The witch is back and this time Bayonetta is running around the multiverse trying to stop a crazed power-hungry mutant from culling all of her other selves that protect their worlds. While Bayonetta has gone up against God itself in previous games, the looming threat in Bayonetta 3 feels more real than ever before. The game is grander in scope as these worlds finally collide. Platinum Games gives us its own take on the multiverse and it is an incredible trip through these crazy worlds. There are new attacks to master, characters to meet, weapons to wield, demons to control and more.
Watch this Bayonetta 3 review below
Bayonetta 3 starts out as one would expect. Each past game delivered an extraordinary intro and the third game is no different. Bayonetta and her posse are trying to live a normal life until one day a new type of monster appears out of nowhere. This new breed is called Homunculi and is actually a manmade bioweapon. These creatures form shapes by combining humans into their bodies and come in many different forms. For the most part, just like the Demons in Bayonetta 2 and the Angels in the first game, these Homunculi act as the main enemies in the third game.
It doesn’t take long for Bayonetta to get whipped up into a whole new adventure in order to stop this strange force from invading other universes and ultimately, demolishing them into dust. The Homunculi mean business and the sheer scale of the new ongoing war definitely comes to life in each and every chapter. To avoid spoiling any story content, I am not going to discuss any characters in the game besides Bayonetta, Viola and Jeanne. I also won’t touch on who Viola is. I’ll just say she has found her way into Bayonetta’s world in order to ask for help.
If you have played any previous Bayonetta game you would know that it is all about kicking ass, watching demons devour other demons and of course, its over-the-top action. Somehow, Bayonetta 3 has taken the series’ most iconic mechanics and ramped them up even more. The already-great combat system is now deeper than ever with more freedom to create your own playstyle. Each chapter in the game offers exciting set pieces that threw me into the middle of the action like never before. Not to mention the story takes a wild turn now thanks to the addition of Viola. This means Bayonetta 3 has three main playable characters that are scattered across the game’s plot.
Bayonetta 3 has an incredible combat system that truly evolved in so many ways from the previous games
Of course, Bayonetta offers the deepest mechanics available to the player. A new combat feature called Demon Masquerade sees her being imbued with demons that live inside each and every weapon she can wield. These demons can then be brought into combat by performing certain skills and combos. At the same time, these demons transform Bayonetta into their deadly form giving her buffs in power and cool new movement abilities.
Demon Masquerade stems even further into the general gameplay as these demons can be used to get around, solve puzzles and reach places Bayonetta can’t get to. For example, G-Pillar is a giant mallet weapon with Gamorrah’s face on it. The weapon, while being slow, can deal heavy damage and combos result in Bayonetta transforming into a smaller Gomorrah for the end of an attack. These last hits often deal the biggest damage and have the most range too.
It gets better. If Bayonetta has the G-Pillar equipped, this transformation happens during other movements too. Sprinting sees her transform into this demon allowing her to leap around and even hold down the jump button to charge up a massive leap that sends her flying. This makes reaching further objects much easier. Demon Masquerade also helps a lot during puzzles as often I had to switch to the right demon in order to jump in a specific way or climb up a wall.
Another example is the Ignis Araneae Yo-Yo which equips Bayonetta with a flaming yo-yo with spikes. However, this also transforms her into Phantasmaraneae, a fire spider that can climb up walls and swing across large gaps with a web swing. These demons often felt mandatory in certain chapters when I was tasked to do something specific that simply worked better with a certain weapon equipped. I used the Ignis Araneae Yo-Yo a lot because the spider form ran faster than most of the other demons and the web swing really helped me leap across the lava, quicksand and other deadly gaps.
Demon Slave is another cool new combat feature in Bayonetta 3. It lets you summon specific demons into the battle and control them for a certain duration. Both Bayonetta and Viola have their own set of Demon Slave demons and each chapter also offers limited-timed use with different ones too. Of course, everything in Bayonetta 3 gets better if you unlock new skills for it and the Demon Slave ability gains new combos, longer summon duration and my favourite, a perfectly-timed block, dodge or the end of a combo can also initiate the summon which deals one heavy blow to enemies.
With all that combined, Bayonetta 3 has an incredible combat system that truly evolved in so many ways from the previous games. Every new weapon meant mastering a new Demon Masquerade. Every new fight meant pulling off cool combos and watching as the Homunculi literally burst apart in front of me. The iconic Witch Time dodge is still there, but now you can benefit from Demon Slave and Demon Masquerade features with it too. It all feels so natural and sort of like it should have been there in the first place.
Viola plays a little different compared to Bayonetta. She is limited to her equipment and Demon Slave ability. She also doesn’t perform Witch Time but instead, can slow down time by perfectly blocking an attack. It takes some getting used to because the block button is different from the dodge button and I could not help but keep pressing dodge all the time. Still, her samurai sword and her Demon Slave named Chesire offer a refreshing take on the combat and exploration in Bayonetta 3. If anything, the variety was nice to have.
Both Bayonetta and Viola explore the game in the same meaning there’s a lot to see, collectables to find and even challenges to complete. Each chapter has been carefully designed to accommodate their play style. Jeanne, on the other hand, participates in a new spy mini-game chapter. These side-scrolling missions see her run across a stage, hide in doors, silently take out enemies and get to the end with a limited list of abilities. They are also incredibly fun to play and are completely different from everything else in the game. Given that these Homunculi are manmade, it also made sense that Jeanne was exploring bioweapons facilities guarded by these creatures in search of something.
Bayonetta 3 definitely upped the antics across the board. The gameplay feels amazing, the story is simply superb and the sheer scale of the experience is bigger and better than ever. However, there is one thing that I have to sadly report on – the game is an eyesore at times. The Switch simply can’t keep up with the visuals and the 60FPS cap on the game. Large-scale battles look rough. Distant objects are extremely low-poly and even assets scattered around the game have been designed with the lowest effort to keep resources available to run the game. Even the smoke and mirrors at work here struggle to keep the rough visuals at bay.
Outside of that, the game offers a good time. The chapters are packed with action, side paths to tread, option challenges to complete and more. There are some showstopper battles to enjoy here too that go way beyond anything the previous games have done before. But I won’t spoil anything.
Apart from that, Bayonetta 3 is just a damn good game. It is fun from the moment it starts right up to the end and everything else in-between. There are also loads to unlock, side paths to discover, weapons to obtain and more. There’s an extremely enjoyable action game here that you shouldn’t miss.
This Bayonetta 3 review is based on a code sent to us by Nintendo of Europe. You can grab it here starting at R1095.
Bayonetta 3 Review
Story - 9/10
Gameplay - 10/10
Presentation - 7.5/10
Value - 9.5/10
Bayonetta 3 has managed to take the series’ greatest aspects and evolve them in new and exciting ways. It is undoubtedly the best entry to date and a damn good time.
New character and unique gameplay takes