That a series as niche as Bayonetta has reached its third installment is a fact as surprising as it is worth celebrating in style. With only two games, it has already shown that it has enough quality to be at the industry’s top, delighting us with impeccable gameplay, an unparalleled sense of action, significant moments and a devilish rhythm. Two completely outdated titles that make the show and the charisma of its protagonist its hallmark, leaving our mouths wide open at every step we take while we have a great time liquidating angels and demons right and left.
Now, PlatinumGames returns to the fray with a third party that is not satisfied with being “more of the same” and dares to introduce many vital novelties that give a different flavour to the adventure, a risky bet. However, understandable if we take into account that the formula has already reached its climax with the sequel. The result? It is a hilarious, epic, and overly spectacular game.
This time, the story tells us how the Multiverse is in danger because of an interdimensional cosmic entity destroying countless parallel universes with its armies of homunculi, mysterious beings created by a man who does not hesitate to destroy everything that is put ahead. Of course, this is not something our favourite Umbra witch will allow, so it’s up to us to accompany her on an action-packed journey through several alternate realities to stop this threat.
Suppose you expect a plot as well spun as that of the second installment that even managed to make the first one good. In that case, we are sorry to tell you that nothing is further from reality since we have a plot that lacks interest and is very uninspired, whose sole objective is to take us from one place to another so that we live all kinds of crazy things. Here, the show prevails; the more exaggerated and epic everything is, the better the objective to which the script is subordinated.
This would not seem all bad to us if it were not for the disproportionate number of video sequences. Many are great and fun and have incredible choreographies that have fascinated us. Still, many others barely tell us anything that captures our interest with characters that don’t quite shine and very bland dialogues. This adds to how extensive they usually are; they cut our rhythm more than we would like.
Focusing now on its gameplay, we are again facing a hack and slash in which our objective will be to advance through a series of very linear levels while we slay everything that comes our way. Step and try to get the highest possible score in each confrontation.
How could it be otherwise? In combat, we find the game’s greatest strength, thanks to a very accessible control system that allows us to perform elaborate combos with just two buttons and shoot and dodge. Witch Time also returns, so if we dodge at the right moment when we will receive a hit, we will slow down time for a few moments, a basic maneuver to survive and eliminate our rivals efficiently.
Of course, this is just the surface and under it lies an intense system that will take many hours to master. There are an infinite number of possible combos and movements that we can link and execute in different ways. Still, we also have a handful of tremendously original weapons that completely change how we play. Add to that the fact that we can have two equipped and alternate between them in the middle of a chain of blows, and you will quickly understand the enormous range of possibilities that we have to crush the homunculi in the most stylish, efficient and spectacular ways possible.
Only with this would we already have a fantastic hack-and-slash gameplay capable of satisfying both novices and veterans alike, especially if we consider that there is a wide variety of enemies and that they all have their peculiarities and unique characteristics. The ones we must adapt to give a lot of richness to the battles so that they never fall into a routine and are always challenging and testing us.
However, this time, a novelty changes the Slave Demon technique. Thanks to this mechanic, Bayonetta can summon her gigantic demons and control them as if they were a puppet, allowing us to unleash chaos and destroy the homunculi with brutally powerful blows, which raises the scale and the spectacle of the fights to a new level.
As you can guess, there are some limitations, such as the fact that keeping an active invocation will cause our magic bar to be consumed little by little or that, as a general rule, we cannot move freely when we are giving orders to the creatures. You won’t be able to summon anything if you fight in a place where there isn’t enough space, and if they take enough hits, we may lose control over them, and they can turn on us.
Despite this, the magic bar recovers so quickly, and the demons are so helpful that we will constantly use their battle after battle whenever we can. These beings from Inferno are not there to get the chestnuts out of the fire in a moment of desperation but to become the main protagonists of the show, something that, in turn, usually leaves traditional fights “on foot” in the background. “.
In addition, it is also possible to summon these creatures at the end of each of our combos to finish them off with a devastating attack, not to mention that if we call them right at the moment, we are going to receive a hit, they will appear executing a very fierce counterattack, a more risky maneuver than the classic dodge, but with its benefits.
In general, we liked all the mechanics related to the summoning of demons. They are fun, satisfying, and spectacular; they allow us to do authentic wonders once we learn to use them. In addition, they give this installment its flavour, significantly differentiating it from the first two games in the saga. Perhaps we would have liked a better balance between fighting with these beasts and without them. There are specific moments where the camera has prevented us from following the action correctly when using them. Still, it is an exciting and well-implemented novelty that carries the game’s activity on a scale never before seen in any hack-and-slash. And if you don’t believe us, wait until you see some bosses and some set pieces .with PlatinumGames fully unleashed.
As you can see, when the game focuses on action and combat, it shines with its light, making it clear what the strength of the series is and why its two previous installments have been so acclaimed worldwide. Unfortunately, this time they have opted to make a title with a much more significant adventure component, which translates into a greater variety of situations. These multiple scenarios give us more room to explore and search for secrets, puzzles and minigames.
This, which sounds so good on paper, in practice, ends up taking a very high price with a somewhat uneven development that doesn’t always get it right and completely breaks the rhythm of the action as soon as he leaves us with our hands shaking with emotion with a succession of battles and breathtaking bosses that immediately have us sighing with a dull and grotesque stealth minigame starring Jeanne or with sections on the backs of demons that, no matter how spectacular as they are, they are not at all inspired by the playable.
