This is a dark and gothic tale of a paranormal fight between good and evil with an amazingly witty but yet sassy female lead, Bayonetta. The game is steeped in witch mythology, epic mythical creatures, beautiful and action filled environments which creates a flawless gaming experience. Compared to past projects such as Devil May Cry and Okami, Hideki Kamiya’s instantly recognizable anime style shines through in this game. Combined with many other elements’ Bayonetta look’s set to create a new benchmark for action titles this year.
The story of Bayonetta revolves around the two ancient clans who harness the power of light and dark, each clan has a mutual respect for one another but the two clans are lead into war by an unforeseen event. Bayonetta is an Umbran Witch, she harnesses the dark demonic powers of the netherworld but is not necessarily 100% evil herself. Alongside this there is the Lumen Sages who draw energy from the light and the same notion applies, there not necessarily 100% good, this makes for an interesting and smart storyline if a little complicated at times. Above this the bigger picture of the story revolves around a universal balance of good and evil. Because of this and the fact that Bayonetta is neither 100% good or evil adds a unique depth to her character. This produces an intriguing depth while watching her making choices but at times the game is insanely random, depending on what kind of person you are this can subtract or add value to the game.
The game is separated into chapters and verses, these are scored by how much time and damage you take while completing that verse, following this you are given the corresponding medal depending on how well you have achieved. Bayonetta is also set in some amazing environments which creates an array of beautiful levels to explore, these two important elements makes the title action packed and captivating all the way through to the end. Bayonetta at times is very creative especially when it comes to the combat and the monsters you fight, the style, beauty and attention all create an epic atmosphere. Not only do you have your level based fighting but something very unusual happens, you will get odd random verse’s, for example riding a huge missile or riding along a motorway shooting and sliding underneath vehicles. Levels like these are actually quite good fun and help break up some of Bayonetta’s chaos, granted they don’t make much sense but this is a video game partly about sexy witches…. it’s not going to make sense all the time.
Bayonetta’s combat system is balanced very well, the four slots on your arms and feet give you enough combo customization to be more than happy with, and along with the array of weapons this helps you create your own preferred style and helps keep things fresh when playing through multiple times. It also offers you the change to cross weapons, mixing certain weapons together can be devastating to enemies and helps keep you on your toes, it also gives you a huge amount of attacks to master. A lot of items can be bought using Halo’s (Currency) combos are the same, they can be bought from Rodin your arms dealer at The Gates of Hell, and though the attacks visually are varied the button combinations are all very similar which means using all of the attack moves can be tricky. You can also put off Torture Attacks with punch and kick (Y + B), these are beautifully animated special attacks that you use to inflict serious damage by tapping the right prompted button, some are astounding and all are incredibly entertaining. There is a rhythm to the combat in Bayonetta, you can dodge attacks and if done correctly can cause a slow down period (Witch Time) where you can get more hits onto your target, all these small details add up to an almost flawless combat system.
You are challenged often in Bayonetta by the likes of giant end of level boss’s that seem invincible or impenetrable, but Bayonetta has a way of seeming invincible herself and this can create some epic boss battles. The fact that a massive stone demonic “thing” doesn’t even startle Bayonetta portrays a warrior like attitude and most of the boss battles will feel like this, it’s an incredible feat to achieve and get across to your audience and improves the atmosphere of these fights as Bayonetta’s personality adds so much to certain aspects of the game.
The game has more secrets than Pandora’s Box and after you’ve played the easy modes and have some incredible weapons and combos at your disposal you can try normal mode and above. Normal mode offers more to you in the way of collecting items, like broken pieces of witch heart or broken pieces of moon pearl to increase health and power for Torture Attacks. There are bonus levels involving you completing a certain task called Alfhelm’s, most of these stages are incredibly difficult but only because they take some thought to accomplish. After your first play through you should have collected a good number of Halo’s to spend, accessories are important later on as they hold unique powers that can be used to further your progress, Selene’s Light accessory has the ability to trigger Witch Time when you sustain damage, these are very handy especially when you’re getting your ass handed to you by a group of demons, so purchasing these is a big help later on.
I should mention again the biggest part of this game is insanity, an unbelievable amount of random but uber cool scenes take place throughout the game and will have your jaw hitting the floor in shock at how crazy and unpredictable the title is. This is a very unique selling point to me as you don’t see this much chaos in games being released today or to the extent it has been taken to here. Video Games used to be a lot more farfetched and random back in the day, which just makes Bayonetta stand out even more (If it’s at all possible).
The graphics of the game are better than I expected, especially with the amount of strange “things” in the title like walking up walls, chaining up enemies till they pop, along with the incredible monsters you fight. It’s not just the overall amazing look of the game that’s impressed me but the creative way they have illustrated attacks and Bayonetta’s movements, there’s a lot of attention to detail in every part of the game not just the combat.
This game has entertained me, shocked me, confused me and thrilled me. I haven’t played such an incredible action game in a long time and this is the same story for most people I’ve spoke to who’ve had the pleasure of playing Bayonetta. The only problem I can see is the story, it isn’t delivered in the best it could have in the first half of the game but when you play the latter half it starts to make more sense and is incredibly good. It has good longetivity too as it has an amazing amount of things and secrets to explore, along with really challenging difficulties will have you returning to play often.
This game is not to be missed out on, even for gamers who aren’t into Bayonetta’s apparent style and humor there’s alot of other things to keep you very happy.