In Bayonetta you play as a witch who was awakened 20 years ago from a slumber at the bottom of the lake. You have no memory or idea of who you are but with the help of an informant (Enzo) you start off on a supernatural quest to discover your identity.
Along the way you’ll be fighting angels and celestial beings as you work your way through various dimensions.
This is an action adventure game very much in the mould of Devil May Cry and God Of War 3. It’s fast paced and the emphasis is most definitely on Bayonetta – for everything except boss battles you will easily be the most powerful being in the fight.
That doesn’t always mean it’s easy though – quite the opposite – as the game throws various enemy types with different attack patterns at you all at once.
Speaking of difficulty, Bayonetta is possibly the most frustratingly hard game I have played for a long time. And that’s on ‘Normal’. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the game and it’s a lot of fun but there were a few sections that just felt unforgiving and after an hour of trying to beat the final boss I ended up having to reduce the difficulty to finish the game.
The story and dialogue, quite frankly, is insane and half the time I didn’t know what the hell was going on. However most of the time I had a smile on my face and I’d rather have a crazy game with imagination than a bland one.
The combat is astoundingly good. Better in my opinion than God Of War or any similar title. There is just so much you can do, with gun attacks on hand & feet (yep, the heels of her shoes are guns), samurai sword, torture attacks (special moves focusing on one enemy – for example magically creating a guillotine and throwing one enemy into it) and climax moves (where Bayonetta’s hair, which is also her costume, flows upwards and forms itself into a massive demon to beat bigger enemies).
Yes you read that last bit right… her HAIR is her costume that can also turn into giant demons.
And that’s not to mention ‘Witch Time’, which is essentially bullet time, activated when you dodge an attack at the last second and can lead to some spectacular attacks on enemies.
One thing I wasn’t keen on was the mixed messages from the game regarding Bayonetta herself. Often portrayed as a sexual object, at times the overtly sexual movement of the character made me cringe – this is clearly a game made by men but while Bayonetta is always meant to be a kick ass heroine she is also there to be ogled by the player.
Tied into that is the fact that at times the dialogue stumbled in ‘Carry On’ territory and what we end up with is a game that’s aware of it’s sexual content and is mainly tongue in cheek but at times that aspect of the story/game just felt like a wrong turn.
Overall Bayonetta is not a game for the feint hearted gamer – this is a real challenge. If you’re looking for a hard, but immensely fun, slog of a game then this could be for you.
You’ll have no idea what’s going on (I ploughed around 15 hours into the game and after finishing it had to search online to work out what had actually happened during all those hours ) but that doesn’t really matter – Bayonetta is all about the combat and the combat is awesome.
Just remember… Dodge is your friend.