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Xbox One Review: Bendy and the Ink Machine

December 11, 2018 by  

Dark Side of the Toon…

Bendy and the Ink Machine is a first-person puzzle action horror game that begins in the far days past of animation and ends in a very dark future. With twists and turns around every corner, this game promises to thrill you… and decimate your childhood.

Bendy and the Ink Machine is a strange, surreal game that sees you return to a cartoon studio years after its shutdown, to find it run-down and littered with posters and cut-outs of their main character “Bendy”, a cat-like creature with devil horns and before you know it, you find yourself deeper in the studio where the mystery unravels to show that this isn’t just an abandoned cartoon factory, it’s something much worse.

The game has this film-grain and sepia filter look to it, while looking like a cartoon itself. Audio diaries fill in the blanks of the story, much like Bioshock and you’ll discover more about what went wrong with the studio, the ink and just how twisted Bendy could look. The game has this incredible tense atmosphere that fills me with dread, it’s just to eerie and you never know what’s coming next. There will be times where you can actually attack certain enemies with weapons, but there will be some times where this isn’t viable and you’ll need to hide from Bendy or be killed on the spot.

The game was released as a Steam episodic adventure consisting of 5 episodes, this version is the full collection and naturally has achievements, such as collecting all the bacon soup cans that are littered throughout the game and taking a different path mid-game to change the direction of the rest of the story. Bendy is full of jump scares, the first of which was so unexpected that it made my partner jump so hard she pulled a muscle in her neck, so brace yourself.

After playing Bendy, I’ll never look at cartoons the same way, especially the old black-and-white ones which the game is clearly parodying, including one character that is a dead-ringer for Goofy. It’s the dark, twisted take on old cartoons that is really unsettling, especially when they could literally chase you down and kill you. It’s clever and definitely the creepiest game I’ve played in years, the only thing that has come remotely close in my opinion has to be Resident Evil 7.

Visually, the game looks stunning with it’s cel-shaded art style and film-grain filter. The attention to detail is impressive, while the voice-acting is superb and unsettling as you discover more and more as you go on. The soundtrack is creepy and atmospheric throughout and only enhances the already twisted game.

The Verdict

Bendy and the Ink Machine will be giving me nightmares for years to come with it’s creepy atmosphere, jump scares and twisted take on old cartoons. But it’s also incredible and well designed, so who cares if I need to sleep with the light on for a bit as a result? Joking aside, this is definitely the sleeper hit I was not expecting and one that you really should try, heart problems notwithstanding.

Score: 8.0

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