What in the past were very punctual and fun moments at the controls, such as the motorcycle phase of the first Bayonetta or the ships of Bayonetta 2, are now a constant throughout the adventure, but with the aggravating circumstance of not having, for a general rule, execution to the height beyond an incredible staging. We cannot give too many details without falling into the spoils. Still, all this has managed to demotivate us a little in the face of the replays to obtain the Pure Platinum trophies since they make us go through many parts not necessarily related to combat and with very different gameplay where, in the end, our ability to hand out blows is not put to the test.
Something similar happens with the more open levels and with more exploration, where the action is somewhat dispersed with tasks that are nothing to write home about and make their development lose strength, such as chasing a cat or a crow to get hold of their jewels. , overcome small platform challenges or solve simple puzzles using our demons. Of course, there are also optional combats and hidden portals with challenges under special conditions that we did like and have forced us to adapt to many situations.
The feeling that we have left is that PlatinumGames has distanced itself a bit from the purest essence of hack and slash to create an action-adventure in which a multitude of different elements come together to make the first The game is as attractive and satisfying as possible for those players who only want to play it once, something that, paradoxically, has moved it away from the excellence achieved by the two previous games, whose pace and development are infinitely superior.
It would be best if you were not mistaken and understood this, as Bayonetta 3 is not up to par. When it hits the right keys and focuses on what it does best, it creates a fascinating, epic and fun experience that few games can even dream of matching. We assure you that this usually prevails during most of the title, so the positive wins by a landslide over the negative. It simply has some stumbling blocks that prevent it from being as round as its predecessors.
What we do have to applaud is its amount of content since we are talking about a game that, in our first game, has lasted almost 16 hours and that hides countless challenges, secret phases, unlockables and collectibles to keep us entertained for a long time to trim that we want to complete it 100%.
Another novelty this installment brings in its attempt to offer us a more varied and fresh adventure is the inclusion of Viola, a new, fully playable witch. She stars in a few phases of the main story. Although she as a character has not finished convincing us in the least, at the controls, she has seemed to us a fantastic addition since she has a very different combat style from Bayonetta.
The main difference is that Viola doesn’t dodge very well. Still, in exchange, she can block attacks with her katana. Suppose she raises her defence at the right moment when she will receive a hit. In that case, she can activate Warlock Time, something that You have to get used to intercept the opponent’s offences from different directions and turn the tables in your favour.
In addition, his movie set is unique, and he can throw his katana to bring up Cheshire, a giant demon cat that acts on his own. As you can imagine, while this being is on the battlefield, we will not have our sword, so we can continue slapping with our bare hands, a state that will open up a massive list of new combos to put into practice.
The result is an entertaining and different fighter that is a breath of fresh air compared to Bayonetta and that even has custom movement abilities so that we can move around the stages with a hook. At first, she may have a hard time changing her chip to gain control of her and get used to doing parries instead of dodging, but when we master her mechanics, she gives us some very satisfying and rewarding fights. The “bad” thing is that they barely allow us to play with her in a few primary levels, so we have been left wanting a character selector for the chapters we have already overcome.
Finally, on a graphic level, we have a game that squeezes the power of the Nintendo Switch to the maximum of its possibilities with an incredible display of media. As we have already said several times throughout the text, in Bayonetta 3Prima, above all, the excessive spectacle and the wildest epic, something that usually translates into battles on a colossal scale, countless elaborate on-screen effects, frenetic situations, superb staging and an overwhelming direction. It does not matter if we are fighting, overcoming a minigame or watching a video sequence because he always knows how to leave us open-mouthed to the point of getting us to forget his irregularities on many occasions and forgive him for sometimes not being suitable with those parts that break with its classic gameplay.
In addition, it plays pretty well both on the laptop and on the desktop (although we recommend that at least your first game be on the television to fully enjoy all the pyrotechnics and the excessive size of its combats), and the number of elements it puts on the screen it becomes surprising. Perhaps the only thing that has not convinced us has been the design of the homunculi, which lack entity and presence, especially if we compare them with the angels and demons we used to battle.
As for the sound, you can expect a varied, extensive and high-quality soundtrack with room for many different styles, from epic compositions with the orchestra to compelling punk rock songs that always perfectly accompany everything we see on screen. For its part, the effects are as forceful, recognizable and satisfying as one would expect (few things are better than hearing that we have made a perfect dodge to activate Brujo Time). The dubbing comes to us in both English and Japanese. The performances are fantastic in both languages, although we have to highlight the debut of Jennifer Hale as Bayonetta’s voice, which makes the character her own with an excellent job.
Bayonetta 3 may have fallen a little behind the previous adventures of this charismatic witch. Still, even so, it has turned out to be a complete game that, when focused on pure and simple action, gives us incredible moments thanks to a system of novel, accessible, fun and intense combat and staging that leads the show by flag to leave us stunned with their choreographies and the scale of the conflicts in which you will find yourself submerged. And in the end, those virtues are the ones that end up prevailing in the face of the irregularities of its development and those that remain in our memory after the title credits, which leaves us with a very positive balance that has achieved that, once again, Bayoneta mesmerizes us with her spell.
We prepared this review with a review code provided by Nintendo.