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Bayonetta 3: Release date, gameplay details and everything we know

Bayonetta 3
(Image credit: PlatinumGames)

While we know Bayonetta 3 is officially in development, and that Platinum Games is "still hard at work" on Bayonetta 3, updated news and info is rather elusive. It's definitely reassuring knowing that the witch queen Bayonetta is coming back once again after over a six-year-long hiatus, but we're desperate to know more. 

The game was officially revealed by Nintendo back in 2017 with a teaser trailer, but ever since there’s been little in the way of new information beyond a few interview snippets dwelling on the project. 

Thankfully, Platinum Games has confirmed that we will get some Bayonetta 3 news at some point during 2021. In various interviews, creator Hideki Kamiya has confirmed that "development is going very well", and that it's "safe to expect" an update on the game this year. But that's still incredibly vague. 

But, regardless of the current lack of news, we thought it’d be best to put all of that information together to help you get caught up in anticipation of its arrival, which can’t be too far away! Here’s everything we know so far about Bayonetta 3.  

What is Bayonetta 3? 

Bayonetta is the third entry in the Platinum Games’ series Bayonetta, which was first introduced to the public in 2009. Spearheaded by Hideki Kamiya, the game takes cues from his previous work like the Devil May Cry series. It’s a hack and slash in a world where angels known as Lumen Sages collide in conflict with Umbra Witches. Bayonetta is a witch with amnesia who fights her wicked way through hordes of enemies in order to save the world, collecting a cast of charming side characters along the way. 

The first game received a sequel in 2014’s Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U, which developed the catchy combat, involved some mythological deities and helped build the game’s fan base even further with its stylish art direction and rich characters. Ever since Bayonetta has been lingering in the shadows awaiting a grand return. The first two games were ported to the Nintendo Switch in February of 2018 and a remastered port of Bayonetta landed on PS4 and Xbox One in February 2020, so it’s a great time to get into the series and catch up on the narrative.

Bayonetta has also famously featured in both Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as well as the Switch release Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Bayonetta 3 is in development right now, revealed via a cryptic teaser trailer at 2017’s The Game Awards. There has been relative radio silence since. There is a small potential concept art leak floating around the internet, but it’s long gone unverified and should be taken with a huge pinch of salt.

Bayonetta 3 release date 

(Image credit: Sega)

Back in April of 2019, the game’s release date was bumped from what many expected to be 2019 to an even more mysterious ‘to be announced’ placeholder during Nintendo’s quarterly financial report. This means it’s difficult to speculate about the final Bayonetta 3 release date, but hopefully, we’ll hear more soon, potentially during a forthcoming Nintendo Direct, the company’s preferred means of contact. 

The last we heard about the game was when game designer Yoshiaki Koizumi noted that the team was hard at work on the project during a February 2019 Nintendo Direct which focused on Platinum’s cyberpunk hack and slash title, Astral Chain. Series director Hideki Kamiya spoke to Famitsu in February of 2020, noting that the game is “progressing smoothly” and teased that there were lots of hints in the game’s reveal trailer for 2017. It was thought that we may have heard some news during the “Platinum 4” announcements earlier this year, but nothing has yet materialised.

Bayonetta 3 teaser trailer 

This deeply cryptic teaser trailer starts with one of Bayo’s famous ribbons splitting in half as the moon in the background turns blood red. She’s suddenly attacked by an electric force and forced to fire a flurry of shots from her pistols. In mid-air, these shots are suddenly stopped by a distant, ghostly figure who corrupts the ammo and sends it crumbling to the ground. As it rushes towards her, Bayonetta drops her pistols in defeat before a purple rune appears with the number 3 etched into it. Despite Kamiya noting that the teaser contains a number of hints, it’s still quite hard to parse, and fans haven’t unravelled the mystery just yet. We’ll have to wait for more footage and story details before we can really figure out who the villain is and what Bayonetta is up to following the events of the previous two games. 

Bayonetta 3 story - where do the prequels leave us? 

(Image credit: Platinum Games)

*Spoilers follow for the events of Bayonetta 1 and 2*

If you’ve played both of the previous games, you’ll know that the ending of Bayonetta 2 sets up a paradox that sets the first game in motion. It’s a happy note to leave it on though as the loop is closed, despite the inevitable suffering and loss of both of Bayonetta’s parents. Given the trailer, it looks like we’re playing as the same Bayonetta we’re used to in a similar time- period to previous games, but the series is no stranger to time travel tomfoolery, so it’s anyone’s guess. It would be interesting if the third game was a prequel and investigated the civil war between the Umbra Witches and the Lumen Sages that precedes both of the main games. It’d be nice to see a new antagonist to fight against and extra side characters, or a deeper look into some of the fan favourite characters. The only other story tidbit we have to go on is that Loki notes that he will see Bayonetta in the future during the ending sequence of the second game. This means he may well appear in the next game alongside the usual suspects. 

Bayonetta 3 wishlist - what would we like to see? 

Given the success of Devil May Cry 5, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bayonetta 3 learn from some of the more slick aspects of that game’s deeply satisfying combat, or perhaps incorporate some characters into the main game outside of the titular protagonist. It’d be cool to play as Jeanne, Rosa or even Loki in the next iteration. The game is bound to innovate upon Bayo’s moveset and come up with some new ideas for weapons and combos but the groundwork is already there and it’s great fun even 10 years later, so they won’t have to do too much to please fans. 

It’d be great to see another banging old-school cover on the soundtrack following on the success of Fly Me To The Moon and Moon River. It’d be cool to see plenty of references to classic pop culture icons and oodles of style, as per usual for Platinum! I know it sounds sinful but… motion controls might be cool with the gyroscopic HD rumble capabilities of the Nintendo Switch too. I fancy hopping about my living room slaying angels and burning some calories in the process!