Sega / PlatinumGames (studio)
11 April 2017 (released)
25 April 2017
If you’ve been a long-standing PC gamer who has avoided consoles for the last decade, then this game is one of the gems you missed out on. Thankfully, Platinum Games has decided to port the game over at last, giving many more the chance to play as the titular character as she walks through the angels and demons that stand in her way.
Right from the moment the story begins, Bayonetta displays a style all its own as you fight angels on the side a broken clock tower… as it falls down a seemingly endless side of a cliff. Rarely does this game do things by the numbers. Even some of the cinematics carry their own flair; rather than just all being animated cutscenes, some feature freeze-frames of the characters with their voices overlaid, while each shot is flicked through on a photo reel, with only slight facial expression changes here and there to remind you that you’re not looking at a pre-rendered shot. The plot itself is no simple affair either; while you can get the majority of what’s going on by running through the game, there is much extra content to be had in the form of written logs and many items that you’ll be unlikely to gather in a single playthrough.
People who have played fast-paced action games such as Devil May Cry should settle into this game easily, but there are many small parts of the game that separate it from its spiritual cousin of sorts. The controls are simple to understand, but mastering them will take time and effort, rewarding those who do more than simply button mash. Dodging is paramount to success, and timing it right is rewarded with the aptly-named ‘Witch Time’, slowing down everything but Bayonetta herself. The gameplay is absolutely sublime, offering little mercy to those who can’t get with the art of evading enemies, save for the lower difficulties (which also automate the combos that Bayonetta uses) but not punishing you unnecessarily. Still, the level of difficulty might be a bit much for some at times, even on the default ‘Normal’ difficulty setting. Like with any good action game though, the tools are there for you to succeed; you merely need to do it on your own merits.
Even though this game was originally released in 2009 (2010 worldwide) the beauty of its world design still holds up to this day. The distinct European style is a thing to behold, even though it can sometimes be obscured by the action, particularly when Bayonetta is using some of her more extravagant attacks. The PC port doesn’t bring a massive update to the graphics, but this is by no means a bad thing; while there are some issues with the anti-aliasing not working at the moment, there are no crashes or serious errors with the game on the computer. The fact that the graphics remain similar to how they were years ago also means that more people should be able to run this game, although you will need to do some checks first to be sure.
Overall, Bayonetta may have taken it’s time to get to PC, but it undoubtedly still holds up as a great game after all this time. If you missed your chance to get this before, then now you can remedy that mistake. Bayonetta is well worth your time.
++ Great high-speed gameplay
++ Nice world design
+ Good cinematic flair
- Game can frustrate even on low difficulty
- Minor port issues
A Steam code for Bayonetta was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review