in the case and the hauntings that follow, and the potential search action gaming and exploration going on, coupled with some brain teasers.

Unfortunately, that’s all there is right in the package: potential. The execution of it all is severely lacking and makes for an underwhelming mystery that would frustrate you away from solving it.

Not That Foxy

From the constant load screens that pop up (while I’m running the game on an SSD) to the incredibly janky controls and default excessive screen-shaking during combat when I get hit, and even the lack of feedback, this case is knee-deep in the same murky plague that’s befallen our hero.

Benedict Fox himself gets aid from his gooey tentacle spirit friend in the form of double-jumping, parrying, ground pounds to open bottom passages, and more to open up the giant sprawling map and mind palaces. However, the game doesn’t give enough information for players to figure out the next path of action, leaving you blindly to get lost and figure out the next best direction. And even if you already figured out the pathway, the traversing is pretty mediocre. There isn’t a single moment in Benedict Fox’s case where its platforming segments stood out to me.

Only the combat and boss fights, but only because of how jerky it handles. It’s not quite the worst thing in the world, but there are some moments where some moves need to be snappy, your attacks need to be faster than they really are, and some bosses need to be less tanky.

Black All Over

For all the kitsh 2010s-style graphics and vibe this game is giving me, I honestly can’t stand going through more of The Last Case of Benedict Fox. Even if its puzzles can be fun to solve, most of the time revolves me exploring the search action landscape with awkward controls and stifled combat controls. Half the time, I feel like I made it out through blind luck than actual skill, with the tools given to me feeling half-baked. At the very least, fast travel options are plentiful, and you can turn on invincibility mode and simple puzzle mode (just find the items to progress) to get through the game without thinking too much. Then again, if the developers are confident about the design of their game, why put these in? It’s clear as day that they don’t.

If you can somehow stomach all that along with some odd production choices like ho-hum voice acting, you’ll at least find something to love in this potential cult hit that misses the mark. The Last Case of Benedict Fox isn’t a complete failure, but it’s hard to experience when there are other better Metroidvania-style titles out there these past few months, like the Dead Cells DLC and Afterimage.

Final Score: 50/100

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