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Video Game / Bendy and the Dark Revival

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Return to the studio with new eyes

"Break the cycle."

Bendy and the Dark Revival is a Survival Horror video game created by Joey Drew Studios. It's in the Bendy franchise and the sequel to Bendy and the Ink Machine. It was announced as a new game with an unknown title on February 10, 2019 and initially scheduled for release later in the year, but on December 13, 2019, it was rescheduled for release in 2020. Audio logs lead up to the name reveal trailer, which came out on April 14, 2019.

Two books were also announced to lead up to the release: an employee handbook for Joey Drew Studios; and a novel, Dreams Come to Life, which follows new characters Dot and Buddy.

Bendy and the Dark Revival's gameplay trailer was released June 24, 2019. It shows a new Player Character waking up to some unexpected changes and dealing with foes - both by fleeing and by fighting. Known characters include Bendy, a Searcher, and the Butcher Gang member known as the Piper/Charley. There is also a mysterious new character with a creepy voice, who is heavily implied to be an antagonist.

After nearly three years of radio silence, the second official trailer was uploaded to the official Joey Drew Studios YouTube channel on November 1st, 2022, and the game was released on Steam on November 15th, 2022.

News on the game can be found on the official Bendy website,

Bendy and the Dark Revival contains examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: Unlike Bendy and the Ink Machine, combat is available as an option very early on.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Twisted Alice of all people gets this treatment. After Allison runs her through again, she stays alive long enough to see her killer and realize that she has the same face as her, and it's beautiful. Shortly afterwards we find memos from both angels, with Alice lamenting the loss of her beauty courtesy of the machine, and Allison reaching out to Alice as a friend and wishing she could help her be happy, referring to the two of them as sisters.
  • Ambiguously Human: The new Player Character Audrey. The gameplay trailer shows her arms and hands going through some sort of Body Horror as they become inkier at the end of it. A post on the official Bendy twitter-page revealing her complete appearance shows that apart from that, she also has glowing eyes and her hair and entire left arm seem to be made out of ink, as opposed to simply being covered in it. The second official trailer and the game's opening confirm that Audrey starts out as human, with the game itself revealing that her inky appearance was thanks to Wilson pulling her deep under ink that was gradually flooding the studio. Double subverted when Joey's counterpart in the studio reveals to her that she was never human to begin with. She is a creation of the ink machine, made specifically to be the real Joey Drew's daughter.
  • Art Evolution: The art has quite a few notable improvements from the previous Bendy games.
    • The lighting and environments have a slight orangish tint, rather than the almost purely yellow/gold look of the previous games.
    • The character models have much more shading, which now includes subtle white outlines, giving them a more convincingly hand-drawn appearance.
    • The Ink has a more textured appearance and a slight bluish tint rather than being purely black.
    • The "real world" scenes have much more dynamic and almost photorealistic lighting.
    • In general, the game is slightly more colorful than its predecessors, though the overall color palette is also slightly desaturated.
    • The textures are a bit more well-drawn.
  • Arc Villain: Wilson in chapters 1 and 5, the Ink Demon in chapters 2 and 3, and the Keepers in chapter 4
  • Ascended Extra: The Butcher Gang, who were mere Mooks in the first game receive a lot more focus in the teasers, even getting their own cut-outs, a privilege that was previously reserved for main characters Bendy and Alice. The game even later introduces a fourth female member of the Butcher Gang that's just as dangerous as the rest.
  • Benevolent Monsters: The official trailer reveals several ink creatures that are capable of speech and helpful to Audrey. They apparently make up the minority, with one of them noting that most of the other ink creatures are mute and/or mad.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Ink Spiders that come out of the ink pods in the sewers, and their ruler, the King Widow. It's a massive ball of ink with a bunch of spindly legs and a mouth full of disturbingly human teeth on top of its head.
  • Body Horror: Audrey starts the gameplay trailer by looking at her hands, which are covered in ink, and complaining that something feels wrong. She looks at them again at the end of the trailer - revealing that they have become inkier.
    • Shipahoy Wilson is an unholy amalgamation of a crab, Shipahoy Dudley and Wilson, whose head can still be seen lodged in the creature's torso.
  • Call-Back: At the start of the game Audrey is surprised by a suddenly appearing Bendy-cutout and exclaims "Who put this here?" Just like Henry did in chapter one of the first game.
    • When Joey Drew takes her to the starting area from the first game, Audrey can find Henry's desk, and makes a comment that echoes his musings on it from the first game.
