WOW! Just WOW! I’m surprised! WOW!
Normally in a episodic game, you play the episode, enjoy it or hate it and then move on.
But WOW! Bendy and the Ink Machine took a massive gamble in rearranging some of the early game maps as well as changing some of the objectives.
This might sound weird for a game like this but I think it has some benefits for a game such as Bendy and the Ink Machine.
Now while I think it was a bit of a con to force you to play through the entire game to save it. I wouldn’t have seen the new stuff if I hadn’t so I’m glad I did and this is why I believe they did it.
Firstly it is clear that this game is different to other Episodic games in the fact that it feels like they are still making the game in the background and when you make something in this way, it naturally gets better over time. So it really wouldn’t be a bad thing to go back into the previous episodes and change to give better stuff and take out stuff that didn’t work in the first pass.
Secondly, it means that those who played before still get a surprise. The Ink Machine is impossibly larger in the first chapter now, certain jump scares that didn’t exist before catch people out and they can even take jump scares out so that they are caught off guard when a scare they expect doesn’t happen and the map is different giving the sense of unease that comes from entering a location that has changed since you left. Perfect to represent the world Henry enters back into (different to what he remembered and mimics the player).
Finally, the problem with Episodic games is that they can feel short and staggered and can sometimes result in forgetting key elements, travelling back through the game allows the players to be reminded on the situation they are in, to listen again to story recordings and to feel like they are now part of this story in full. This is especially important if, like Bendy, the time between game Episodes is longer than normal.
TheMeatly Games have done something interesting and I think the question of why they needed to do it is important but not for this post. However it effectively gives players a second chance to try the game again and see how it’s improved or give a fresh experience. While procedurely generated games can keep it fresh, it loses some of the story. But doing it in this way gives more control and gives a more story driven experience.
There is only one flaw though with this and I’ll discuss this next time.