Bendy And The Ink Machine is a special type of game. It’s one of those games that just exploded onto the gaming scene from its indie roots and became a phenomenon. It has quickly acquired an avid and very active fanbase, who produce tremendous amounts of fan content from artwork to music. Whilst this is great news for the developer, on one hand, it also adds a great deal of pressure on the other. If the game doesn’t live up to expectations, the community will be very vocal.
Chapter 2 has been awaited by most fans since the moment Chapter 1 concluded (and these are the same people who now eagerly await Chapter 3, c’mon give the devs a break!). Fortunately, Chapter 2 is not only excellent in its execution, but it manages to improve on the first game as well with small, but very welcomed, additions. The audio tapes that are secreted around the level now have transcripts to the side of the screen and there is a lot more voice acting in general.
Was That Bendy Always There?
However, Bendy is a horror game and as such it’s made or broken on the delivery of suspense and scares. It differentiates itself from the first with an increased and heightened sense of paranoia. The level design is such that it really tries to play with your mind. Has that Bendy always been there? Didn’t I destroy that Bendy with my axe? Is something going to jump out of that ink puddle? These are all questions you will find yourself asking as you explore the music department. Naturally, there are jump scares to accompany this but they are used sparingly so as not to lose their effect. The uneasiness you feel as you wander around is a culmination of the two effects and it leaves you feeling incredibly vulnerable.
There are also additions to the cast in Chapter 2, but I won’t spoil those here. It is nice to see more of the story uncovered and these additions help flesh out the mythos and lore. Fans really have a lot to sink their teeth into here to theorize, and those theories will come quick and fast. Similar to games such as Five Nights At Freddy’s it becomes just as interesting to see how the community digests this new information and the conclusions it attempts to reach.
An Excellent Sequel
Ultimately, Chapter Two is an excellent sequel to the first game. You can tell straight away that production values are higher and the quality has been maintained. The devs made Chapter 2 from scratch within 2 months, and I would expect there to be a longer period before Chapter 3 makes its appearance. If they were to continue at this breakneck speed, something would suffer and this is something neither they nor the community would want.
This installment is priced reasonably at $5.99 which is a change from the ‘pay what you want’ of Chapter 1, but a change that I feel was necessary. Chapter 2 comes complete with Chapter 1 included, and each subsequent chapter will be the same price. For all 5 chapters this comes under $24 and for the quality of the game we have received so far, this is excellent value for money. The game is currently available on both GameJolt and itch.io with a Steam release on its way as well in the future.
Chapter 2 definitely gave me a hunger for Chapter 3 and I patiently await its arrival. The developers of Bendy are on to a great thing and I trust them to maintain the quality witnessed so far in the future releases. Between now and then I will enjoy all the theories and fan art that will be circulating on Twitter and Tumblr to keep me entertained. Now, does anyone fancy some bacon soup?