GamesCom 2009: Bayonetta Hands On Preview - Hair to the Throne
Written Thursday, August 27, 2009 By Lee AbrahamsView author's profile
After a lengthy hands on we were also treated to a demo by none other than Hideki Kamiya himself, the game’s director, who was keen to show off some of the newer aspects of the title and answer a few questions. From what we saw, the game is shaping up to be something a little bit special, featuring the kind of fluid combat and jaw dropping boss fights that Kamiya has become renowned for.
You control the titular character, Bayonetta, a demon witch who was locked away in a cursed coffin for hundreds of years. Accidentally set loose, she is now on a quest to restore her missing memories and punish those that entrapped her. It would be too obvious to say she was an anti-hero, as it seems more like Bayonetta is an out and out villain considering the fact she is fighting angels. No doubt the story will offer a number of twists and turns and it is already apparent that other characters will have a vital part to play. One of these is Luka, a young man seeking revenge for the death of his father, and through a number of flashbacks it becomes apparent that he has a history with Bayonetta – though whether she had a hand in his father’s death is another question. An interesting aspect of their relationship is that they occupy different realities of the same world, so can only ‘sense’ each other rather than see each other. Luka is also unaware of the demons so close at hand, but that does not mean they cannot harm him.
Once in combat you can build up energy to unleash special torture moves, such as throwing your opponents into an iron maiden or crushing them with a giant fist. You are also rewarded for dodging enemy attacks at the last second, as doing so enables you to enter ‘Witch Time’ – a power that momentarily paralyses your foes and allows you a split second to gain the upper hand. Obviously the larger the enemies the more convoluted the tactics you require. One large, multi tentacled boss that was put on show required you to dash up its tongue, dodging incoming attacks, before leaping onto its head to wreak some havoc. Even smaller enemy battles have a real sense of spectacle about them, but fighting huge creatures as they smash scenery around you is supremely satisfying.
The game plays superbly and even relative novices should have no trouble stepping into the fray and stringing impressive sets of moves together. For those that want to, there is still a deeper challenge and one that looks simply jaw dropping. I think Bayonetta may well cast her spell over a large number of us when she eventually lands on Western consoles early next year.
Bayonetta is currently slated for a Q1 2010 release outside of Japan. Japan sees it this coming October which according to SEGA will be region locked.