Originally released in 2009 on Ps3 and Xbox 360, Bayonetta first of the name quickly knew how to mark the spirits, suggesting a potential successor to the famous beat them up license Devil May Crywith its uninhibited style, its nervous fights, but above all thanks to its sassy and sexy heroine.
An adventure that could have ended there for the witch, sales of the game being below expectations. It will be against all odds Nintendo who will decide to believe in the licensewith the counterpart of making it a Wii U exclusive. Released in 2014, the second opus will make Bayonetta a staple of its kinddespite its release on Nintendo’s “unloved”.
It’s finally in 2017, 3 years after the release of Bayonetta 2, which will be announced, with a short teaser, the 3rd license opus. An unexpected sequel for fans of the series, who didn’t know then that they were going to have to wait five more years before seeing the first images of the gamewith a first gameplay trailer playing with this delay with the humor and casualness that we know in the studio.
But the wait will finally end on October 28 next, when the title finally arrives, accompanied not only by a collector’s edition but also by a physical reissue of the first game on Switch to add a little glamor to our toy libraries.
In the September 2021 trailer, Bayonetta said she was ready to give us “everything we wanted” with this opus. Three days before the game’s release, has this enticing promise been kept? Has the players’ patience been rewarded? or did the anticipation make their expectations difficult to meet?
Test conditions: We completed the main story on normal difficulty level mainly in docked, we also completed some of the side content, without expanding on it, for a total of about twenty hours.
Into the Bayo-verse
In the past, the license Bayonetta got us used to convoluted scenarios to say the least staging a jumble of witch hunts, the struggle between hell and paradise, the creation of the world of chaos, all sprinkled with time loops.
Scenarios rich enough in lore and often quite perched. Bayonetta 3 is no exception, and offers us, after time travel, dimensional travel. Because after all, when we have already talked about temporal paradoxes, in which other direction to go than towards the multiverse?
It is therefore once again that our beloved witch sees her shopping session interrupted by enemies determined to ruin his day and at the same time a good part of the city, except that this time, it is neither demons nor angels, but homunculi created in the world of humans and come from a parallel dimension with the aim of destroying this reality and all the others to create a new one. And it is Viola, freshly fallen from one of these same parallel dimensions, who announces the very bad news to our beloved witch.
Bayo is then given the mission of traveling through dimensions. to gather five Cogs of Chaos, while Jeanne, her faithful “friend”, will be responsible for finding Doctor Sigurd who will know how to use them to access the Alphavers and defeat the threat hanging over the multiverse.
A scenario always quite perched, Bayonetta oblige, but paradoxically more accessible than the first twowith the advantage of holding up rather well as a stand-alone, for those who would be tempted to start the series with this opus, even if it is clear that it is aimed more at fans of the first hour.
However, we will leave players plenty of time to discover this new adventure for themselves to focus a little longer on its gameplay.
As previously mentioned during our overviewthe fight of Bayonetta based on a dodge and combo system : Dodging at the right time triggers Bayonetta’s “bewitchment”, and so slow down time to attack the enemy devastating combos to hope for the highest score possible at the end of each fight, or as the game calls them, verse.
A basic system similar to the previous opuses, which does not however prevent Bayonetta 3 to suggest its own subtleties : Although it is still possible to equip two weapon sets and switch between them in combat, it is now not no longer possible to equip different weapons on Bayo’s feet and hands. In return, it will have new techniques at its disposal.
The dance of submissionwhich we have already mentioned and which allows to summon a demon for a few moments and take control of it. Each demon, unlockable as you progress along with the weapon associated with it, offers its own specificities, and so attacks and moves more or less quickly.
During our preview we had some reservations vis-a-vis this new element of gameplay, the first demons being large, sometimes slow and tended to escape the vigilance of the camera.
However, we were pleasantly surprised by the following demons which offer much more diversity in their way of playing. We will take for example Express Terminusa demonic train that the player can steer along its tracks and which will really spice up the gameplay, even if its handling requires a little time to adapt.
To take full advantage of these new features, the game introduces a skill tree system quite simple where the player will be able to unlock, with one of the three currencies of the game, new combos and techniques for his weapons and demons.
Woman with glasses…
Bayonetta is not the only playable character in this opus, however. We had already mentioned the possibility of playing Viola and Chouchou during our preview, which also benefit from their own skill tree and specificities, but the player will also be able to embody Jeanne during short 2D infiltration interludes.
The objective here will be to reach the end of a level in a given time, while taking as little damage as possible and recovering certain items in order to obtain the best possible score at the end of the interlude.
These levels are quite shortand therefore quite pleasant to redo in order to improve your score, while offering a rather welcome break from the more classic sequences.
For the most completionist players, the game also offers time trial versions of classic chapters called “Phenomenal Vestiges” unlockable under certain conditions, as well as the traditional challenges, found off the beaten track in each level, which also seem to be slightly more exploration-friendly than before.
From a more general point of view, whether during classic levels or those of Jeanne, during fights against basic enemies or boss fights, with their ambitious realization full of visual effects, the game offers a smooth experience without any framerate drops, whether in docked or handheld mode.
… Woman who cannot see well
But if the game manages to maintain both its visual effects and its 60 FPS, it is not completely devoid of technical weaknesses. So some textures, even if not that noticeable in the middle of the action, do well feel to the player that he is on Switch. Weaknesses that are also noticeable near waterfalls or spaces with smoke, where a pronounced aliasing is noticed.
We could also blame him his sometimes approximate camera, especially if the player is unfortunate enough to stand in a corner of the arena in combat, or even during a submission dance, where she will get stuck on Bayo as the action unfolds in the background. It can also turn out to be stubborn when traveling in levels and simply refuses to stay put when you want it to take a different angle.
In addition to the camera concerns it poses, the ability to summon demons comes at the cost of shortcuts that were previously used for healing items, which forces the player to go to the menus to heal yourself, completely breaking the rhythm of the fight. This last problem is relatively subjective, however, as the use of healing lollipops will depend on the level of the player and his propensity to take damage. Even if that were the case, the game is quite generous with healing items in levels and after fights, at least on normal difficulty, to avoid untimely interruptions.
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Bayonetta 3 test – A charming sequel for the witch
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