Platinum Games epitomises fashion, creativity, and taking chances. The Devil May Cry and Okami creator Hideki Kamiya and Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami founded the company in 2007, and it quickly established itself as a refuge for these creatives to launch new franchises in an environment of creative freedom. Early successes like MadWorld attracted attention, but Platinum’s third game, Bayonetta, solidified its position as one of the top action firms in the gaming industry.
The sleek action of Devil May Cry’s spiritual ancestor, Bayonetta, was updated and, in some ways, enhanced when it was released in Japan in 2009 and on American soil in 2010. The elegant action genre was revived and recreated by the entrancing adventure; Platinum only took two years to complete its masterpiece. Unfortunately, the game’s popularity didn’t equal its sales, and Sega, the original publisher, decided against making a sequel. Despite pleas from fans, Bayonetta appeared to stop the series before it could get going.
Nintendo responded to these requests by deciding to issue a follow-up. 2014 saw the release of the Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2. The sequel showed that Bayonetta wasn’t a one-hit wonder and went on to rank among the greatest games of the year, with some fans even saying it was better than the first. The franchise’s popularity also shown that the family-friendly Nintendo had no trouble allowing it to maintain its Mature-rated identity.
It didn’t take long for Platinum to announce Bayonetta 3 as another Nintendo exclusive when the Nintendo Switch arrived in 2017. The third game, however, quickly faded from public consciousness, beginning a period of four years marked by intermittent updates and ambiguity over its continued existence.
When the game made a comeback in September and unveiled its first gameplay trailer, that situation finally altered. It showcased a freshly created Bayonetta doing what she does best: knocking the crap out of her adversaries with ruthless elegance and grace while sporting a new yet recognisable hairstyle. Even more eyebrows were raised when Bayonetta summoned her devoted demon Gomorrah to engage in a Kaiju-sized rendition of a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot fight with a colossal foe.
Since then, news about Bayonetta 3 has been dribbling in. Alternative iterations of Bayonetta are introduced in a multiverse. A brand-new species of adversaries. And at its core is a fresh, obnoxious witch.
Finally approaching, Bayonetta 3 must live up to the heritage and years of expectation. Platinum eagerly welcomes this pressure. Instead of resting on the series’ successes, it introduces several bold concepts, producing a monster of a sequel that is too enormous for one dimension.
“It appears I’m arriving inimically late. However, I’m prepared to grant all of your requests
Many fans are wondering why it took so long and why Platinum was so silent after the lengthy wait. I asked the main creators of Bayonetta 3—director Yusuke Miyata, producer Yuji Nakao, and supervising director Hideki Kamiya—these questions. The senior brass at Platinum refused to provide precise explanations for the delay, merely stating that it was required to produce the best Bayonetta experience.
We invested a lot of time and effort into the other games as well, but since this is a sequel, Miyata explains, “we wanted to include even more material this time.” We kept our supporters waiting as a result, but it was worth it.
Throughout the years, I was one of the many fans who excitedly ate up each tidbit of information about the game and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
Fortunately, I got my desire after visiting Nintendo of America’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
I tried both the titular witch and the newcomer Viola in two demonstrations for Bayonetta 3, which were situated in the game’s early hours.
According to Kamiya’s narrator, the events in Bayonetta 3 happen not too long after those of the previous game.
The prologue of the game is followed by the start of the demo.
The jazzy theme from The Gates of Hell, the underground bar and weaponry run by Rodin, the demonic weapons craftsman from the series, greets me as the screen fades in.
It’s not just him. Bayonetta, her sister-in-arms Jeanne, and a sobbing Enzo, Bayo’s informant in the style of Joe Pesci, are all present and accounted for.
Something substantial is going down on the surface and sounds like it may break through the ceiling at any minute, shaking and rumbling the basement bar.
Enzo sobs over a torn-up photograph of his children, Ed and Edna, hinting that something awful may have happened to them.
He is wearing a baseball cap, a t-shirt, and a sports jacket instead of his customary suit and hat.
Rodin reassures the group that whatever assault is occurring up there won’t be able to break through the bar. Enzo must pay a bill after all.
Rodin states, “This spot will hold for a while.” “For a very short time.”
