Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is far off from everything we have experienced in the series to date. Instead of sex, gore and violence, we have a storybook fairytale starring the younger Cereza and her, well…. Lost Demon, Cheshire. Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a Bayonetta game and the theme of Umbral Witches and demons plays a big role in the story and setting but don’t go into this game expecting to pound angels, demons and humanoids to death.
With that being said, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a beautiful game and right from the start, I was captured by its coming-of-age story, incredible voice work and charming art style. I was also excited to jump into this game in order to witness the origins of Cereza and the mysterious cat we met in Bayonetta 3. Sadly, the story did let me down and never truly finds its footing. So much so that you could miss out on this game and likely be okay when it comes to the overarching plot in the series.
While the story left a lot to be desired, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon’s gameplay was enjoyable most of the time. Players control Cereza and Cheshire at the same time and explore a range of magical locations throughout the game. Along the way, Cereza and Cheshire form a stronger bond and unlock new abilities which aid in the overall puzzle-solving, combat and exploration of the game.
It works and while the gameplay loop here doesn’t really get challenging, I spent many nights in the dark due to loadshedding completely glued to my Switch enjoying the general gameplay elements which were thrown at me.
Both Cereza and Cheshire are controlled with each analogue stick on the Switch. Cereza is moved about using the left stick and Cheshire the right stick. With that in mind, the abilities of each of the controllable characters are also mapped to the Z buttons on the device too. So you kind of know what abilities you can pull off while moving about the set character in the world.
Cereza starts off with a few magic powers such as freezing enemies in place and activating plants and trees but slowly grows into a more powerful witch ad the game progresses. While she can’t really fight on her own, this is where Cheshire comes in. The giant cat can walk about and slash things apart using its claws. When the two need to, abilities are then combined together to enhance the gameplay. For example, Cereza can freeze enemies in place while Cheshire wallops them.
These elements then feed into the game’s general exploration too. Cheshire can be carried around by Cereza as a small doll and tossed around the world in order to reach higher places. At times, the game tasked me to get through a certain section by moving these two characters around at the same time and utilizing their unique abilities to overcome the obstacles.
The entire process felt fluid and quite easy to master and the more the game expanded, the more complex these encounters became. You’ll spend a lot of time walking about in Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon. The game’s maps are vast and there are loads of collectables to find, bushes to search for craftable materials and even locations which are locked until you earn a new ability. The whole experience encourages exploration and revisiting previous hubs to complete everything.
When it comes to combat, these battles come in a range of forms. Cereza and Cheshire mostly have to fight off Faries but they all pose a different threat. Some shoot at them, some can block and dodge while others pose even more danger. The trick in combat is to understand Cereza and Cheshire and how their abilities work.
Cheshire is equipped with a range of elemental abilities which all have different attack styles. Some elements are melee-focused while some are ranged. Cereza can use her thorns to hold enemies in place while Cheshire protects her from damage, parries shots and uses all these abilities to fight back. While this starts out as basic at the beginning of the game, later combat encounters required quick thinking and faster reactions to the different enemies I encountered.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon also includes these locations called Tir an Nog which are essentially dungeons scattered throughout the game. Each dungeon is themed around a specific puzzle or combat encounter and offers rewards for completing them. They are a nice break from the exploration and reminded me of sort of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild shrines.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon looks superb on the Switch and I have to commend the game for its incredible art style. Story moments are played out like a book with flipping pages continuing to the next chapter. Locations are beautifully designed with lush trees and vines scattered across every inch of the screen. The watercolour paint art also helps give the world a fairytale look. I have no complaints here.
So while Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is far off from what we have experienced in the series to date. The game doesn’t disappoint. It is a generous helping of an adventure which tells a new tale from a whole new perspective. Sure, some of the parts drag out a little too long and some cutscenes felt like they overstayed their welcome but it was hard to not get lost in this game. Cereza and Cheshire make a formidable team and help deliver quite a remarkable spin-off.
This Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon review is based on a code sent to us by Nintendo. The game is launching on 17 March for Switch. You can pick it up starting at R1185 here.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
Cereza and Cheshire make a formidable team and help deliver quite a remarkable spin-off in Bayonetta Origins.
Absolutely stunning visuals
Puzzles and combat
Story isn’t great