REVIEW – Mostly, superlatives can only be said about Bayonetta 3, which most likely beat the quality of the previous two episodes. It’s been nearly five years since it was announced, but it was worth the wait. After PlatinumGames had flopped big time with Babylon’s Fall, this game was the one that made us look at the Japanese studio with renewed confidence.
Game number three (a concept that Valve doesn’t have…) covers three universes, so it’s already expanded in that sense from the previous two.
Paradiso, the angel realm
…instead, we get to see the third world, the world of humans mired in chaos. Bayonetta 3 is set mainly in it, where our eponymous heroine is defeated by the Singularity and its weapons, the Homunculi. She’s being torn apart by a mysterious creature, but that doesn’t mean we won’t control Cereza because within the chaos lies a multiverse. More worlds and more Bayonettas with different abilities, but there will also be recurring characters (e.g. Jeanne and her standalone side chapters where she searches for Doctor Sigurd – only he knows how to use the Chaos Gears we’re looking for) and Viola and her demon sidekick Cheshire will also turn up. Through Viola, our witch finds out that there is big trouble. Between the worlds is Thule Island, which serves as the hub; to save the Alphaverse, five Chaos Gears will be needed, and as they are gathered, more Kaiju-looking monsters (Demon Slaves) will be brought under control. Imagine Bayonetta on a demon Godzilla. No need: that’s about how the game plays out, which is well-written (there’s even a specific reference to a boss fight in the first Devil May Cry!), as it has both dark and humorous moments. Bayonetta 3 is enjoyable and surprising because it has expanded on the charm and style of the previous episodes (mainly because of Viola, but the gameplay also includes shoot’em up and rail shooter sections!).
There’s also a shop courtesy of Rodin, and replayability is present as you’d expect (you can replay any chapter for better results), so you can complete Bewitchments and missions. And for combat, in addition to kicks, there are the new purple-based Color My World pistols (instead of the Love is Blue and Scarborough Fair seen in the previous two episodes). Suppose we weren’t relying on the demon servants (there’s even a train; beware, if they get angry, they’ll harm us, and using them requires magic – Viola’s sidekick has this limitation, too). There are collectables, so perfectionists can snap their fingers in satisfaction (Bayonetta and Viola can be customised a bit), and it adds to the experience and atmosphere to have Jeanna’s ‘detours’. It won’t be surprised if we stop to snap a few photos, as PlatinumGames’ game has a photo mode, too. We listed the positives because it shows how enjoyable Bayonetta 3 is. It rarely goes stale, and it’s perfect for that aspect.
Inferno, the world of demons
Before its release, Bayonetta’s previous voice, Hellena Taylor, tried to cause a scandal but ended up impaling her career. None of it has any bearing on the review. The new voice, Jennifer Hale, did a great job portraying the character, and since we are talking about a multiverse, it seems logical to change the voice actor. It can be a bit annoying, however, how several sentences are repeated, and the Moonlight Serenade, one of the licensed background songs, also appears frequently. It can be distracting, which is why it is recommended to play in shorter bursts. Another reason is the almost constant, fast-paced action (which also doesn’t affect the rating).
The Nintendo Switch can’t run Bayonetta 3 perfectly, consistently at 60 FPS. Cutscenes, of course, run at a steady 30 FPS. Another negative point to point out is that it can strain your eyes as everything around you is constantly happening, but this can be avoided if you don’t plan to play the game in one sitting, which, like its creators, is not perfect. If there were a perfect game, the game industry would cease to exist… Despite a 10/10 rating, you can’t say something is perfect. It means it’s a groundbreaking title.
World of Chaos, the world of humans
Bayonetta 3 easily deserves a nine out of ten. If the performance on the Nintendo Switch were a little more robust (because even an average person can notice that the game sometimes slows down!), it would quickly deserve a 9.5 out of ten. Still, it’s an excellent varied, stylish, fantastic, atmospheric, and engaging game. It’s safe to say that the Nintendo Switch has a killer new app, and Hideki Kamiya’s franchise has continued to be worthwhile. We might get a fourth instalment, perhaps as a spinoff… because, in the end, we get a blurb that says “to be continued in a new generation”. It could mean Viola is becoming the protagonist, or that the next game is being made for the successor to the Nintendo Switch… or both at the same time. Let’s not deny whatever happens: Bayonetta 3 is as stylish and successful as Devil May Cry 5. It’s just been made excellent from a different direction. A recommended buy. And for the price… “ask your mom.”
+ Bigger, more beautiful, more diverse
+ An experience even to watch
+ Expanded on the game world, and not in a forced way!
– A little choppy here and there…
– One or two musical motifs and comments are excessively common
– There is no third negative, the evaluation is not accidental…
Style: action-adventure, hack’n’slash
Release: October 28, 2022.