Despite the heart palpitations I experienced every time I loaded this game up, I powered through and finished Chapter 4 and 5 of Bendy and the Ink Machine. After finishing the game, here are my final thoughts on the game. If you haven’t read already, I’ve detailed my feelings about the first three chapters here. Warning: there will be some spoilers.
As the story progresses, the chapters become more involved and complicated. Rather than creeping around the halls of an ominous building, you’ll find yourself dodging the Butcher Gang, evading the ink demon, and encountering new enemies you haven’t seen before. While earlier chapters feel more exploratory, chapters 4 and 5 have more combat elements. I don’t think I would’ve minded this so much if the controls didn’t require such precision to execute. At times, I found myself frustrated because I’m trying to pick up an item repeatedly and because my cursor isn’t positioned exactly in the right spot, I can’t interact with the object annndddd now I’m dead.
Again, the lack of clear indicators can have you spending a lot of time wandering halls without really knowing what you’re expected to do. I won’t lie – I would not have progressed in some spots if I didn’t look up what the game wanted me to do. There was also a bit of trial and error in some parts that weren’t exactly obvious.
For example, in chapter 4, you have to complete some mini games to open doors in the haunted house. One of these mini games is throwing a ball at stacked bottles to knock them over. Sometimes my throws just plopped in front of me and I had no idea why. Is it because you have to hold the button? Do you have to click it a couple of times quickly? No – you have to watch the ball in your hand. Henry is repeatedly tossing the ball up and down in his hand. If you try to throw it while the ball is up in the air, it will plop and not go anywhere. Only try to throw it once the ball lands in your hand.
Chapter 4 also introduces your first encounters with “boss battles”. Being unable to dodge attacks, not being able to step over a curb without jumping, and needing pin-point accuracy to pick up an object made the battle more frustrating than anything. This is an issue that occurs throughout the game, but becomes more evident in situations where time is of the essence. I did accidentally find myself cheating in chapter 5. There is a sequence where you have to run in a maze of hallways to pick up ink 3 times while avoiding the Butcher Gang (it wasn’t obvious that this was the objective). If you die while you have the ink in your hands, you reset to the beginning (where you need to go anyway) with the ink in your hands. While I didn’t do this on purpose, I was relieved that I didn’t have to run again because I couldn’t find a hiding spot.
The finale of the game wasn’t as stressful as I anticipated and seeing how they closed the story was interesting. Of course you will be building to face off with the ink demon who has been hunting you all along. For how stressful he is everywhere else in the game, the final battle wasn’t too bad. I’m not complaining though; I don’t know that my heart could take any more stress from him at this point.
I really wasn’t sure how a game like this would end. I’ll post a little snippet of it below if you are interested in seeing how they tie everything together. You find yourself finally escaping this little hell hole and then, well, see for yourself.
After you’ve beaten the game, you unlock an additional chapter which is essentially just a room where you can see character designs and little notes about how they evolved over time. I really liked this feature. I’m also including a little clip of that here in case you’re interested in seeing what is showcased here.
Overall? I liked the earlier chapters more than the later chapters. I play a lot of video games and even with my experience, I found myself getting stuck more often as the game progressed. I do wish there were more clear indicators throughout the game to prevent this from happening. I also wish the controls were more forgiving as far as picking up items was concerned.
I do think this is a good game and it’s an interesting concept. The world is imaginative, it will make you jump, and it’s definitely worth checking out. I will say, it won’t necessarily be an easy experience. Knowing all of this, what do you think? Is this a game you would try?
One more jump scare for you: