I'm sorry, but I need you to see this very upsetting lockpicking animation

A gross, living lock being picked. It has a mouth of teeth and fingers.
(Image credit: Plot Twist)

I've picked an awful lot of videogame locks in my life, but I've never seen one quite like this. With a good old-fashioned metal lock, you know where you are—whether you're breaking open lockers in one of Fallout's vaults, or breaking into a noble's mansion in Thief. But what are you supposed to say to a rubbery-lipped eldritch mouth with a bottom row of crooked teeth, and a top row of swollen, pallid fingers?  

It certainly fits the mood of The Last Case of Benedict Fox, at least. This horror side-scroller sees you investigating supernatural mysteries, exploring a vast and bizarre mansion metroidvania-style and battling all sorts of weird, squirming monsters in the dark. Over the course of a hands-off demo, I get to see the game's unassuming protagonist (the eponymous Benedict) seek out ingredients for bringing a golem to life, and fight a tentacled beast with a face like something you'd find at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

(Image credit: Plot Twist)

There's a spooky-but-not-quite-scary atmosphere here that reminds me of The Darkness—particularly because Benedict is similarly possessed by a demonic force that grants him infernal powers and offers gravelly-voiced commentary. Painful-looking tattoos applied by a creepy artist in the game's hub enhance these dark abilities, including a parry, slam attack and double-jump. 

The atmosphere is punctured a bit by some fairly dodgy voice-acting—it's hard to take the peril too seriously when the main character sounds more bored than frightened—and I have some misgivings about the combat, which seems a little stiff and clunky, especially during boss fights. But those concerns aside, it looks fun and stylish, blending game genres together for an exuberant take on a Lovecraftian investigation into the unknown. 

Of course, I wasn't paying attention to any of that during my first run through the demo. From the moment Benedict opened a door by jimmying open the most sinister orifice I've ever seen, it was all I could think about. I have so many questions: Is the door mouth sentient? Can it be opened without a supernatural lockpick, and if so, what on earth do the key and door handle look like? 

(Image credit: Plot Twist)

Does it eat, and if so, what? What could be the utility of having the whole roof of your mouth jostling with fingers that look like they were amputated off a diabetic witch? Do they fiddle about with its food to make sure it's edible? Do they reach out to catch prey? What is it consuming that's making its breath so rotten it produces visible green vapour? Can… can it chew? 

Does this living lock resent being picked? Can it speak, and tell us about the trials and tribulations of being a videogame lock? Would it be disgusted to learn of the countless doors, treasure chests, lockers, and jail cells I've broken open in my gaming career? Might it… plot revenge?

And, most importantly, when am I going to stop seeing it every time I close my eyes?

(Image credit: Plot Twist)
Robin Valentine
Senior Editor

Formerly the editor of PC Gamer magazine (and the dearly departed GamesMaster), Robin combines years of experience in games journalism with a lifelong love of PC gaming. First hypnotised by the light of the monitor as he muddled through Simon the Sorcerer on his uncle’s machine, he’s been a devotee ever since, devouring any RPG or strategy game to stumble into his path. Now he's channelling that devotion into filling this lovely website with features, news, reviews, and all of his hottest takes.