Bayonetta 3 Does Spectacle on a Level Other Games Haven’t

bayonet is a series that has never been afraid to show its bombast. The first game begins with a set piece more grandiose than what most action games can muster in their entire run, with a fully playable, gravity-defying battle atop a falling clock tower between an army of witches and angels, and moments like them are consistently frequent Both the first and the second game. Yet despite hardware limitations on the aging Nintendo Switch, bayonet 3 accomplishes the monumental task of going one step further, with its level of spectacle unmatched in frequency, delivery and reach.

PlatinumGames has a penchant for putting the characters of its action titles in absurd scenarios. before bayonet 3, The wonderful 101 Perhaps most exemplifying this point, as it effortlessly carries its band of heroes from one amazing action sequence to the next at a breathtaking pace. bayonet 3 takes that bubbling creativity and runs with it, and ties it more seamlessly into the game’s core mechanics with the new Demon Slave mechanic.

In previous entries, the eponymous heroine could only perform huge demonic summoning rituals during the climax of key encounters in the chapters, leading to a hard-hitting QTE set in which an enemy was ripped to gory bits by one of her grotesque minions. But in bayonet 3, she can now summon these demons and use them as part of her core combat move at will, apart from the rare occasions when a fight is restricted by a tighter arena in the house. Not only does this add an extra “wow” factor to any fight, as fully controllable kaiju are raised from the Underworld at any moment to face opponents in unscripted sequences, but it also allows the more scripted set pieces to flow more naturally.

Bayonetta 3 has unique organic spectacle action set pieces with Demon Slave perfectly contiguous on Nintendo Switch by PlatinumGames

In one of the earlier missions in the game, Bayonetta summons her giant flaming pet spider, Phantasmaraneae. She mounts it as the two cruise across the rooftops of downtown Tokyo, with easy platforms, mind-blowing perspective tricks, and combat splashes culminating in an early game highlight. Moments like this may have felt harrowing in the context of the past bayonet Title (Many fans of the original game will take the nod to Space Harrier as rock bottom, for example.)—or even in The wonderful 101, which can feel overwhelming on the first playthrough as it often knocks the rug out from under the player with a drastically different scenario. However, moments like this feel like organic extensions bayonet 3.

Phantasmaraneae controls the same during this part of the chapter in bayonet 3 as is the case in normal combat scenarios, with movements and attacks being one-to-one, and players will have had almost a whole level before they get used to the summoning. So when it comes to Bayonetta mounting the creature in an escape sequence, no jerky whiplash distracts from the wonder and chaos of the scene that unfolds. Instead, the player can instantly sink into something that feels natural.

This approach to the spectacle is repeated throughout bayonet 3 and comes to a head during the moments when Bayonetta ridiculously rips her heart out to perform an even more powerful ritual, giving her demons new supersized forms. Each of these moments offers a new gimmick, and apart from a slightly odd (but still stupidly entertaining) rhythm game section, they again mimic the functions of the beasts in normal battles, tying them tightly into the core combat gameplay while giving them a fresh new context.

Bayonetta 3 has unique organic spectacle action set pieces with Demon Slave perfectly contiguous on Nintendo Switch by PlatinumGames

One of those showdowns is a kind of rock-paper-scissors battle, with an incarnation of the Godzilla-like Gomorrah towering far above the Tokyo skyline. In another, the player alternates between Phantasmaraneae on the ground and the avian Malphas in the air to double a towering Homunculus adjacent to Hydra. It’s as crazy as it is impressive, but it never runs the risk of feeling odd compared to the usual combat scenarios.

Unsurprisingly, the quaint hybrid Nintendo Switch system sometimes struggles to keep up with all the madness. This usually comes in the form of blurry resolution, but at worst it manifests itself in more annoying frame-rate drops. Given how inspired and intuitive these frequent moments are throughout the run of , it’s hard to argue that Platinum should have scaled back its ambition and spectacle bayonet 3.

There are few games that manage to deliver a mechanically pleasing experience that also dazzles with scale and set pieces without sacrificing game interactivity. And right now, I don’t think there’s another game that pushes the boundaries of its spectacle while maintaining its identity that way bayonet 3 does.