      Audrey: Hey, here's an old desk. I bet someone wasted so much time in this chair...
      • To drive that point home even further, one of the first things you hear is Henry's very first line of dialogue.
  • The Cameo: In addition to Sean McLoughlin / Jacksepticeye and Will Ryan / DAGames returning to voice Shawn Flynn and Grant Cohen, respectively, there are also characters voiced by Mike Bambridge / SuperHorrorBro, Lewis Dawkins / Dawko, and Jake Kimmerer / VaporTheGamer.
  • Canines Gambling in a Card Game: A portrait appears on the wall in the piano room in Wilson's house.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The Cyclebreakers wing of the old Gent building contains a bunch of references to the first game. You can find the head of the Projectionist (and it screams its signature scream if you hit it), Sammy Lawrence playing his banjo, the severed head of Bertrum Piedmont (whose eye still follows you around), a cell heavily implied to have contained Twisted Alice, and of course, Henry Stein himself, the previous main character.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Bendy is the character that carries the series, so the title uses that character name and the noun phrase the dark revival.
  • Darker and Edgier: While Bendy and the Ink Machine couldn't exactly be considered light, this game makes an active effort to be much scarier. While there's still some cartoonish comedy, the overall tone is generally more serious, the monsters look more nightmarish than ever before, the level of outright gore is increased, and it's even "darker" in a literal sense due to the color scheme being slightly desaturated (although the supernaturally bright spotlights that point the way for the player are even brighter). The updated art style, which while cleaner, more detailed, and possessing a greater amount of at least semi-realistic textures than the old one is even more cartoony than it in many ways only adds to this.
  • Demoted to Extra: Searchers. Originally, Lost Ones were more like Elite Mooks, whereas Searchers were the primary enemy. Here, they are only encountered in the employee locker room and nowhere else.
    • Also, Boris the Wolf only gets a few cameos, with no direct role in the plot. Audrey never even directly interacts with him.
  • The Dreaded: Despite having apparently been imprisoned prior to events of the game, the Ink Demon is just as feared as ever, as the threat of him being unleashed is enough to get the entire studio out for Audrey's blood.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: The Keepers randomly draw out certain words with a stuttering warble.
  • Elevator Failure:
    • As Audrey and Wilson drive the elevator down, it suddenly breaks down and stops at the wrong level, forcing them to exit and look for a way to start it back up again. They never get to, as Wilson tricks Audrey into performing the ritual that activates the ink machine, then transports both of them into the cartoon world.
    • When Audrey tried to take the elevator to the surface from Artist’s Rest, just like in the first game, it’s hijacked and purposely dropped by another character—this time, by the Keepers, who send her crashing into the sewers where the King Widow makes its lair.
  • Elite Mooks: The Keepers, ink monsters with diving suit-like helmets are Wilson's enforcers in the cartoon world. The cartoon Joey Drew notes he didn't draw them.
  • Evil, Inc.: Gent Corp. are the ones that supplied the Ink Machine to Joey, the notes around the studio have employees complaining how sinister they are, their factory in the cartoon world has gurneys with dead ink monsters on them and Wilson notes they had the Suppression Pylons that affect Audrey and Bendy BEFORE they gave Joey the machine, meaning they had an idea what could go wrong if he screwed up.
  • Expy: Invoked. Wilson's plan is to create a being more powerful than the Ink Demon by infusing it with Audrey's soul. This character is a cartoon sailor named Shipahoy Dudley, with the same stature and smile as cartoon Bendy. Unfortunately for him, after Audrey pushes Wilson into his own machine, it winds up creating Shipahoy Wilson, a corrupted ink monstrosity which Audrey has to defeat.
  • Gainax Ending: The game ends with Audrey breaking the cycle much like Henry before her: By forcing the Ink Demon to look at the last reel. After the cycle seemingly ends, Audrey monologues over a panning shot of Joey Drew's old apartment, musing how she's come to accept that her existence as an ink creature doesn't have to define her and resolving to use the power over her father's world to make everyone's lives better. As Audrey wonders what she'll do next, she looks beside her to reveal - a perfect Bendy.
  • Hands Looking Wrong: Upon first entering The Cycle, Audrey discovers her hands appear to be entirely made of ink.
  • Hell Hotel: Artist's Rest, a employee-only capsule hotel Joey built in the studio as a cost cutting measure. Like everything else at the studio, it is run down and swarming with monsters.
  • I Lied: Said verbatim by Wilson. He didn't need Audrey's help to save his father, Nathan Arch, he just needed her soul to defeat the Ink Demon.
  • Internal Retcon: During the explanation of Animation Alley's sound department, the voice actress for Alice Angel is described as "Ms. S-ALLISON PENDLE" by a clearly dubbed-over Joey Drew. This is in reference to how Alice's original voice actress, Susie Campbell, was replaced early on and wiped from the studio's history when she took it incredibly poorly.