Rodin explains what’s causing the commotion:
The Homunculi are a new breed of enemy in Bayonetta 3 that originates neither from Paradiso nor Inferno.
Instead, the source of these monstrosities is human.
I don’t have much time to think about the Homunculi’s history before Viola, the second playable heroine in Bayonetta 3, a young apprentice Umbra Witch, storms in.
This warrior with punk rock influences wields a katana and has a lot of attitude.
Although Viola welcomes Bayonetta and Jeanne with familiarity, the two witches are completely unaware of her.
The convoluted truth—which Viola explains incoherently—is that she is a native of an alternative universe and is familiar with our witchy acquaintances there.
In response to the realisation, Rodin explains the universe and uses the analogy of someone trying to jam slices of exquisite wagyu steak into a meat grinder to describe it.
Although the universe has been a part of the Bayonetta narrative since the previous game, this journey puts it front and centre and expands on it greatly.
Expect to run against numerous Bayonettas, as seen in the teasers, originating from various timelines.
This idea couldn’t have arrived at a better moment, even if Platinum wouldn’t say what these variations add to the table.
Due to the fictional universes of Marvel and DC as well as movies like Everything Everywhere At Once, the multiverse notion has become more well known.
Platinum claims that while it used these works as a point of reference, it eventually gave the concept its own unique spin.
I love the MCU films, and I just had a great time viewing the Loki series, adds Kamiya.
When I started watching Loki, I had already finished creating the plot for Bayonetta 3, therefore this show had no direct impact on the Bayonetta 3 narrative.
Since then, a lot of time has gone, and now that the multiverse concept has a strong basis in entertainment.
I believe it will be simpler for people to understand it and appreciate the Bayonetta tale even more.
Platinum is presenting the story and universe in a way that will be welcoming to newcomers, despite Kamiya’s claim that gamers acquainted with the series would find it simpler to understand Bayonetta 3’s premise.
Viola explains her objective to find Dr. Sigurd, a scientist, and a thing called a Chaos Gear back in the Gates of Hell.
It will be essential to bring these components together in order to stop the multiverse from collapsing.
I’m now introduced to Cheshire, Viola’s evil sidekick.
This cartoonish, enormous cat is lounging at the bar and seems like an anime take on the cheeky creature made famous by Alice in Wonderland.
Cheshire extends its enormous, multicoloured jaws as Viola calls it, and, of all things, spits up an antique penny-farthing bicycle.
Bayonetta and Viola perch on Cheshire’s large noggin as the devil rides the vintage bike and propels them through a portal to begin their journey.
Bayonetta and Viola arrive on Thule, an island that serves as a hub for interdimensional travel.
Players will have to wait to find out how this enigmatic site functions, but as soon as I arrive, a friendly group of Homunculi welcomes me.
These green-colored foes are artificial lifeforms comprised of several live beings.
In order to outnumber and gang up on Bayonetta, they may divide themselves into several forms, rearrange their bodies, and change their limbs.
Homunculi, like the angels and demons that came before them, come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, from humanoid grunts to more abstract forms like gelatinous spheres or enormous, armoured titans.
I experience the fight in Bayonetta 3 for the first time, with a group of Homunculi blocking my path.
It is simple to get back into the satisfying dance of chaining combos, dousing enemies with her new purple tri-barrel guns (dubbed “Colour My World”).
Unleashing intricate Torture Attacks, and split-second dodging to activate the time-slowing Witch Time effect because Bayonetta controls exactly like previous games.
It feels like a Bayonetta game, to put it frankly, but our protagonist has a bunch of fresh tricks up her sleeve.
I instantly take note of how much more fluidly Bayonetta is moving now—almost as if she were dancing on air.
More of Madama Butterfly, the lovely demonic creature from which she often pulls the most of her strength, is also present in her assaults.
Demon Masquerade, one of the new combat pillars in Bayonetta 3, is responsible for this modification.
Bayonetta’s battle style and transformations are changed by Demon Masquerade, which harnesses the power of the demons that possess her weapons.
For instance, Madama Butterfly is bound to her pistols, giving her the previously mentioned combat abilities.
Gomorrah, Bayonetta’s dragon-like companion, represents the G-Pillar, an enormous hammer.
When using this weapon, speed is sacrificed for power because the G-Pillar may finish off opponents with a few methodical strokes.
