by Brendan Griffiths
previewed on PS3
Dante's ideal date
With Devil May Cry's creator Hideki Kamiya directing this game it would be fair to say that Bayonetta could be Dante's ideal date, as comparisons between the two are obvious. Bayonetta might just prove to be a little bit more, well… mental. And we like it.
You play as the Witch Bayonetta, who is the sassy, innuendo sprouting, dominatrix look-alike of Sarah Palin. She is in the middle of a war against the forces of heaven and its angels, so your support comes in the form of the dark forces. Why all the commotion? Bayonetta doesn't even know as she is suffering from a bout of amnesia. Not the most original idea in the world, but hey, this one isn't going to be one of those games we remember for the stunning story, is it?
The game's set in the present, but you can expect to visit locations that infer otherwise such as the usual temples and caves along with contemporary places like huge suspension bridges and cities. A good example of the pandemonium you can expect is evident in the very first level. You have to fight deformed angels on the clock face of a tower (similar to Big Ben) that has been smashed off a mountain in the heavens and is plummeting towards earth, while a huge dragon circles the falling madness. Let's just hope the best looking level hasn't been used for the first.
Action in Bayonetta is a familiar blend of acrobatic melee and gun combat, more in the vein of the aforementioned Devil May Cry than say recent dross like Wet. Bayonetta's melee weapons include swords, whips, maces and her feet. Her terrifying kicking abilities seem to be just as reliable as other weapons and more than a match for them in terms of speed. Chun-Li would be most proud.
The guns play a major part in combat too. The four (yes four) standard pistols are used in each hand and attached to each foot, making for some insane combos when mixed up with the melee weapons and endless juggling opportunities to keep enemies airborne. Shotguns and rocket launchers feature as well, hopefully with infinite ammo. Many of the guns have short and long range fire and the way they work varies depending on how they are positioned.
Importantly, weapons are interchangeable on the fly. Two weapons can be switched in the middle of a combo and the move set varies depending on the timing of the button presses. A hold here and a pause there works wonders to vary the combat and should help it avoid becoming stale after half an hour.