Bayonetta 3 will officially see the return of PlatinumGames and Hideki Kamiya's action-adventure hack and slasher. Better yet, the return of the iconic is still set for some point in 2022. While we have no exact release date as of yet, that could change as the summer games season kicks off in earnest with the arrival of E3 2022. Happily, Nintendo also reiterated that Bayonetta 3 is still set to arrive this year in a recent financial earnings report.
After the initial reveal all the way in 2017, we've since gone on to see gameplay in action during the September 2021 Nintendo Direct. With Nintendo historically announcing a Direct when it's closer to the time, we're expecting to see an appearance of some kind as part of the E3 2022 schedule. If so, there's every chance we could see more of the game at that stage. Below, you'll find everything we know 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 has been in development for quite some time now, as first revealed via a cryptic teaser trailer at 2017’s The Game Awards. Now, with the debut of another trailer, we know it's nearing completion.
Bayonetta 3 release date
With the first look at gameplay during the September Nintendo Direct, Platinum Games officially confirmed Bayonetta is currently set to release sometime in 2022. While we still don't have an exact release date, it's great to get a launch window at long last.
Bayonetta 3 gameplay trailer
Fans everywhere rejoiced during the September Nintendo Direct when Bayonetta made an appearance in a big way. With the showcase debuting our first proper look at some Bayonetta 3 gameplay, we get to see the famous protagonist summon her own colossal monsters and deliver some truly powerful blows against her enemies with finesse and ease.
In the official Platinum Games blog post, Miyata revealed some details about the new elements and mechanics we'll be seeing in Bayonetta's latest action-packed adventure.
"We sprinkled a lot of new elements throughout the frenetic pacing. I’d like to talk a bit about one of those, a new featured mechanic that lets you control Infernal Demons, called “Demon Slave.” Unlike the Climax Summons of previous games that automatically defeated enemies and returned to Inferno, this mechanic lets players control demons during gameplay and unleash a host of intuitive actions. Each demon’s abilities vary and the kinds of abilities that are advantageous in a certain situation can change at any time."
Interestingly, Miyata also teases that there's a "lot of info hidden in the trailer that I didn't go into here", and suggests we watch it again until the next announcement. We're certainly very intrigued to learn more.
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?
*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 (opens in new tab), 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!