Hands-On Preview: Bayonetta 2 – The Witch is Back

The original Bayonetta was easily one of my favorite games to be released in the last few years. Its focus on over the top action and flashy combos won me over and I liked it better than other games in the same genre, such as the Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry series (which I also love).

Bayonetta 2 seems to be taking all of the best parts of the original and improving them. I only played and saw a very short demo of it which was enough to convince me that it would be another spectacular action game and a must-own for the Wii U.

WiiU_Bayonetta2_scrn07_E3 (Copy)

The demo begins with the titular Bayonetta on top of a jet, which is flying away from other jets that are attempting to shoot her down. This takes place in a city (which looks like Manhattan) and everything in it is being destroyed. Why all of this chaos was happening wasn’t explained but that’s okay. This is a series where story takes a back seat to the actual gameplay after all.

As the demo started and progressed, I was shown how to do some of the basic and special moves. This was on the Wii U Gamepad and not the PS3 so I had to look down at the controller every once in a while to figure out where the buttons were. Once I got comfortable with the controller, it all clicked and the experience felt like the Bayonetta that I remember.

Although the basic mechanics of the game are intact, the controls are a lot smoother. I’m not sure if this is because the game is now running at 60 frames per second or if the controls were just tightened but whatever the cause, it felt really good. I was able to chain combos with ease and dodging enemy attacks with the witch time ability was seamless as well. The execution deaths from the last game make a return and I liked how those were blended into the combos.

WiiU_Bayonetta2_scrn08_E3 (Copy)

I then handed the controller over to Staff Writer Ryan Meitzler who had to fight against a gigantic angelic… ape? I’m not really sure what this creature was but it was big and chasing Bayonetta, who at this point was on the top of a moving train. Bayonetta did a series of combos on the monster, as well as her trademark special moves that use her enormous hair (which is actually her clothes) to create giant fists that pummeled the creature.

To finish off the beast, Bayonetta summoned her dragon who ate the creature. However, her dragon became corrupted and it emerged entirely from its own dimension to fight Bayonetta. This is when I took over and began to fight it as it climbed the Empire State Building. This battle was pretty straight forward: attack, dodge, special move. It kept going like this until the demo ended.

Overall, I thought that Bayonetta 2 was great. The Gamepad takes a bit of getting used to but my fear that it would ruin the core Bayonetta experience was proven to be unfounded. The title also looks gorgeous, which is good since the original game — while it had cool art design — had very murky and blurry graphics. This is a Wii U game to watch out for indeed.

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