Bayonetta 3 Review – Real Hot Girls Hit
There’s nothing more attractive than confidence, and Bayonetta 3 developer PlatinumGames is well aware of it. From the way Bayonetta sashays about the screen–left hand cocked on her hip while the other clutches her gun–to the sheer bombastic nature of the game itself, every part of Bayonetta 3 is unapologetically self-assured. Like the titular witch, Bayonetta 3 feels as if it doesn’t much care how it is perceived because it knows its own worth as a game that offers fast and fluid gameplay, jaw-dropping spectacles, comedy, and camp in a way very few others do. And it’s hard to argue with that when it’s true.
Like its predecessors, Bayonetta 3 is spectacular in the truest sense of the word. Though the game’s core gameplay is familiar, it ups the stakes, sending players on a multi-dimensional journey across time to save the world. If that’s not enough, this venture also comes with full-scale kaiju battles, exhilarating chase sequences, a new, sword-wielding character who is wildly fun to play as, and a series of 2D stealth-based chapters that follow Jeanne as she infiltrates enemy headquarters. All this, paired with the qualities that made Bayonetta 2 so beloved, make for a can’t-miss entry in the action games genre.
Bayonetta 3 begins with a bit more breathing room than its predecessors, but just barely. After introducing the concept of a multiverse filled with other Bayonettas, other Jeannes, and the gut-sinking feeling that everything we do has been done once before, it dives headfirst into its action-packed gameplay. As a supernatural storm overtakes New York City, Bayonetta is forced to take on the homunculi, a new enemy that is neither angel nor demon and is hellbent on eradicating not only our Bayonetta’s universe but every universe (and every version of Bayonetta) imaginable.
Naturally, it falls upon Bayonetta to put a stop to these plans. Carrying over from the previous games are the basic kick, punch, and shoot abilities, which can be linked together to form complex and visually-delightful combos, as well as both Torture attacks and Climaxes for over-the-top flourishes. Bayonetta also still relies upon perfectly-timed dodges to enter Witch Time, a state in which all enemies are slowed down to a near-halt as Bayonetta rips through their defenses with bullets and beatdowns. Though performing combos (and avoiding taking damage) is still vital to winning battles and earning high-ranking medals, Bayonetta 3 pivots away from the previous games’ dependence on weaving together masterful combos to fill your magic meter, instead allowing it to fill throughout combat in order to charge up Bayonetta’s show-stopping abilities. Two such abilities are Demon Masquerade and Demon Slave, the former of which allows Bayonetta to take on the form of one of her demons to utilize part of their abilities, while the latter summons an infernal demon you can control in battle through risque dance. This adds an interesting bit of strategy to the action game, as you must ensure your dance is not interrupted by an attack, consider which demon works best in each battle, and manage your magic meter to ensure you’re ready to summon a demon when the opportune time presents itself. At times, controlling these demons can be a bit chaotic, particularly the game’s new train demon, Wartrain Gouon, which requires you to place down tracks while in battle before it emerges and dishes out massive damage. However, once you slow things down and get deliberate about your movements, they quickly become a blast to use.
The same can also be said about combat as a whole. Though Bayonetta 3 accommodates button mashers, it is lightly punitive to such methods in a way that encourages growth. If you don’t make the time to learn how to properly time your attacks, dodges, and use of abilities, the game’s increasing difficulty will prove to be too much. Of course, you can grind levels and invest in accessories, healing items, and items that grant you upgrades to your health and magic bars to sustain your button-mashing ways, but Bayonetta 3 gives you all the tools you need to learn and succeed the way it’s intended, offering up visual cues that instruct you to interact with targets in unique ways and other helpful tips. However, this does not mean there’s no room to incorporate your own style.
In Bayonetta 3, you can equip two weapons, each with its own unique kit of skills and combos, allowing you to quickly cycle between them in battle. In fights with large, slow enemies, using a tanker weapon can help Bayonetta take them down quickly. Conversely, high-speed enemies require high-speed attacks, lest you want to spend the bulk of a fight chasing them down and swinging at the air. Other weapons, such as my personal favorite, the Ignis Araneae Yo-Yo, excel at keeping you skyborne, which is a helpful skill when fighting enemies that deal close-range damage. Bayonetta can also cycle through three equipped infernal demons, each with its own fighting style. Though Malphas might have a fair bit of dexterity, monstrosities like Gamorrah are powerful yet slow. All this makes for a game that allows you to play how you want to play, which only adds to how powerful you feel while doing it, as well as the game’s overall replayability.
In addition to standard battles, Bayonetta 3 also boasts stunning cinematic showdowns that feature enemies of staggering proportions and culminate in jaw-dropping moments. From swinging across crumbling buildings as a sort of hellish Spider-Woman to entering spectacular kaiju fights complete with devastating beam attacks, the game is unpredictable and relentlessly exciting. This is all made even better by the fact that Bayonetta 3 ensures the player stays in control throughout most of these sequences when they could just as easily cast that interaction aside in favor of quick-time events. I can’t think of many action games that feel as frenetic and fun as Bayonetta 3, or play with scale and framing to quite the same effect. Bayonetta 3 does a fantastic job of honoring its titular character with battles every bit as big, bold, and beautiful as her.