It has been 13 years since Bayonetta conquered our hearts, when in 2009 she made an appearance with her contouring when walking and all the grace that her personality gives off. Eight years have passed since the heroine changed sides and landed on Nintendo consoles, with the second installment coming out exclusively for Wii U (later on Switch).
Now in the twilight of 2022, Nintendo and Platinum Games they bring us Bayonetta 3, the long-awaited sequel Hack and Slash of witches and bullet time. Just like its previous installments, it follows the same path in terms of gameplay and history, while introducing new mechanics to give variety to the title. Don’t panic, but B3 is still a display of gunplay, dance, and suggestive poses that we’ve come to love since the original Devil May Cry.
A witchy multiverse
We reincarnate our sensual witch, who has to deal with the destruction of several universes by a strange entity with a sinister appearance. This is how Bayonetta 3 flirts with the multiverse (very fashionable these days), in which we will find alternative versions of both her and other secondary characters.
Bayonetta as a character, is not without that arrogant and self-assured attitude. Even with her controversial voice change, she is still a strong yet graceful character who makes use of all her tricks to take down enemies or achieve her goals. As for the change of voice, there is nothing to fear, but we will touch on this topic later.
Some of the characters we grew fond of in the first two installments are back, and new ones like Viola, the rookie witch who uses a katana as a weapon. We’ll be seeing a good amount of dialogue and action sequences in the style that we love about the series.
more open places
We now have more open levels based on versions of the game from places like Tokyo, New York, and other well-known locations. They are small sections of semi-open world that we can explore at will to find the clashes, known as verses.
Each level features hidden secrets, challenges, secret areas, and other surprises to discover. As a novelty, we will have some sections where time has suffered a distortion and we must go back or forward time to find a way. Here we play a teenage Bayonetta, who can barely move, with a limited amount of time.
On a playable level, the game features the same control scheme as previous titles. We have a button for kicks, another for punches, another for shooting, another for dodging, and as a novelty one for summoning demons (we will talk about this later). Now we face a new type of enemy, the Homunculi, beings made of water that are neither angels nor demons, but created by humans.
The use of witch time returns, a kind of Bullet Time in which time slows down if we dodge at the right time and we can take advantage of it to finish off enemies. In this installment it has a new nuance, which is that the longer we wait for a blow to approach, the longer this condition lasts.
Always with friends is better
Now Bayonetta is not alone in this undertaking, she has the help of both Jeanne and Viola, and each witch has her own gameplay. Jeanne has 2D stealth game sequences, in which, like a platform game, we must overcome some areas. They may be quite simple but they cut the pace of the adventure, although they are still fun
Viola for her part, makes use of her katana and has her own set of moves. At the time of meeting this character, she has just entered the ranks of the organization, so she is a rookie. Viola uses the same mechanics as when Bayonetta uses a katana, however she has some notable differences.
Viola has her own demon called Cheshire attached to the katana, which activates once the girl throws it at enemies. Cheschire acts autonomously, but Viola is not helpless, as she makes use of her punches and kicks for the duration of the demon bar. Also, she can block attacks instead of dodging and doing so at the right time triggers warlock timing.
Bayonetta not only has her two companions to help her in combat, she also has her demons. Due to a new mechanic called Slave Demon, now they no longer only come out at specific times, but we can summon them whenever we want as long as we have a full bar. It is something like the Devil Trigger from Devil May Cry, but it does not restore our health.
His best card, combat
Bayonetta 3 continues to maintain that dizzying gameplay that conquered us, for a reason Shinji Mikami is involved in development. On the one hand, the fights escalate in spectacularity, with unthinkable sequences such as falling buildings, fights on a monorail in full motion, and large, very large enemies.
Speaking of enemies, we have a wide variety of them, each with their own characteristics and designs. We will have the generic pawns and their variants, the intermediate enemies, the mini-bosses and the level bosses. The latter with phases in combat according to their health level.
Also, we have a good amount of weapons again. There are many and never seen before, they even change the way we play and you can have two different weapons at the same time. We have some yoyo-type discs, a rifle that serves as well as a mallet, or the Tartarus demonic weapon.
Now, the combinations of these for complete sets are left behind. That is, the standard Bayonetta pistols can no longer be combined with other weapons that allow it in the hands and shoes. Now the weapons are individual, something that seems to me a step backwards, since the possibilities were many with the other system.
B3 introduces a skill tree system in which we can upgrade and unlock attacks and moves. We not only unlock attacks for our weapons, but also for our demons through the points we get in each battle. This makes Rodin’s store remain in the background where we can only buy collectibles and objects.
Dance to the sound of bullets
Bayonetta 3 is one of those few games that make the most of the Nintendo Switch. It is a game that makes use of everything that the Nintendo hybrid gives us, to offer us spectacular sequences of action in abundance without disheveled. 60fps is reached, and despite all the visual paraphernalia the game does not slow down. However, something very notable are some textures that are one level below what is required but in areas and secondary NPCs that we should not pay much attention to.
Musically, the game follows in the footsteps of the canchero style and at the same time sensual of the previous installments. We can find pieces of jazz, rock, punk and other genres. I have to highlight something that I mentioned above, and it is the fact of the change of voice of the protagonist. The well-known voice actress, Jennifer Hale, knew how to maintain that suggestive touch of Bayonetta’s voice. She is noted to imitate the voice of Helena Taylor, but it is something that she appreciates as she respects the attitude that we have seen since the first game.
Bayonetta 3 is a worthy successor to its first two games, as it offers us exactly what lovers of this sensual series are looking for. With a story that takes us into a multiverse with different realities. A combat full of action, dance and bullets, with very varied enemies. A game that squeezes the capabilities of Nintendo Switch and that soundtrack with very lively music. It is a highly recommended game for action lovers.
Note: This review was done on the Nintendo Switch and the code was provided thanks to Nintendo