By the top of Bayonetta 3’s third chapter, it is working on a scale that dwarfs most video video games. Buildings twist and crumble like flimsy plastic, large craters pock-mark the earth, and mountain-sized creatures stage complete cities; the bombastic end result of a gap three hours that really feel like they’re operating a mile a minute; a endless barrage of stimuli.
It is loud, obnoxious, and admittedly a bit exhausting. And I used to be hootin’ and hollerin’ all the time.
The Bayonetta sequence has at all times been at its finest once you’re staring slack-jawed at your TV, repeatedly muttering, “What the hell is occurring?” The sequence is extreme by nature when it comes to violence, motion, and sexuality. Speedy and repeated combos lead proper into flashy, bloody, and indulgent animations, all bookended by goofy cutscenes the place the titular witch flaunts her intercourse attraction, utilizing it to distract, taunt, and encourage these round her.
Bayonetta 3 is, in fact, no completely different. From its opening seconds, you are thrown into large-scale fights necessitating you juggle quite a few enemies directly whereas switching weapons, summoning large monsters, and dodging assaults. And to that finish, once you’re enjoying as Bayonetta, it is the very best the sequence has ever felt. For greater than 12 hours, I by no means uninterested in her fight, fortunately welcoming each new wave of enemies or troublesome boss.
That is largely as a result of how Bayonetta 3 modifications the sequence’ components. The sport not relegates Infernal Demons (mainly massive monsters Bayonetta summons to struggle alongside her) to cutscenes on the finish of a boss struggle; they’re a complete mechanic. As long as you’ve got crammed your magic gauge, you possibly can summon one in every of these beasts, referred to as Demon Slave right here, virtually everytime you need and management them whilst you struggle. Considerably in opposition to their supposed use, I primarily used mine as ending strikes. Capping off a combo with a large assault from one in every of my 4 geared up monsters at all times felt highly effective and weighty and went a great distance in leveling the chances in opposition to the sport’s many, many bosses. For everything of Bayonetta 3, it is continually throwing Infernal Demons your manner, and I liked testing out every new addition. That mentioned, exterior of gameplay-specific sections, I primarily went again to the primary two the sport provides you, Gomorrah and Madama Butterfly, however that is extra a problem of my complacency than an absence of viable selection.
Maybe the defining attribute of Bayonetta 3 is an absurd quantity of choices and selection. Equal to the huge quantity of Demon Slaves is Bayonetta’s weapons, every with its personal gimmick, energy, and drawback. I primarily caught to the lightning-fast, far-reaching Ignis Araneae Yo-Yo as my main weapon, with the huge Lifeless Finish Specific hammer-saw hybrid for slower however heavier assaults. Shortly hanging with the previous, dodging to set off Bayonetta’s signature Witch Time (which slows every little thing however you), then slamming enemies with my huge hammer earlier than summoning an Infernal Demon as a finisher was continually entertaining. If something, I want there have been extra encounters. I usually dropped most traditional enemies after solely a few large combo strings, leaving me to hurry to seek out the following fool to beat up.
Bayonetta 3’s 14 chapters continually fluctuate between settings, sending you fairly actually all over the world after which some. From Japan to New York to Egypt, to past the reaches of house and time, each stage has a novel visible palette and core conceit. I liked determining the place on this planet I used to be going subsequent, however greater than that, I liked the ending of every chapter, which featured a bombastic, larger-than-life setpiece that most of the time utterly flattened the extent you simply explored. These embrace huge kaiju battles (a private favourite), a struggle excessive above the Earth’s stratosphere the place a God-sized being blows bubbles at their opponent, and a literal battle of operatic proportions, amongst others. Some sequences are higher than others, however they’re all a spectacle, so for the few that do not really feel fairly pretty much as good, at the least they’re enjoyable to take a look at.
This all strikes alongside at an unimaginable velocity. Bayonetta’s tempo is sort of continuous, continually throwing new enemies, bosses, and setpieces at you and asking you to cope with them. It is overwhelming, and I liked it. Bayonetta 3 by no means desires you to be bored and does every little thing in its energy to maintain your eyes glued to your TV or Swap display screen, regardless of how exhausting that could be.
For what it is price, Bayonetta 3’s story is probably the most understandable within the sequence. Which is to say it is not largely gibberish. Bayonetta is charming all through, as is many of the forged of returning characters, reminiscent of Jeanne, Luka, and Rodin, however the bigger narrative is a rote multiverse story. Some large dangerous man is attempting to grab management of the assorted dimensions to manage house and time. This introduces a number of completely different Bayonettas (a enjoyable narrative solution to provide you with these aforementioned completely different weapons), and there is a late-game twist that neatly alters the Bayonetta lore. For probably the most half, although, the narrative is basically forgettable past floor leisure worth.
The story does, nonetheless, introduce the weakest elements of Bayonetta 3: all the degrees during which you do not play as Bayonetta. Early on, the brand new character Viola is launched, a younger punk from a distinct dimension who wants Jeanne and Bayonetta to assist her save the multiverse. This sends Jeanne on a mission to discover a scientist to assist the trio. Jeanne’s ranges play out as a stealth-focused facet scroller, although it is by no means all that participating past operating from level A to B and infrequently preventing a boring boss.
The handful of Viola’s ranges are mechanically attention-grabbing however do not nail the touchdown. Viola is a hack ‘n’ slash-focused character, and her Witch Time is tied to a parry moderately than dodge. That parry window is extremely tight and my opening hours with the brand new witch had been irritating till I lastly obtained the hold of it, at which level it turned solely barely extra enjoyable. She does have her personal Demon Slave, an enormous cat named Cheshire (a nod to earlier video games), that got here in helpful after I simply needed to brute power my manner via ranges.
I like the thought of introducing new playable characters to the Bayonetta sequence, however Viola did nothing for me. Cosmetically, she’s an workplace employee’s approximation of a punk rocker, extra Spencer’s Items than 924 Gilman Avenue. However even then, she’s bland and uninteresting. The sport forces you to spend quite a few hours enjoying as her, and I battle to consider a single defining attribute aside from her corny mall punk aesthetic. Viola being bland and forgettable is unlucky as a result of regardless of the sequence’ usually lackluster storytelling, it has at all times featured extremely enjoyable characters. Contemplating the implication that Viola could play a a lot bigger half in potential upcoming video games, I am dissatisfied she would not match the appeal of Bayonetta.
However that is a small grievance on the backside of a mountain of compliments. Bayonetta 3, for the overwhelming majority of its runtime, is an absolute blast. It is bombastic, over-the-top, and indulgent for the sake of extravagance, leaving ruins, actually, in its wake. I am already going again via every stage attempting for higher scores, and I’ve no fast plans of stopping. I could also be hesitant in regards to the sequence’ future, however at current, that is the very best Bayonetta has ever been.