Developer: Mike Bithell, Bossa Studios, Curve Studios
Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
Available on: Playstation 3, Playstation Vita
Reviewer’s note: I played the Playstation Vita version of this game. There may be differences between versions.
Thomas Was Alone is now a little less alone. With the Playstation release of the game comes a new level pack that stars a new character with new abilities.
Benjamin’s Flight serves as a prequel to Thomas Was Alone. You’ll be stepping in the role of Benjamin: A hopeful square who wants nothing more than to achieve his dream of touching the fountain of knowledge. Just like the main game the writing is expertly done and very smartly written. Benjamin comes off as a fun character, full of hope and youthful recklessness. He ignores advice from others and continues single-minded to his goal. It’s also what probably makes Benjamin’s Flight much more impactful than the main game: In the end it is a tragedy and you can’t help but sympathize with Benjamin and the situation he gets himself into.
The big feature of Benjamin’s Flight comes from Benjamin himself. Equipped with a jetpack, Benjamin can fly around the levels and navigate them with ease. Some may believe that this would make the game too easy. Those people are wrong. Getting used to controlling momentum to create pixel perfect movements is difficult and Benjamin’s Flight is easily far more difficult than the main game. Luckily, a healthy addition of checkpoints and almost instant revival allows you to come back to take another attempt nice and fast. It manages to be a good challenge without getting too frustrating and balancing that out is pretty impressive.
You won’t spend the entire game as Benjamin. Another new character tags along, and Benjamin will have to push her around and give her rides on the jetpack to navigate the levels. Sarah also returns and her double jump is again put to good use. Benjamin’s Flight is two chapters long, which means it’s 20 new levels. It’s a good chunk of new content that will last you at least an hour.
If you own the Playstation version of Thomas Was Alone, than Benjamin’s Flight is a must for anyone who enjoyed the main game. The new story alone is worth the price of admission, but the improved gameplay and challenge go a long way to making this DLC worth it.