After almost four long years, Bayonetta fans can finally rest easy. The most recent Nintendo Direct showed off first gameplay of the much-anticipated Bayonetta 3, and Hideki Kamiya was happy enough to, briefly, unblock fans on social media. That’s all well and good, but how much more have we really learned about what PlatinumGames is doing with Bayonetta 3 after watching its latest trailer? It may be a brief look at the game, but PlatinumGames was kind enough to leave us with just enough hints on what the Umbra Witch’s latest outing could include. These are just five things that intrigued us about the Bayonetta 3 gameplay trailer.
1. It might be a prequel.
The original Bayonetta delved deep into the tragic upbringing of Bayonetta and revealed how she had lost her childhood memories. With her memory unlocked, Bayonetta realizes that Cereza is a younger version of herself that had been brought to the present by her father Balder, in order to jolt her memories back and awaken her power as the Left Eye. It sounds complex, but the important takeaway is that Cereza’s braided hairstyle with red highlights bears a striking resemblance to the version of Bayonetta we see in the latest trailer for Bayonetta 3.
On top of this, Bayonetta’s long-standing voice actor, Hellena Taylor, apparently isn’t reprising her role for the latest entry. If the currently unknown new actor was brought in to represent a younger version of the character, then both Bayonetta’s voice and appearance make sense and point towards the game being a prequel. Enemy designs are also unlike anything seen in prior games, and Bayonetta’s hair-based clothing did not disappear when she summoned Gomorrah. Although, that last point could also be due to Nintendo desiring a more family-friendly trailer.
Sister site The Escapist has developed a full theory that the game may occur in an alternate universe altogether.
2. Does it take place in Japan?
Fans of the series are well aware that when the games are not parading Bayonetta through angelic or demonic-looking locales, she frequently visits locations such as New York or parts of Europe. In the latest trailer for Bayonetta 3, the witch appears to be fighting in Shibuya, Tokyo, which raises interesting questions for the game. Could the entire adventure take place in Japan? It would be unusual for a Bayonetta game, and given that the gameplay had “Verse 7” in the upper right corner of the screen, I’d speculate that Japan may only make up part of the overall adventure.
Previous Bayonetta games spanned roughly 16 verses in total, and if we take this at face value, then the trailer was showing off gameplay from around the halfway point of the game. Prior entries regularly switched locales throughout their playthroughs, so expect Tokyo to make up part of the Bayonetta 3 experience, but perhaps not all of it.
3. Scalebound has an influence on Bayonetta 3.
Bayonetta’s signature summon, Gomorrah, returned in all of its elephant-sounding glory in the Bayonetta 3 gameplay trailer. Fans are familiar with summoning Gomorrah when using finishing moves, but PlatinumGames is taking this idea to the next level with full-on player-controlled kaiju battles. It’s a dramatic and exciting new direction to take the combat, and looking at the staff working on the game, it makes perfect sense.
Bayonetta 3 game director Yusuke Miyata was the lead designer on canceled Xbox exclusive Scalebound. Before its cancellation, the staff at PlatinumGames were adamant about creating an experience where dragons could be player-controlled allies, and some of those concepts appear to have directly inspired Bayonetta’s newfound kaiju-controlling abilities. How much of that factors into the game remains to be seen.
4. Could Astral Chain be in the same universe?
In the Bayonetta 3 gameplay trailer, Lappy, the mascot police dog from Astral Chain, reveals himself as the would-be attacker of a demonic creature in a clever fake-out before Bayonetta makes her grand entrance as the real heroine. However, could it go any deeper than a fake-out? Astral Chain takes place in a future fictional megacity called the Ark, but it bears some similarities to modern-day Tokyo in terms of its style.
What if the Chimeras that attack from the Astral Plane dimension have some connection to the Lumen Sages or Umbra Witches? If this all sounds like a stretch, that’s because it very much is, but it would be fun to imagine what PlatinumGames could do with its games existing in a shared universe.
5. Is Jeanne the character at the end?
Bayonetta’s lifelong friend and fellow Umbra Witch, Jeanne, has been through a lot. Having once sealed Bayonetta away to protect her from being used as the Left Eye, she seemingly sacrificed herself for her treasured friend. After being freed from the control of Balder, she assisted Bayonetta in taking down the deity Jubileus. Later still, Bayonetta had to travel to the depths of Inferno to rescue Jeanne’s lost soul. If Bayonetta 3 is a prequel like we suspect, then Jeanne would still be under the mind control of Bayonetta’s father.
In this state, and with her fresh look, perhaps she could make reoccurring appearances as a persistent boss character for players to overcome. In the context of the lore, Jeanne fighting Bayonetta could be explained as Balder frequently testing his daughter to see if she is ready to awaken as the Left Eye.
What else did you notice about the gameplay trailer for Bayonetta 3?