Review: Bendy and the Ink Machine – Chapter 5

The final chapter of "Bendy and the Ink Machine" adds challenge, a sense of finality and plenty of scares.

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Review: Bendy and the Ink Machine – Chapter 5

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In search of a light scare this Halloween? The episodic indie hit “Bendy and the Ink Machine,” a sepia styled horror game set in an old fashioned animation studio haunted by magical ink, released its final chapter on Friday. Just in time for Halloween, is the series worth your screams?

Fans will be delighted that characters who may have seemed long gone from the series pop in for cameos in this last chapter. Its refreshing to see protagonist Henry actually interacting with an ally that can speak. In the past, Henry talked to himself or to a silent Boris, but the only other characters capable of talking back were the villains Alice Angel and Sammy Lawrence.

The new fan-named Alison Angel, introduced in the last frames of Chapter Four, changes that. Her relationship with Tom (a cyborg version of Boris the Wolf), and their drastically different attitudes toward and relationships with Henry, adds a new dynamic to the game that most players didn’t realize it was missing. Those players that prefer to travel alone, however, won’t be disappointed. The new dynamics are mainly around during cut scenes, with most of the actual game play of Chapter Five has Henry exploring solo.

Early in the chapter, a new mechanic is introduced to the game: a device that the player can use to see hidden messages on the walls. On some occasions, it creates cool shots. For example, if players look at Alison Angel through it they will see a glowing golden halo above her head. However, the new mechanic fails to enhance game play in any meaningful way. Its real purpose seems to be for replays. After the game is completed, the player can replay the earlier chapters using the device to view new messages. It boils down to an Easter egg tool that would have been better off left out.

Aside from this, the final chapter brings back a variety of game play mechanics used in the past chapters. From the same combat that’s been around since the beginning, to the type of puzzles introduced in Chapter Three, all the game play is brought back for the finale, but in harder and more intricate ways.

This last chapter is more difficult than the rest. In past installments, there was little for to prevent players from continuing. A chapter might have one hard boss or baffling puzzle that could slow down a player, but for the most part, “Bendy and the Ink Machine” has not been a game where players spend long amounts of time stuck in a single section.

This changes in the new chapter. There are multiple sequences that will leave some players struggling for a while. Still, in the end, it is still not particularly difficult when compared to other games.

Those that are interested in “Bendy and the Ink Machine” for the story may be left with mixed emotions. A fair amount of voice recordings to listen to and an ending cut scene that ties it all together answers many of the questions players have been asking since Chapter One. However, these answers bring up even more questions. This type of ending requires some pondering, and perhaps a replay, to get a full understanding. There still remains enough closure to make it a satisfying ending, and a fitting conclusion for the game, adding a nice end to the indie series.

Chapter Five is available for free for all who have bought Chapters Two through Four. For those who have stuck with the series, it is well worth playing to get some closure to the series mysteries.

The completed game is available on Steam for $19.99, and the console versions will be launching in November for the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. For that price, it’s well worth it. Those that are still hesitant may wish to wait to grab it up during a Black Friday sale, but whether you wait for a sale or not, “Bendy and the Ink Machine’s” Chapter Five is a fitting conclusion to the game.

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