This week I delved into the inky depths of Bendy and the Ink Machine from studio at Kindly Beast now from the title alone it’s got me asking who’s Bendy? is he some over enthusiastic yoga coach hell bent on changing everyone’s posture for the better? whys he got a machine full of ink? Perhaps he’s Banksy un-loved brother who’s built a machine to produce thousands of unique pieces of art that don’t self destruct on auction day.
Let me set the scene its 1930’s everything’s sepia tonal around you, gloop’s of ink stain passing walls as you (Henry Stein) a retired animator return back to your old animation studio (Joey Drew Studios Inc) by invitation of one of your old employers Joey Drew himself and it seems something’s not quite right here and it’s up to you Henry to embark upon your journey through your old animation workshop that will test your psychological state to the extreme, was that a figure in the distance moving? or is it your own mental capacity crumbling under the pressure? Ah look its the exit finally – or is it the entrance into the unknown.
I’ve got to say this game will not be holding your hand throughout its chapters, it will not ease up on you if you make a mistake it will even poke fun at the you just when you think your catching a break, but that’s what I loved from this game its challenge, the unexpected what’s next around the corner for you to face.
This game is like Amnesia had sex with Bioshock then invited good ‘ol Mr Walt Disney over to watch Andrew Ryan kindly offered everyone some acid and Walter tripped some serious balls and voila – you get Bendy and the Ink Machine. This game runs as smooth as butter I cranked everything up to get the full effect but I would definitely wager this game would run just as well on an older computer with lower graphical capacity it’s not asking for much but its giving so much more.
A Trail of Breadcrumbs
The narrative running throughout this game has been meticulously pieced together by the creators it’s almost like a trail of breadcrumbs being left for your curiosity you’ll want to know more and more about what’s going on and it’s this that will spur you past the few repetitive fetch quests sections because you’ll want to know the mystery behind what’s really going on inside this studio.
It’s very difficult for me to divulge into this game without giving spoilers however trust me when I say this game is not for your casual gamer it takes particular grit and determination to see It through but don’t be put off by that.
Along with its unique visual setting this game has a great focus on its use of audio from perfectly timed floorboard creaks to rattling tin cans and strange voices in the walls constantly keeping you on your toes
but amongst all the psychological bat-shittery going on here you’ll find harmony at times when the game will treat you to unexpected but very welcome upbeat 1930’s vinyl recordings playing old timey cartoon scores in the background to ease that beating heart of yours.
However I did find at times the pace of the game to somewhat lack I mean don’t get me wrong a fetch quest here and there is fine but I did find myself questioning certain points particularly in chapter 3 where I felt I was given a shopping list of things to find around different sections of the map with very little meaning to the story.
Talking graphics I personally really enjoyed what the creators where setting out to achieve with Bendy and Ink Machine the use of lighting particularly as mechanic to help aid the player in a certain direction away from danger or perhaps towards? Little details like this I found being used in so many interesting ways throughout this game really impacted on you as the player.
I would find myself time and time again weighing up my options, “Go creepy dark tunnel spewing with ink and potential heart failure way” or “Go beautifully lit safe run away to what could be the exit?” you decide then your reminded round every corner Bendys there in some manifestation whether it’s a cardboard cut-out leaning ominously against a wall, or haunting looking drawings of bendy etched into the woodwork of the animator’s desks you’ll never quite feel alone in this game.
What’s next for Bendy?
Well the team behind Bendy and the Ink Machine released a trailer teasing what’s to come in 2019 calling it “Bendy and the Dark Revival” (#BATDR) which is driving fans of the genre completely crazy with anticipation. So, did I find Bendy and the Ink Machine a scary experience? No not really I mean that’s totally down to my own reaction of events but I’d never say I browned my own pants playing this, there’s some fantastic timed jump-scare moments which did make me shout out a few new profanities I never knew existed but don’t take my opinion on this as concrete you really got to play it for yourself and see.
Bendy and the Ink Machine
- Simplistic controls
- Fantastic thought out storyline
- Very strong Lore behind it
- Repetitive stages
- questionable A.I
- Lack of variety in stages