Platform: Nintendo Switch-Exclusive
Genre: Fighting game, Hack and slash, Action-adventure game
Release Date: Right Now! (From October 28 on Switch)
What is Bayonetta 3?
The third instalment in the Bayonetta series, Bayonetta 3 is an action-adventure game for the Nintendo Switch.
It was developed by PlatinumGames and published by Nintendo. It was helmed by Yusuke Miyata, produced by Yuji Nakao, and oversaw by Bayonetta’s original designer, Hideki Kamiya.
It was first revealed in December of 2017 and made available to the public on October 28, 2022.
Bayonetta 3 Review
Bayonetta has been many things since its inception as a part of Osaka studio Platinum’s first wave of games, including salacious, fashionable, (and most notably brilliantly stupidly silly), but reserved is not one of them.
You’ll be beating the fire and brimstone out of any biblical spirit that moves as soon as you slide back into Bayonetta, — the game’s witch protagonist’s —heels.
In 3, Bayonetta, well, actually, a number of Bayonettas, are engaged in combat with a deranged race of monsters with human origins who are out to eat the multiverse.
When you press a button in this action game, the screen erupts in a series of orgiastic action scenes with climaxes piled on top of each other. If it weren’t quite so thrilling, it would be so exhausting.
The same holds true for Bayonetta 3; in fact, it is the most bombastic, overblown, and extravagant entry yet in this series, and consequently, possibly the most outrageous thing PlatinumGames has ever created. However, despite its many charms, Bayonetta 3 is a complete mess, making it perhaps its most crude. A mess nonetheless, albeit a charming, frequently brilliant mess.
Perhaps that is to be expected in a sequel that tries its hardest to confuse the player by introducing idea after idea until the whole thing disintegrates. There is a plot here, but I won’t bother attempting to explain it.
If you have been following the Bayonettas, however, you’ll be rewarded with showdowns between old favourites and a slew of cameos that I won’t reveal here. What matters is that the multiverse is in danger, which means there are numerous worlds to save and a never-ending supply of new environments to rip apart in a series of breathtaking setpieces.
I’ll spare you the spoilers and stick to the broad strokes:
- Bayonetta engages in rooftop chases across Tokyo’s rapidly morphing skyscrapers,
- Shootouts atop skittering demon spiders,
- and kaiju battles that add a new level of scale and spectacle.
I could go on and on about how much action Bayonetta 3 packs into its twelve hours of gameplay, but the best way to put it is indescribable; these are set pieces that must be experienced firsthand and that must be seen to be believed.
Best Pros and Worst Cons of Bayonetta 3
Bayonetta 3 Pros
- Combat becomes more satisfying as you progress because of an intricate combo system.
- Bayonetta 3 has the feel of an engaging action movie thanks to its flashy setpieces.
- A lovable cast and witty writing make this film incredibly endearing.
- Managing Bayonetta is simple and enjoyable.
Bayonetta 3 Cons
- It can be tricky to summon demons.
- The engine already has an outdated appearance.
- Controlling the in-game camera is challenging.
- It’s challenging to follow the story.
How is Bayonetta 3’s Gameplay?
As the plot of Bayonetta 3 develops, players have the option to play as a variety of characters. You portray the characters of Bayonetta, Viola, and Jeanne, and in my opinion, it felt different to play each one, for better or worse.
For example, Bayonetta was fantastic. She is armed with her recognisable guns, called Colour My World, four of which are attached to her incredibly high heels and two of which she holds in her hands.
She is much more versatile than I anticipated, and she can kill enemies in a fashionable manner with kicks, punches, and gunfire.
There are a tonne more Demon Masquerade weapons you can use in the game, including Ignis Araneae Yo-Yo, which is made up of four yo-yos with razor-sharp blades that attach to Bayonetta’s hands and feet, and Dead End Express, a chainsaw-like weapon that can also be used as a vehicle because of its enormous size.
Due to its simplicity, I actually liked Colour My World the best, but I also appreciate how diverse this game is and how everyone can have a different gaming experience.
With the help of a particularly lovely set of delicate wings, she is also capable of flying. This was great because it increased the fun of travelling through the Verses and gave me more options for dealing with enemies.
Along with a few other characters, Bayonetta has access to Demon Slaves, which she can use to control her Infernal Demons while they are engaged in battle.
They range from the enormous yet stunning Madama Butterfly to the evil Wartrain Gouon and the surprisingly adorable yet enormous spider, Phantasmaraneae. Although Bayonetta is left vulnerable to attacks because you can only control the Demon at these times, these Demons can be used to finish combos or on their own.
Additionally, because Bayonetta is an Umbra Witch, she has the ability to use Witch Time to slow down time.
Every time I successfully avoid an attack, the world briefly turns black, everyone stops moving, and I am left alone to attack my enemies. This was the game’s best mechanic for me because it made Bayonetta seem more powerful while also motivating me to play better and time my dodges and attacks.
In the end, Bayonetta offers so many options for her weapons and Demon Slaves that I couldn’t help but enjoy playing as her. Because I was so anxious to see Bayonetta once more, it unfortunately made the Viola-heavy sections of the game feel much slower.
New to the Bayonetta Series? Is It Worth Buying Bayonetta 3?
If you are unfamiliar with the Bayonetta series, you must read enemy animations and/or listen for attack cues in order to engage in combat. Although it may sound a little generic, the uniqueness of these games lies in your response.
Even though this is the third game in the series, it is reasonable to assume that those who are familiar with the overall combat setup will enjoy this game.
There isn’t much advice on how to really succeed or even understand how the game works. It simply assumes you are aware. It’s in this regard that Bayonetta 3 stands out as the most obvious example of a game made by game designers specifically for game designers.
Reading an attack, block, and counter is standard procedure in most games of this genre. Instead of simply attacking, dodging is essential in Bayonetta so that you can enter the slow-motion Witch Time and get slicing enemies wide open.
You can choose from an enormous menu of combo carnage. Attacking while summoning demons and switching between different weapon sets instantly. From what at first glance seems to be a straightforward setup, you have a wide range of options available to you.
This is due to the fact that the Bayonetta video games adhere to the fundamental principle of game design: keep the gameplay layers simple at first, then add complexity as you go. The focus of Bayonetta 3 is on these layers and how quickly you can switch between them.
Are Bayonetta 3’s Graphics Good?
However, Bayonetta 3 might let you down if you were hoping for a game with incredible visuals. It’s undeniably a visually imaginative game, even being quite opulent in some places, but it doesn’t significantly improve upon the previous games or other recent releases.
But to be completely honest, the graphical aspect of the matter is irrelevant. Games like Bayonetta 3 are known for their incredible combat systems, and this game excels in that department right from the get-go.
The only thing I’m worried about is that so much of what Bayonetta 3 has to offer will be neglected or overlooked.
The game is fantastic, but its true functional delights are nuanced and complex. Simply put, these kinds of games are extremely uncommon and should be treasured when they appear.
Should You Buy Bayonetta 3?
In sum, Bayonetta 3 provides a frenetic, intense take on stylish combat with a complex and multilayered combat system that has held up remarkably well throughout the series’ previous games.
Those who are up to the challenge should definitely check out Bayonetta 3, as despite its rather messy but intriguing visuals, the real value of the game is in its gameplay.
I’d give it a solid 8 out of 10. It’s brilliant, but not quite perfect.