G-Pillar can also fire strong blasts from its handle-like gun barrel when used as a weapon.
One such demon is the enormous spider Phantasmaraneae, whose disc-like weapon allows users to fire webs that momentarily paralyse adversaries.
You can switch between two weapon sets instantly, so players may create a variety of aggressive combo strikes. Expect to see a lot of demonic arms.
Another insulting twist is provided by Wink Slave.
A devastating demonic blow that terminates your flurry is delivered when you time a ZL button push with a visible weapon glimmer during the execution of a combination.
Masquerade Rage provides a longer-lasting special assault. In the instance of Madama Butterfly, Bayonetta may summon her enormous arms to unleash deadly, all-encompassing melee assaults.
The transformation system from earlier games, Beast Within, has evolved into Demon Masquerade.
Bayonetta now adopts the shape of the equipped demon, offering a range of advantageous powers for battle and exploration, as opposed to changing into a panther to run faster or a crow to fly higher.
Despite being a smaller version of Madama Butterfly, Bayonetta is still able to move as swiftly as the panther did by hovering with her wings as opposed to sprinting.
Bayonetta is transformed by Gomorrah’s power into a beastly version of herself with enormous claws and lengthy jump capabilities.
Bayonetta can swing on a web line to climb walls and traverse gaps thanks to Phantasmaraneae.
The decision to raise Beast Within to the new Demon Masquerade system was made after considerable discussion about how to take Beast Within over to this game.
“We believed doing the same thing would not demonstrate any growth or evolution on Bayonetta’s part,” adds Miyata.
The addition of Demon Slave increases Bayonetta’s reliance on her supernatural servants.
Players may call and directly control an Infernal Demon during combat by holding down the ZL button.
Bayonetta possesses her “Climax Summon” magic, but Miyata says that in the earlier games, such spells were dramatic finishers.
For this game, we believed that making those aesthetically amazing finishing manoeuvres a part of the action would add another level of fun and impact and went to work with that notion.
They were visually impressive and delivered the rewarding sensation of having finished off an adversary.
Demons can destroy enemies with just a few blows and pack a powerful punch.
Witch Time may be used to offer your animals an even bigger advantage, which is much better.
Demons can also shock adversaries, creating opportunities for a Torture Attack to finish them out.
Each creature also possesses a unique skill. The kisses Madama Butterfly blows entice foes to battle beside you.
Targets are bit by Gomorrah, who then launches them into the air so you may strike them from above.
You must defeat your enemies quickly before your magic metre runs out since Demon Slave depletes it.
When Bayonetta is utilising Demon Slave, she cannot move or strike, but she may dodge.
Therefore you must be aware of your surroundings to prevent wasting bullets.
If you can stay inside its radius, magical summoning circles exist in some places that, when triggered, allow you to perform magic indefinitely.
It’s harder said than done to take use of this spell because it also cancels out your dodge.
Another danger is represented by Demon Rampage. Your demonic companion becomes more enraged when it is wounded.
When this metre is full, Bayonetta loses control of the summoning, allowing the demon to assault anything and everyone in a frenzied rush.
Demons can also be killed in battle, making them temporarily useless for usage.
With these considerations in mind, I discovered that carefully inserting Demon Slave into Bayonetta’s default combinations was the optimal strategy.
Even though these monsters are enormous and take up a lot of screen space.
It feels fantastic to execute lengthy offensive strings and sprinkle in some Gomorrah chomps.
The mechanism does require some getting accustomed to.
As I had to tilt the camera frequently to keep Bayonetta in view to prevent being hit off-screen while controlling the demon.
I gather the Embryos, which are the cash they drop, after killing the last Homunculus.
As the primary method of payment in the game, green fragments take the role of Halos.
Although halos are still present, they can only be acquired through unique techniques.
Bayonetta 3 establishes that angels seem few and far between these days, which makes me question how the multiversal crisis has affected the heavenly realm of Paradiso.
Platinum remained mum on whether players will still fight angels and demons in the game.
The Gates of Hell are where Embryos and Halos are expended.
The benefits associated with Halos are hidden by Platinum, but Embryos unlock consumables, accessories, and upgrade goods.
Traditional skill trees are included in Bayonetta 3, which is a welcome change for the franchise.
