“Bendy and the Dark Revival” review—Bendy’s dark return


Bree Lavine

“Bendy’s Dark Revival,” the long-awaited sequel to “Bendy and the Ink Machine,” has a familiar ending with a new twist.

After a five-year wait, the sequel to the indie horror game “Bendy and the Ink Machine” arrived with a bang last month, and now that it’s been out for a couple of weeks, we can see how the full story unfolds. We return to the dark depths of the inky Joey Drew Studios as an old friend of Joey’s, Nathan Arch, takes over the studio, continuing the legacy of Bendy and Friends Animation.

We play Audrey, an animator from Archgate Pictures, as she explores the depths of a curiously creepy animation studio that’s gone completely mad. While the game follows a similar format as the original game did, and gives off similar vibes, you never know who or what is going to be around the next corner in this realm of shadows and ink.

A quote from Audrey kicks off the game and shows us that there might be more to this hardworking animator than meets the eye: “We are always free to choose to believe what we want to believe, but when you step back and really look back at where you’ve been and the things you’ve done your past will come to devour you.”

Now I think of myself as quite knowledgeable when it comes to the Bendy franchise, and like many other fans, I was eagerly awaiting the mischievous demons’s return. On release day, I found myself refreshing my YouTube every hour to look for “Now Let’s Play” videos, theories or any other content surrounding this game.

As a result, I found it nearly impossible to develop an opinion on a game that I was so excited to see come to life. By the end of that night, I had seen the entire game played and the story completed. A five-year wait resulted in only 24 hours of watch time. In a word, I was confused about my feelings.

“When you don’t know who you are, you return to your roots.” This is a saying that I live by. It’s hard to know who we are as people, and in this story, in a way, we learn who Audrey is.

Audrey’s story is certainly an interesting one. She is an extremely talented animator who was dragged into the ink depths by our antagonist, Wilson, who claims to know her purpose. There is one new major game change that also feeds into the lore of Audrey’s story. Unlike most ink creatures, she has the ability to banish lost souls from the ink, releasing them from their never-ending nightmare.
While this power is very cool, it also brought a lot of questions, and one in particular: What makes Audrey different from the other people that were killed and used by the Ink Machine?

Well, we got an answer that I think surprised every gamer, theorist and fan tuning into the sequel. Audrey was the daughter of Joey Drew, the tyrant co-creator of Bendy and founder of Joey Drew Studios.

All of what we know about Joey Drew comes from the original game, “Bendy and the Ink Machine.” The ending of the first game showed him alone in an apartment, hardly able to walk. However, as we returned to the inky depths of his studio in the sequel, we learned there was a lot more to his story than we were told.

Yes, Joey Drew was a bitter, angry tyrant attempting to create living ink creatures out of real human souls. After his studio shut down, he sold it to Nathan Arch. However, when this new game picks up, we learn that he continued his work with Bendy and the Ink Machine, but not in the way we expected.

A story that Joey tells us that explains exactly who Audrey is. With the help of fellow co-worker Allison Pendall, Joey was able to see the world with “new eyes.” He decided he’d create a family; more specifically, a daughter. Audrey is Joey Drew’s daughter, made from the Ink Machine. Joey finally achieved what he wanted. He was able to give himself the life he wanted with nothing more than “a pencil and a dream.”

With this story, we learn who Audrey is and why she’s so special, and we’re able to complete the game. This sets The Cycle, the “world of paper and ink” where both games take place, back on track. With that Audrey is able to return home with a new, adorable little Bendy by her side and a world of ink and paper to protect.

As Audrey says, “Here at the beginning, there is a choice to make…Joey’s world is escaping to ours, so what’s next? Who can really say?”