Bendy And The Ink Machine Chapter 3 Review: Alice Is Here

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2017-09-29 (2)
Spooky, creepy, all of the above Player.One

Bendy And The Ink Machine: Chapter 3 is finally out. The long-awaited midpoint in Henry’s adventure through Joey Drew Studios is full of creepy atmosphere and dripping ink. I’ve climbed the stairs, fought the monsters, beat the chapter and I really enjoyed it. TheMeatly, the creators of the franchise, are still a relatively small studio, but they really went the extra mile to create something grander than the previous two chapters. The game still has its flaws, but for six bucks, it’s hard to find a game with better value.  

I’m not typically a fan of the horror genre – I’ve avoided games like Silent Hill since I’m too much of a baby and don’t want to have to replace my television after I hurl a controller at the screen. But after I saw Bendy’s viral success, with videos about the game garnering millions of views, I decided it was time to put away the security blanket and actually try something spooky. Bendy’s first two chapters are short, but they do an amazing job at establishing a world where Joey Drew, an evil version of Walt Disney, loses his mind and makes satanic offerings so his creations come to life.

Chapter 3 takes the whole experience up a notch. You can tell theMeatly Studios really put in the extra hours to make this level feel gigantic. There are multiple floors, enemies with tether ball heads and dozens of cans of bacon soup. There are spoilers after this.

After exiting a safehouse, you end up at the doorstep of Alice Angel, Bendy’s girlfriend. Joey Drew had a thing for this imaginary character, focusing his attention on her voice actor. Alice turned into some hideous ink beast that keeps Henry around to do some errands that include running up and down flights of stairs, collecting gears, pulling knobs and killing splotches. This was by far the worst part of the chapter. Fetch quests are a lazy attempt for developers to pad a game for length without adding any additional content. When I first traveled around these floors, I had a really good time exploring the madness. But by the fourth or fifth time going into the elevator and seeing Boris the wolf with his blank-eye stare, I was ready to turn off my computer and try something else.

One of the fetch quests involves the Swollen Searchers. These ink splotches don’t attack, but run away whenever they see you coming. It took me over an hour to kill all these things because they would either spawn in a doorway and run immediately or would dash after I miss my attack (the hit boxes in Bendy are abysmal). I died at the final fight at least six times because my attacks would miss, even though I hit them head-on.

That salty taste in my mouth was washed away after I faced the Projectionist. Alice tells you to collect five demon hearts in a maze where an ink monster with a film projector head is slowly walking around. I felt a true sense of dread dragging myself through the ink on the floor, unsure if the monster was behind me or if it was just a Bendy cartoon showing on a screen. This was my favorite part and I’m hoping that the developers add more moments like this in the next two chapters.

Bendy’s third chapter reminded me a lot of Portal, one of my favorite games. You’re a plaything to an omnipotent female voice that just seems to be messing with you. You’re just a pawn for someone that promises they'll let you free, only to try and kill you at the last moment. If the future chapters focus more on the characters and less on trying to fill time for the player, they could truly be masterpieces. TheMeatly Studios far surpassed my expectations with Chapter 3, giving me goose bumps for hours after playing.

Take away some of the fetch quests, show more Lovecraftian terror and I’ll recommend Bendy And The Ink Machine to everyone I know.

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