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Review: Bendy and the Dark Revival Shines Through Darkness on Consoles

Animation vs Animator?
Image via Joey Drew Studios

Fans of Bendy and the Dark Revival got the opportunity to play the atmospheric horror title back in November 2022. But console gamers had to wait a bit longer to try out the game on Playstation and Xbox. Fortunately, the wait was more than worth it. Bendy and the Dark Revival offers the same thrills and frights as it did on the PC. While not perfect, there’s a lot to love about Audrey’s battle with the forces of darkness.

Animator vs Animations

The best horror games know that you need subversion – taking something that shouldn’t be scary and finding a way to make it sinister. Take the cartoon character Bendy for instance. What in normal light is a cheery throwback to the animation of yesterday becomes a demonic entity that will make you screech like a YouTube streamer.

Animator Audrey finds herself stuck in a world of animations and must survive the ink entities of the world if she’s going to find a way back. Similar in some aspects to Bioshock, the world of Bendy and the Dark Revival feels like one thrown into rot and degradation. But where Bioshock focused on the hidden darkness beneath the spectacle of the rich, Bendy plums the depths of the depravity that lies in creation and imagination and obsession.

One of the game’s biggest strengths is its world and how its graphics and awesome soundtrack create an immersive experience. Black ink coats and oozes through the world. Lighting plays a key role in creating an eerie mood as if something is amiss. Even Audrey herself has been taken hold by the ink. In rare moments that we see the character’s appearance, she becomes one of the most horrifying of them all with glowing eyes, as if signaling there is no escape from this.

A Survival Horror Experience

Throughout the game, Audrey will be searching down key items, solving puzzles, and attempting to hide from the darker forces at play including Bendy. All of these elements come together to feel at home within the survival genre. That being said, at times it can feel like Bendy and the Dark Revival is the student instead of the master, drawing inspiration from games that implemented the gameplay mechanics better. Likewise, I occasionally encountered a few technical hiccups that hindered my progress.

But at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that Bendy is an indie game. As such, it’s a pretty worthwhile experience. The draw here more than anything is the rich atmosphere and tension, and for that regard, it more than succeeds. There are very few games that somehow capture the aesthetic of old cartoons but also turns that aesthetic on its head.

I’ll never quite look at Tom and Jerry or the Looney Tunes in the same way, and for that, I commend the game. If for whatever reason, you missed out on Bendy and the Dark Revival the first time around, then you have no excuse. There’s plenty of ways to play this dark and demented tale.

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