  • Invincible Boogeymen: Keepers cannot be killed, only stunned if you have a secret Gent pipe upgrade, and are very fast and can kill Audrey in two hits if they spot her. Her only option is to hide.
  • Mind Screwdriver: The game acts as this for the original, by explaining what on earth was actually happening, specifically in relation to the ending. As it turns out, none of the events of the main story were "real". The Henry we played as was just a Ink-replication of the real Henry that Joey created after the original left, and the entire game world is just a Show Within a Show created to torture those Joey was dissatisfied with.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: While the trailer implied the Butcher Gang and the Lurker would have a bigger role, in the game itself, they neither speak nor do they have any role in the actual story.
  • Painted CGI: Just like the first game, the models have sketchy hand-drawn outlines to imitate the classic cartoon style. Additionally, the character models have much more shading, which unlike the previous game, now includes highlighted white outlines.
  • Permanently Missable Content: There's collectable items (a Memory, an Audio Log, and a copy of The Illusion of Living) hidden in the flashback to the original game's Chapter One that Joey takes you to. You can't go back here afterwards, so they're incredibly easy to miss.
  • Pipe Pain: The Gent Pipe serves as Audrey's main form of defense whenever she gets into a sticky situation. The pipe can later get upgrades to let Audrey open specific doors and do heavy damage. A secret upgrade lets the pipe stun Keepers.
  • Point of No Return: A Polite version. When you go down to Wilson's laboratory near the end, Wilson will warn Audrey that there will be no returning "until we've accomplished our mission". Sure enough, the door out of the lab locks behind Audrey when she approaches him.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Audrey runs into Henry Stein at one point. This becomes crucial for her to learn how to break the cycle, just like he once did.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The puzzle that you do after Alice kidnaps you involves making a pattern consisting of a bear, a bird, a rabbit, and a fox. Sound familiar?
    • When you smash ten pots in the fourth chapter, the moon will briefly sport a look not unlike the moon from Majora's Mask.
    • The code for the locked door at the beginning of the game is 451, which is a repeated code seen in loads of games. from the first door code in Bioshock to Dishonored.
  • Show Within a Show: A dark deconstruction. It's revealed that the events happening in both games, in abridged terms, are happening in a world contained within the drawings of Joey Drew, made with the supernatural Ink Machine. The events of the first game are happening within a cycle and this cycle bleeds into this installment. The thing is, this not-so-fictional work and the cycle it employs was created by Joey to torment different versions of the people he feels wronged him in life, like Henry Stein. And we're witnessed to the absolute horror of what it means to be a character trapped within a world which itself is controlled by a hostile force of creation.
  • Splash of Color: Wilson's signal towers emit multicolored arcs of electricity in stark contrast to the sepia world around them. Additionally, the tunnel to Wilson's Laboratory is filled with literal splashes of colored ink on the walls and in pipes. Shipahoy Wilson and its Lost One minions also bleed this rainbow ink.
  • The Stinger: The final scene has an ink machine taken away in a Gent Corp. van.
  • There Is Another: After the first game introduced Ink Bendy, who was the only known attempt at creating a form of Bendy with the Ink Machine by then, this game reveals the existence of a second Bendy who resembles the original cartoon character far closer. Subverted with the reveal that this second Bendy is Ink Bendy, put into a harmless form by Wilson and the Keepers.
  • Unbroken First-Person Perspective: Much like the first game, Dark Revival takes place entirely from Audrey's perspective, even before she is transported to the cartoon world. However, the only times this is broken is during the opening cutscene and the finale of the game where the player controls Beast Bendy.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: When Audrey first meets Tom, she can pet him.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: And when Audrey teams up with Bendy at the beginning of Chapter 4, she can smack him over the head with her pipe and get a programmed response. Due to his cartoon logic, however, he doesn't really mind all that much.
  • Villainous Rescue: The Ink Demon arrives just in time to save Audrey and deliver the killing blow to Shipahoy Wilson. Unfortunately, he's not done with Audrey, whose legs have been torn off by Shipahoy Wilson just moments before.
  • Wham Shot: The official trailer ends with Audrey coming across Bendy... as in, not the Ink Demon, but a seemingly perfect Bendy, which we were previously led to believe had never been made before.
    • Speaking of Bendy, there is the moment when the Ink Demon corners Audrey outside the Gent building, only for a nearby tower to fire up and transform him into the cartoon Bendy that Audrey had befriended a few minutes ago, who proceeds to slink away in shame.