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Exclusive Interview with Plot Twist, authors of The Last Case of Benedict Fox


Following the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022, there were few games that left a lasting impression as much as The Last Case of Benedict Fox. Designed and developed by the relatively unknown Plot Twist studio, it oozed confidence, as well as oozing quite a lot more, as this Lovecraftian tale bewitched us with its love of jazz and tentacles. 

We were given the opportunity to interview creative director Bartek, who was able to take us on a guided tour through its macabre halls.The horror, the horror…

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Hi, could you please introduce yourself and your role on The Last Case of Benedict Fox?

Hi, my name is Bartek and I am the Creative Director and Lead Game Designer at Plot Twist, the studio behind The Last Case of Benedict Fox.

Could you give us a quick rundown of the game?

The Last Case of Benedict Fox is a story about searching for truth. It’s about the difficult choices one sometimes must make and the dark side that is within us. It’s set in a fantastic world full of secret organizations, demons, and the occult. You might say it’s a mixture of Lovecraftian nightmares, noir stories, and early 20th-century jazz. 

Gameplay-wise, our game is a Metroidvania with a strong focus on tactical gameplay. Sure, you will have access to many weapons and you will have powers granted to you by your demon companion. However, your greatest asset will be your wit. So take those weapons, take those supernatural powers, scope the environment around you, and plan your move. Make those demons be afraid of you – but don’t be too confident either! Use your wits!

What was it like to be featured so prominently at the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase 2022?

Truly unbelievable. After years of working on the game in the shadows, we were able to show the whole world what we are working on in one of the biggest showcases possible. It’s a dream come true. 

What kind of reaction have you seen from players, press and others?

The reaction was fantastic! Seeing all the positive comments blew us away. We hoped for a good reception, but this went beyond our wildest expectations. Before the showcase began, we really wanted to create a sense of intrigue with our trailer, and I feel we did that. 

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This seems like a departure from some of your previous games, with the Driftzone series being racers and Tacticool Champs being more of an arcade party game. What has led you to The Last Case of Benedict Fox?

We always wanted to do a game with a good and interesting storyline. We just waited for the right story to tell. After a few ideas and prototypes, we hit on the idea for Benedict. Once we started talking about it, we felt this electricity and tension in the air. We felt excitement. That’s when we knew we had something worth sharing with the world. We felt that we had a story worth being told.  

The Last Case of Benedict Fox looks absolutely stunning, and on looks alone we put it to the top of our wishlists. How did you land on its art style?

It wasn’t something that happened overnight. We iterated and iterated over and over again until we knew we got what we were looking for. We always wanted to create a visual style that was easy on the eye, had a cartoon feel, and showed a dark and mature story (which brought us close to the Burton style). We feel that whenever there are contrasts, that’s where interesting things happen. 

This visual style was an effect of evolution, appearing gradually over time. And it’s the result of our whole team under the watchful eye of our Art Director, Pawel Czapla. 

How have you immersed yourselves in the 1920s and Lovecraftian influences?

Just like the art style, the 1920’s timeline was the result of iteration and evolution of our work. At first, we began with Benedict being in a timeline closer to our own. However, we gradually started going back in time until we hit on that perfect combination of a technologically advanced world that could explain and work with our narrative structures. Our love of Lovecraftian works and having NPC being inspired by real-life characters also helped in sticking to this time period. Over time, everything started to form one coherent image. All those pieces started to form one whole self. 

How dark does The Last Case of Benedict Fox get? With Lovecraft, demons, murders and exploring the memories of the dead, it could all be a bit glum. How have you ensured there is some colour?

You’re in for a treat, that’s for sure! This will be a dark, hard, and intimate story. However, as I’ve mentioned before, we need contrasts. Contrasts between the art style and the story. Contrasts between being serious and the drama of the situation and the attitude of the characters. Contrasts between Benedict and our demon companion. Where there are contrasts, there are sparks. And those sparks can start a very interesting story. 

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The Xbox Store page mentions that jazz plays a part in the game. Could you elaborate further?

The music is a huge element on which we worked on a lot. We’re still working on it in fact. Just like the visual art style, music also gives you a glimpse into the world. It’s a piece that helps build the world and the vibe. Showing the 20s without jazz is like showing Lovecraft without tentacles 😉 It can be done, but why would you? Also, combing jazz with a traditionally grim ambience creates a rather potent mix. 

It’s labeled as a Metroidvania, but there’s a large amount of narrative on display, and it seems like you can also dive into memories of victims. How typical a Metroidvania is this?

When we started working on Benedict, we wanted to put our own take on the genre. We want to leave a bit of us in it.  However, I can’t say too much just yet. Please stay tuned 😉

How much will combat play a part, and how much strategy and skill is there within it?

To us, combat plays a huge part in the experience. Even if a game is all about the story, being in a combat situation can create emotions that the narrative by itself won’t do. Well-implemented combat enriches the whole experience and raises the stakes. Success, as well as failures and frustrations of the player mix with the success and failures of the characters. It’s a unique property of games, which would almost be a sin not to utilise 🙂

Are there any games that we should consider as similar to The Last Case of Benedict Fox, so we can imagine how it will play? Or are we in uncharted territory?

Due to the camera, gameplay, and controls, I’m sure players are comparing us to other games from the Metroidvania genre. But to be frank, we got a lot of inspiration outside of the genre. I don’t want to give concrete examples as I am really curious if players will find and guess our inspirations. 

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Has the promise of arriving day-one on Game Pass changed anything for you? What does it mean to be added to the service?

Being a Game Pass title showed us that Microsoft believes in our game. That alone is a huge motivator for us. Having such a giant on our side gives us more “oomph” and drive to keep going and making The Last Case of Benedict Fox the best game it can possibly be. 

Being part of Game Pass means that we also have access to some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, and having access to that knowledge is priceless. 

Why the ‘last’ case? Does that mean it’s the last we will see of Benedict Fox?

Our studio’s name is Plot Twist, so who knows what the future will bring 😉

And finally, if you had the powers of Benedict, what would you do with them?

With my height, a double jump would be the ideal power to have 😀 I certainly wouldn’t want to be able to dive into the subconscious of the dead. Battling my own demons is enough 😉

This tantalising tale is going to have to tantalise a little longer. We have to wait until Spring 2023 to get our tendrils on The Last Case of Benedict Fox, which seems like an absolute age. Hopefully more information will trickle out to keep us apprised on this one, as it’s looking rather special. Expect to see it Day One on Xbox Series X|S and PC.

And, as per usual, you can be sure of a TheXboxHub review when it finally gets unleashed.

Huge thanks go out to Bartek at Plot Twist for giving us some time and allowing the opportunity to find out more about The Last Case of Benedict Fox. 

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