bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3 Feels Bigger and Badder than Ever (Hands-On Preview)

The Umbral Witch returns.

Bayonetta hasn’t changed since 2009, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Sometimes, you just find yourself in the mood for a lighthearted video game with fun hack-and-slash combat, and an outlandish protagonist who’s completely unafraid to be herself. That’s Bayonetta 3.

Recommended Videos

True to classic Bayonetta fashion, it doesn’t take long before you’re immediately propelled into action. This isn’t a game that likes to waste time on idle chit-chat; after some very brief exposition and a few lines of dialogue, you’re thrown straight into the thick of things. Playing as everyone’s favorite Umbra Witch, the combat feels as smooth and fast-paced as ever, and that PlatinumGames polish is most definitely present here.

The Y button lets you fire off your pistols, X lets you throw a punch, while A is your kick button. Things start to get really crazy once you begin chaining them together to form visually stunning combos, and just like in all Platinum titles, Bayonetta 3 is a game about style without pause.

infernal demons in bayonetta 3
Image Source: PlatinumGames via Twinfinite

It took me a little while to get into the groove of things, as I bumbled my way through the first chapter awkwardly, landing Bronze medals here and there. It doesn’t help that Bayonetta 3 isn’t hesitant to throw the bulk of its new mechanics at you within the first 10 minutes, and if you’re new to this sort of game, it can feel extremely overwhelming. That said, I’d much rather have all the tools and systems unlocked right from the get-go, instead of having to trudge through a game to slowly unlock them.

Spend a little time with the game, and you’ll eventually get a few combos under your belt, and learn how to weave them all together.

While I can’t really talk about the story components of the game just yet, I can say that the newly introduced summonable Demon Slaves really do help to make combat feel incredibly dynamic and so much more fun. Full disclosure here: I’ve only ever played the first Bayonetta, thought it was alright, but was ultimately underwhelmed by the combat (I’ve always been more of a DmC fan). Jumping into Bayonetta 3 felt like a huge upgrade, especially with Bayonetta being able to summon her Infernal Demons instantly, at almost any point in time.

You’re given two Demons to play around with at the start: Gomorrah and Madama Butterfly. With enough mana, you can simply hold down L to summon either of them, and literally start smashing things around. Gomorrah is a much heavier bruiser-type Demon who moves slowly, but can really pack a punch, while Madama Butterfly is lighter on her feet as you might expect, but she’s able to chain combos a lot faster and more easily.

While the Demons are summoned, Bayonetta herself is rooted in place, literally dancing as the Demons do all the work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s completely vulnerable to incoming damage as a result, but the nice thing about this system is that you can dismiss the Demons as quickly as you summon them. Just release the L button, and it’s back to business as usual.

The real heart of the combat lies in chaining Bayonetta’s regular combos with the Demons’ attacks, and doing this can make for some really fun encounters. Nothing beats the feeling of executing a perfect dodge followed by a Gomorrah summon for huge damage, and finishing off a boss with a stylish flying kick from Bayonetta herself.

score screen in bayonetta 3
Image Source: PlatinumGames via Twinfinite

At the time of writing, I’ve played through the first two chapters of the game and have gotten access to a couple new weapons as well. Bayonetta’s basic pistols get the job done, but you can really spice things up with the G-Pillar, which is just a straight up railgun that got plucked from MGS4 before getting fused with a demon head.

Some of your basic moves can feel completely different just based on what weapon you’ve equipped; jumping with the G-Pillar launches you straight up into the air for instance, while jumping with the Color Your World pistols lets you hover over short distances.

There are plenty of other granular details to get into with weapon and character customization as well, and these are things that I’ll be able to get into in the final review. For now, however, Bayonetta 3 is already shaping up to be a fantastic third entry in this beloved series. Especially with combat being so much more dynamic and interesting now, I’m genuinely excited to see where the game is headed next, and what other otherwordly shenanigans we’re about to get ourselves into.

Bayonetta 3 is set to be released for the Switch on Oct. 28, so be sure to look out for our full review before then.


Twinfinite is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article The Top 10 Worst Vaults in the Fallout Universe
The Vault 111 entrance in Fallout 4.
Read Article Top 10 Best Games Like Manor Lords
Scenery showing a castle and a lord in Manor Lords
Read Article All Ghost Recon Games in Order
Ubisoft Officially Ends Active Development on Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Related Content
Read Article The Top 10 Worst Vaults in the Fallout Universe
The Vault 111 entrance in Fallout 4.
Read Article Top 10 Best Games Like Manor Lords
Scenery showing a castle and a lord in Manor Lords
Read Article All Ghost Recon Games in Order
Ubisoft Officially Ends Active Development on Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Author
Zhiqing Wan
Zhiqing is the Reviews Editor for Twinfinite, and a History graduate from Singapore. She's been in the games media industry for nine years, trawling through showfloors, conferences, and spending a ridiculous amount of time making in-depth spreadsheets for min-max-y RPGs. When she's not singing the praises of Amazon's Kindle as the greatest technological invention of the past two decades, you can probably find her in a FromSoft rabbit hole.