The need to tote Halos around while searching for a gateway to Rodin’s bar has long since passed; now, skill trees are available from the menu, allowing you to enhance Bayonetta whenever you choose.
New moves may be unlocked by spending Orbs, another brand-new collectable acquired through the post-combat encounter report card.
Demons also have their own ability trees, which increase their potential for use in Demon Masquerade/Slave and produce a wide range of possible battle combinations.
According to Miyata, “this game hosts a far bigger amount of talents than the prior games.”
“Each Infernal Demon has its own unique talents in addition to skills tied to Bayonetta’s weapons.
And simply putting those up gives you more than 10 times the number of skills compared to the previous games.”
The skill tree gives you so many possibilities that you may equip as many moves as you choose.
Additionally, you can remove abilities. This effectively gives you the freedom to customise Bayonetta’s moveset however complex or straightforward you like.
Platinum hopes to make it easier for players to learn Bayonetta’s complexities.
Torture Attacks, for instance, will be unlocked as you go through the game.
Veterans need not fear; sooner than you may imagine, you will be throwing adversaries into iron maidens.
But Platinum wants to make sure that Bayonetta’s many skills don’t immediately overwhelm newbies or rusty gamers.
The new level design in Bayonetta 3 gives you another opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of demon summoning.
Even more secrets are hidden in the larger levels, many of which can only be uncovered with the aid of your demons.
Miyata explains that there are areas strewn across the stages where Infernal Demons can be employed to destroy objects and resolve riddles.
In order to offer a certain level of enjoyment to exploration,
“We’ve also developed regions that can be conquered using the special techniques of navigation afforded by Demon Masquerade powers.”
Miyata talked about Familiars but wants to keep the new exploring elements a mystery.
Fans may recall sneaking up on crows to obtain valuable Umbran Tears in previous games.
This challenge is back, but now frogs and cats also carry them.
Unless properly addressed, familiars will flee or hide in their own special ways.
And obtaining every Umbran Tear in a stage will reveal a hidden level.
This unlocked stage, according to Miyata, is a challenge apart from the story even if it has several well-known characters.
A strange magical item is bestowed after clearing the region.
If you get distracted while looking for treasure, using the left analogue stick to switch a waypoint will reorient you on the important path.
The boundaries of each level are also encircled by a damaging fog known as Eraser.
Narratively, this flimsy barrier destroys reality, demonstrating the fragility of the universe.
To touch the Eraser harms Bayonetta;
technically, it’s a clever take on invisible barriers intended to keep players out of unreachable areas.
I leave Ginnungagap and enter a whole different realm. I’m put into a train car and brought to Shinagawa Station in Tokyo.
Homunculi have taken over this train, and I’ve learned that Demon Slave won’t work in confined areas.
With ease, Bayonetta leaps away, calling Gomorrah to grab her.
I have complete control over Gomorrah as we land on a rooftop and engage in combat with an equally enormous Homunculus.
The conflict develops like a traditional Godzilla showdown. I assault my opponent with deliberate button presses.
I can toss my scaly hands, but I can also shoot fireballs.
Although it’s always interesting to see huge creatures smash each other up, the action feels a little too sluggish.
Bayonetta is riding Gomorrah during this chaotic sliding section.
Evading flying objects and chomping down on anyone who would be so dumb as to try to stop us.
In a humorous scenario, we enter a river and exit with boats fastened to Gomorrah’s feet, which are serving as large skates.
This segment of the demo closes when Bayonetta safely lands in another part of Tokyo, ending my destructive excursion around the city.
the brash newcomer
The demo fast forwards through a number of missions to take place within the crater of a mountain volcano in hilly area of China.
Players here are given their first opportunity to command Viola. Her job was to find Luka, a womanising journalist who was Bayonetta’s ally.
For some reason, Viola is awkwardly chasing after Luka as he carelessly stumbles through the magma-filled chasms.
Viola’s demeanour amply demonstrates the fact that she is not a fully fledged Umbra Witch.
The Simpsons’ famed Poochie because of her intimidating ‘tude, but these traits also help to humanise her.
Viola doesn’t seem to be as cool as she might like to be all the time.
The region rapidly disintegrates until at one point a heap of cannon rounds comes loose. Luka climbs atop one of them and starts to roll.
