By Arlene Sanchez
Joey Drew Studios’ “Bendy and the Dark Revival” (BatDR) is the second installment in the popular Bendy franchise beginning with “Bendy and the Ink Machine.” Although the sequel was originally meant to be a standalone game, BatDR was repurposed as an indirect continuation of the first game.
BatDR was released on Steam for PC last month and is expected to be released on Xbox and Playstation at a later date.
The Bendy franchise is a first-person survival game with lots of nods to the horror genre. It has lots of vintage charm with beloved characters from other franchises.
In the game, players must solve puzzles and elude the Ink Demon in order to escape.
The ending of the first game had the gaming community in confusion, but the gameplay in BatDR clarifies this with even more horror-style action.
The game works through the story of Audrey Drew, an animator in the 1970s who works overtime on her creations. She is abducted by a mysterious man who whisks her into the cartoon world where she has a new inky form. Audrey must now find her way through the cartoon version of her studio by allying with classic cartoon characters like Alice, Boris, and even Bendy from the first game. It is a nightmarish scene she must work through in order to escape.
Both versions of the Bendy franchise have similarities that make them enjoyable. One of the most obvious is the creative monochrome color palette. This makes the games stand out against more colorful games like “Cuphead.” The darkness in the game adds to the horror and nightmare quality, truly immersing the player in the game.
However, there were issues with the first game that were not resolved in this second version. The fighting mechanism is still flawed, for example. In both games, the fighting is done with weapons but without any blocking method, which can be annoying.
However, the upgraded graphics and better storyline make up for some shared gameplay issues. “Bendy and the Ink Machine” had a very confusing ending, which told the story of Henry being in a constant cycle, which is cleared up by BatDR. “Bendy and the Dark Revival” takes a different approach to the ending by giving the players a cliffhanger and questions in the air. For example, where is the ink machine being taken to and how did Audrey bring the pure Bendy into the real world?