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Bayonetta 3 is an action hack and slash video game developed by PlatinumGames and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is the sequel to 2014's Bayonetta 2 and is the third game in the Bayonetta series. The game is scheduled to be released worldwide on October 28, 2022.

Story

Bayonetta is confronted by Homonculi, a new, man-made threat seeking to wreck havoc. Travelling across the world and facing off against these creatures in various locales, she also finds herself teaming up with old allies, a witch-in-training named Viola, as well as an ensemble of alternate Bayonettas, to put a stop to the Homonculi's plans before they plunge humanity into deeper chaos.

Gameplay

Gameplay screenshot.

Bayonetta 3, like its predecessors, is an action hack and slash game in which players control the eponymous protagonist Bayonetta as she combats various enemies using a combination of melee attacks and gunplay. Dodging enemy attacks at the last second triggers a state known as "Witch Time", during which time and enemies slow down, allowing Bayonetta to continually attack them without interruption, or traverse in real-time to solve environmental puzzles. Unique to this game are the "Demon Slave" and "Demon Masquerade" mechanics, the former of which differs from the preceding Climax Summon and Umbran Climax features in the first two titles, and instead allows players to take direct control of one of Bayonetta's Infernal Demons to perform various attacks and special abilities, some of which are advantageous to particular scenarios depending on the demon being controlled. The latter meanwhile, allows Bayonetta to directly fuse with a summoned Infernal Demon, granting her access to magic-based abilities.

In addition to the game's standard presentation, a new, censored mode known as the "Naive Angel Mode". This mode conceals displays of nudity during gameplay and cinematics, such as Bayonetta's various dances to summon her Wicked Weaves using her clothing as a conduit, as well as the more graphic designs of certain enemies and demons.

Developement

In July 2013, PlatinumGames producer and series creator Hideki Kamiya responded to a fan question on Twitter regarding the likelihood of a third game in the Bayonetta series in the event the then-upcoming Bayonetta 2 was a success, stating, "I hope so". Bayonetta 2 director Yusuke Hashimoto would later be interviewed by the magazine outlet GamesMaster, during which he would be asked about what game sequels he would like to work on, to which he answered that he had "all kinds of ideas" in mind for Bayonetta 3 in addition to a potential spin-off title. In June 2015 following Bayonetta 2's release, Kamiya would again respond to a fan inquiry regarding the character Jeanne, and what potential new hairstyles she would look good in following her appearances in the first two games. Kamiya would thus reply, "The answer will be in Bayo 3".

Bayonetta 3 was officially announced by Nintendo in December 2017 during that year's The Game Awards alongside Nintendo Switch versions of Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, confirming the title as in development exclusively for the Switch in addition to Nintendo's involvement as its publisher. Then-President and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé remarked on the announcement as celebratory for "the fans who love what PlatinumGames does, and are thrilled to have PlatinumGames back on a Nintendo system".

In April 2018, studio head Atsushi Inaba told Eurogamer at the Reboot Develop 2018 conference that Bayonetta 3 would mark a "turning point" for the developer, mentioning that the game would be a "linear core progression action game" in a similar vein to its predecessors. In February 2019 during an installment of Nintendo Direct, Nintendo would reveal Astral Chain (2019), another Switch-exclusive action-adventure title from PlatinumGames that would release later that August. Despite the reveal of an additional title in development at the studio however, Nintendo Switch general producer Yoshiaki Koizumi who presented the Direct, would reassure that the game wouldn't conflict with Bayonetta 3's development, stating that PlatinumGames were still "hard at work" on the title.

Inaba was then interviewed by Video Games Chronicle in May 2019, and described the game's production as an "orthodox development process", additionally remarking that players would be able to easily observe the shifts in the studio's production mentality during gameplay, yet refusing to elaborate further. Inaba would again be interviewed by the publication during E3 2019, clarifying the game's status as "going quite well".

Bayonetta 3 was officially unveiled by Nintendo during a Direct presentation in September 2021, revealing the first look at gameplay and its 2022 release window. The trailer would additionally confirm Yusuke Miyata as the game's co-director alongside Hideki Kamiya, the latter of whom reprises his duties from the original game. Miyata's involvement prompted speculation that a mechanic revolving around individually controlling Bayonetta's Infernal Demon summons in combat, was in fact derived from a previously cancelled PlatinumGames project, Scalebound, an action role-playing game published by Microsoft Studios intended to release exclusively for Xbox One and Microsoft Windows, as Miyata previously served as that game's lead designer. Fans additionally noted the resemblance between a new character masked in shadow during the end of the trailer, and Scalebound's intended playable protagonist, Drew. A blog post on PlatinumGames' website confirmed additional staff involved in the game, including cinematic supervisors Yuji Shimomura and Masaki Suzumura, as well as artist Mari Shimazaki, all reprising their respective roles from the previous two games.

Just prior to the game's reveal, Bayonetta's English voice actress, Hellena Taylor, expressed her doubt as to whether she would reprise the role in the game, lamenting that fans might have to imagine the character under a new voice direction, yet being unable to definitively confirm whether she had been replaced or not. In June 2022, Hideki Kamiya reiterated his recommendation that newcomers play the preceding two games in preparation for Bayonetta 3, as despite there being "no reason why you won’t be able to follow the story and enjoy it if you start with Bayonetta 3", he was convinced that having prior experience with the first two games would help players find the third game to be "more interesting".

A second trailer for the game was released on July 13, 2022, confirming the game's October 28 launch date, and key story and character details, notably unveiling the new character Viola, the presence of alternate versions of Bayonetta herself, and the return of supporting characters Luka and Rodan from the first two entries. In commemoration of the game's launch, Nintendo also announced that a physical edition for the original Bayonetta on Nintendo Switch would be available in limited quantities on September 30, 2022 via select retailers and the My Nintendo Store. This would be the first time the game was available in a standalone physical format outside the Special Edition box set collecting the first game and its sequel, which released in 2018.

Release

Bayonetta 3 is scheduled to be released exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 28, 2022. Alongside the standard physical and digital releases of the game, a special edition box set known as the "Trinity Masquerade Edition" will also be available at select retailers, or online through the My Nintendo Store. It will feature a copy of the game, accompanied by a 200-page, full color artbook with concept illustrations of the game's various demons, and alternate physical cover sleeves for all three games in the trilogy.

External links

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