Viola follows inexplicably because she wants to keep up and doesn’t have any other choice.
Which creates a funny chase scene as she attempts to stay balanced while evading flying debris.
In conclusion, Viola is far from having the certain elegance that characterises Bayonetta, and that is on purpose.
There is no one to compare them to, and you run the risk of the experience being boring.
We believe we were able to underline exactly how fantastic Bayonetta is that much more by including the very immature and flawed.
Viola as another character in the plot, bringing complexity to the narrative.
That does not imply that Viola’s sole purpose is to highlight Bayonetta’s brilliance.
She is a key character in the story and acts as the impetus for the game’s events. Platinum wants gamers to research that specific meaning by themselves.
Viola plays in a very unusual way, which is a reflection of her inexperience.
Viola exclusively utilises her katana and throwing darts, unlike Bayonetta who is skilled with a range of weapons. She also calls for support from Cheshire.
She makes up for her lack of technique with brute strength, though.
Her performance as Viola feels much more intentional. Although she is still swift, her sword blows seem more calculated and, most importantly, powerful.
This strategy suggests to me that Viola might not have the stamina to endure a protracted combat.
Therefore she concentrates on throwing haymakers to terminate fights swiftly.
As an illustration, holding the attack buttons charges her swings, enveloping her in a flaming aura that launches a powerful strike on the unfortunate target.
Viola doesn’t have her own arsenal because they are just for actual Umbra Witches.
Instead, she defends herself against far-off enemies by using an endless supply of shooting darts.
Since they cannot be fired off as quickly as bullets, you must be more strategic about when to toss them.
Viola calls her demon ally Cheshire to battle with her, just like Bayonetta did.
She does this by channelling the summoning through the doll that is fastened to her sword rather than her hair.
Due to her inexperience, Viola is less adept at wielding magic;
she can summon demons but cannot command them. Cheshire acts independently as a result, swiping his big paws and attacking any hazard in his path.
Watching this ridiculous-looking monster attack foes is entertaining.
Additionally, players still have complete control of Viola when Cheshire is not required to be controlled.
Even though she must use her bare hands.
The largest divergence between Viola and Bayonetta is presented in Witch Time, which will confound seasoned gamers.
In keeping with Viola’s focus on physical prowess, the impact is not produced through dodging.
Instead, you must use your blade to deflect a strike immediately before it hits. That blocking is assigned to the R button will confuse fans, as it did me.
Viola is still capable of dodging; it simply no longer has a specific impact.
The plus side is that Viola’s timing window for Witch Time is more lenient. She can just block assaults normally if that doesn’t work.
These characteristics, along with Viola’s inability to weave vicious assaults into her hair.
Originally made her appear underwhelming in compared to the more glitzy Bayonetta.
But as we played more together, I had a better sense of her uniqueness and started to value it.
The fact that I merely played the viola’s most basic version was the most exhilarating.
She has a comprehensive skill tree, much like Bayonetta.
and I can’t wait to see how her toolbox changes as the journey progresses.
Despite the little amount of time I spent with Bayonetta 3.
I was surprised by the variety of fun and clever additions Platinum included.
Demon Slave feels like a fun addition to an already successful formula.
But I do have some minor worries about commanding it during epic monster smackdowns.
The skill tree adds complexity, versatility, and convenience, while Viola injects a fresh type of amusement into the mix. Exploration also seems to be getting more engaged in a positive manner.
According to Nakao, “We pulled out all the stops and stuffed everything we ever dreamt of into Bayonetta 3.” “…I hope the game will exceed the expectations of our supporters, in a good way, of course!”
The fact that the game runs well on the Switch is one of my greatest takeaways. That shouldn’t come as a complete surprise because Bayonetta 1 and 2’s Switch adaptations.
I’m less sceptical now than I was before to the demo, but we’ll see whether that holds true.
The most consoling aspect of this new entry is that it still has a Bayonetta-like vibe despite these significant alterations. The sarcastic humour and innuendo, the ridiculously wild spectacle, and Bayonetta’s seductive charisma are all still present.
The more the merrier, especially with the interesting Viola accompanying them. When Bayonetta 3 releases at the end of this month, hopefully it will be well worth the wait.