|System: Wii U|
|Dev: Platinum Games|
|Release: October 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Another year another preview for Bayonetta 2. It seems like this is another game that is endlessly in development and yet never comes out. Last year we got to see a small snippet of gameplay of the witch in heels doing her thing on the Wii U. This year, well, we got to see the same thing. Once again the game was on display at the Nintendo booth, with a new stage, and new boss, and a couple of new tricks up its sleeve. But at the end of the day, we are still playing Bayonetta, and that’s not the bad thing.
The core gameplay of Bayonetta 2 is nearly identical to the original, which is to say it’s largely based on mashing buttons. Bayonetta moves pretty much identical to how she moved on Bayonetta one, with buttons controlling her punches, kicks, jumps, dodges and more. Like before if you dodge at the last possible minute you’ll go into “witch time” which makes time slow down and allows you to completely unload on your opponent. Then, when they hit low health, it’s up to you to do a small quick time event that allows you to dismantle them piece by piece using a finishing move that usually resembles some sort of horrible torture device made out of magical hair.
There is another new gameplay element, the Umbran Climax, which is basically a super mode. It’s based on a meter that fills as Bayonetta fights, and when she activates it she gets a huge strength boost for a short period of time. It’s a small addition but it’s actually quite welcome. There are plenty of times when you feel like you just need a little bit of an extra push to get through a fight and that’s exactly what the Umbran Climax does.
Enemies are still absolutely ludicrous. You’ll still fight angels and giant mechanical enemies and bosses that are as huge as a building and more. Bayonetta will run on walls, fight in midair, plunge into the depths of hell, and more as she takes on huge enemy after huge enemy. As always, there is a lot of this game that just sort of boils down to quick time event. Boss encounters tend to be reduced to “anticipate pattern, whack at it, and don’t fail at a quick time event to finish the boss off.” It’s not exactly a bad thing, as this seems to plague every action game in existence these days, but it’s still a bit disappointing as it’s hard to focus on the gorgeous actions while you are trying to execute a quick time event.
Bayonetta will also be able to pick up and use a variety of new weapons. The standards are still here, including swords, guns, shotguns and lots of other things that you probably shouldn’t be strapping to your heels. You’ll also be able to steal weapons from enemies, just as you could in Bayonetta 1, and beat them to death with them. Another short video shown by Platinum games shows that Bayonetta will, oddly, be able to ride in giant mechs as well. These segments will be mostly scripted, not allowing you to bring the mech into other stages. However, it’s undeniably awesome, as it has mini guns on its hands, a scythe on its back, and shot guns on its feet. Once again, all you need to do is mash buttons and you will be OK.
Another great reveal at E3 2014, was the fact that you will be getting two games for the price of one. Every single copy of Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U will come with a full copy of Bayonetta 1 for the Wii U as well. Now you can play the entire story from start to finish all in one place.
I really wish there was more to say about Bayonetta 2, but there really isn’t. The game is exactly what fans have been waiting for: more Bayonetta. Platinum Games isn’t reinventing the wheel here, so don’t expect this game to come with a whole bunch of new systems or anything like that. You’ll get new weapons, new combos, and you’ll meet new characters and bosses, but you are still just participating in the same sort of happy, thoughtless, sexified button mashing that you were in the original. You can expect Bayonetta 2 to hit store shelves this October.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: June 27, 2014