It was in 2009, SEGA launched a whole new franchise on PS3 and Xbox 360: Bayonetta. A game developed by PlatinumGames, directed by Hideki Kamiya, already in charge a few years ago of a certain Devil May Cry. A beat’em all with a “witchcraft” sauce that was able to create the surprise, so much so that a sequel was born in 2014, with an exclusivity on Nintendo Wii U. Today, no less than 8 years later, Bayonetta 3 is about to see the light of day on Nintendo Switch. Arrived at the editorial staff of Presse-Citron a few days ago, it is high time to deliver our verdict on this new opus.
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Bayonetta 3, the complete test on Nintendo Switch
In Bayonetta 3, the famous witch of the Umbra is back, this time to face the homunculi, creatures not from the heavens, but created biologically by humans (and with an unfortunately unremarkable look…). A third opus which obviously promises its share of action, but also a real change of scenery with the possibility of crossing Tokyo or even the mountains of China, without forgetting the possibility of playing Viola, a very colorful apprentice witch, who is accompanied by a demon named Chouchou. Both will go in search of the cogs of chaos, to avoid the destruction of the multiverse.
First of all, it should be noted that this Bayonetta 3 is in the pure tradition of the saga, and is intended to be a very (too?) crazy action game, and a bit sexy. This results in frantic action, of course, but also in a humor that will not please everyone, not to mention a few seductive poses, very bold innuendos and other evocative close-ups. Also if you’ve never hooked on Bayonetta, its humor that stains and its sexualized side (to name a few), there is very little chance that the trend will be reversed with this third opus. You have been warned.
For the others, we find with pleasure this universe so characteristic, with a fanfare start, literally packed with action, with classic fights therefore, but also the possibility of riding creatures. So much so that the first hour of play is almost a bit tiring, but foreshadows the escalation to come rather well. In this third opus, Bayonetta can also bring out the heavy artillery in the middle of a fight by summoning demons from Hell such as Gomorrah, Malphas or Phantasmaraneae in order to sow destruction by directly controlling these sizeable allies, but this will however make her more vulnerable to enemy attacks.
Viola, like a Dante aria?
Quickly, we meet Viola, an apprentice witch with a resolutely modern and colorful look, whose combat system is very close… to Devil May Cry. Indeed, the latter is armed with a sword, with which it is possible to achieve superb sequences, like a certain Dante. Bayonetta obliges, the tone remains still and always very (too?) shifted, and the latter can have its enemies finished off by Chouchou, a huge feline demon straight out of an Alice in Wonderland from hell.
The progression is linear, with several levels to be chained in an established order. Each level reserves its share of “chapters”, symbolized here by “verses”, at the end of which we obtain a score calculated according to our combat prowess. Note that some verses are optional, and that you will have to take care to visit the play area to find all the combat areas, as well as the various bonuses and hidden challenges. Without spoiler, the game will ask the player to go through various eras, the opportunity in particular to meet rather original people.
The game also offers small intermediate levels, in the form of an infiltration game “old“, it’s relatively unexpected and nicely staged, if not fun to play, but we leave the pleasure of discovery to you. Side life, count about twelve hours to complete the adventure.
Of course, it is possible to evolve Bayonetta and Viola over the levels with the experience acquired. We can also customize their equipment, without forgetting to advance the creatures that accompany us. The combo system is very fleshed out, with the ability to configure two sets of weapons here and switch between them with the click of a button, and it’s always a pleasure to unleash the infernos of sorcery on his enemies. However, if the frenetic action is there, it is difficult not to wince over the technique that could not be more stammering of this Bayonetta 3, and on a resolutely “too much“…
A dated technique and a “too much” side…
If, overall, Bayonetta 3 does not disappoint (provided you have enjoyed the first two) when it comes to its ” sexy and crazy action », the technical section, on the other hand, has enough to cause more than one untimely eyelid tremor, even a nosebleed. As we know, since its launch, the Nintendo Switch has not been known for its premium hardware, and the developers have more than ever been forced to make significant sacrifices to maintain a frame rate of 60 frames / second here.
This results in fairly technically poor environments, with even some particularly bad effects, in addition to stubborn aliasing. The set terribly lacks finesse and if the clashes are very successful, very dynamic, the sets often suffer from terrible poverty, in addition to sometimes being desperately empty.
A wobbly technique which also has the effect of altering the readability of certain sequences and certain fights, of which we guess the epic side yes, but which turn out to be very (very) rough for the eyes. And what about his game phases way “rail shooter” and other fights of giants, from which it is difficult to distinguish anything on the screen… Add to that a camera which tends to hide in totally improbable places during certain fights… Too bad.
On this subject, we can only strongly advise you to favor the game on the big screen, in docked mode, rather than the nomadic mode. Indeed, the technical wanderings of this Bayonetta 3 are even more marked (and this is normal) on the 720p screen of the Nintendo Switch, whether the latter is OLED or not. So yes, some sequences could not be more spectacular and put the player in the grip of gigantic creatures, but the whole thing is very often shot down by a technique from another age, which translates on the screen into a serious concern. readability… In short, a third episode that does (much) too much, and which seems more than ever too bulky for a Nintendo Switch in great difficulty here…
Our opinion on Bayonetta 3 on Nintendo Switch
For the third time, the witch Bayonetta comes to bewitch the Nintendo Switch, with an exclusive first opus relatively faithful to the DNA of the saga. Frenetic action, humor below the belt, gritty allusions and other lascivious poses, all the ingredients are there, with the added bonus of some interesting novelties such as the demons of hell, travels in the multiverse or the presence of Viola. Too bad however that the technique does not manage to keep pace, with an impeccable fluidity certainly, but to the detriment however of very empty environments and desperately poor textures, not to mention a sometimes very complicated readability and a game that does a lot (a lot ) too… The fans will appreciate (but not all), while the others will remain more than ever hermetic to the “Bayonetta-style“. Bit of a disappointment…
- Bayonetta all spit
- The ubiquitous action
- Phases with Viola
- Fluidity (almost) impeccable
We love less
- Technically from another era…
- A very (very) messy action sometimes
- The humor and the “sexy” side, help…
- A frankly indigestible one-upmanship
- Even “worse” in nomadic version…