There are several games I have been keeping a close eye on, and one of them just happens to be Bayonetta. As Jim posted earlier, several new screenshots have been released and I decided to sit down and assess some of the nuanced (and not so nuanced) details and giving some general thoughts and concerns about the game.
The first thing I noticed about the above image was that there were different classes of angels, which is something I didn't pick up on by watching the trailer. Also, seeing the angels in still shots, I realized that the enemies seem almost avian as opposed to angelic, which is sort of odd. Looking to the background you’ll notice the trees are sort of a drab brownish color as opposed to bright green, which is a little disappointing to see, although pretty consistent with other current generation games. Also, check out the blinding lighting effects (more on this later).
This image has me very concerned. You’ll notice the very tight walkways and stairwells, as well as the small alcoves along the top walkway. While I appreciate the attempt to have different types of environments, these sorts of close quarter environments can wreak havoc on the camera in action games. I can’t count the number of times the camera in Ninja Gaiden 2 would bounce around because I walked too close to a wall or was in a really tight corridor with a lot of enemies. I could easily see fixed cameras being used in tighter spots and if not I hope Platinum develops a really robust camera system. Also more blinding lighting effects.
This screenshot actually has a lot of really interesting details. For starter, you can clearly see that each of Bayonetta’s guns has a different colored gem on the side. My first thought was that each gun might correspond with one of the buttons on the controller. For example, the right (green) pistol might be fired by pressing A (also,green). I think it would be really interesting if you had control of each gun separately as opposed to just pulling the trigger and having the game decide. Although this of course begs the question, how would you do other things like jump? Anyways, you’ll also notice that the guns are being used at close range which might suggest that they are pretty powerful and aren’t just weapons for chipping away damage, although this could just be coincidence. The bullet casings, which seem to be moving to Bayonetta left (i.e. into the screen), look like they are longer than her hands, so that seems to be a good indicator that these things pack some serious firepower. The last little detail I picked up was that the angels are now using a mace-type weapon as opposed to the axe weapon they had above.
A couple of the pictures that Jim posted show off special attacks like the giant fist and the pulley attack above. I am really hoping that these are finishing attacks because I could imagine some of them getting kind of old if you would do them over and over. Note that the trees are also a big greener in this area which is nice to see. And some more lens flare.
Here we see a picture of a boss (or at least what I presume is a boss), along with a couple of subtle details. First, both of Bayonetta’s shoe guns are glowing which could perhaps indicate that a special attack is available, or perhaps there is a way to charge up your shots like in DMC4. Moreover, the guns now appear to be black and longer (the earlier pictures had her with red pistols).
Also, note the second smaller head on top of the cherub’s head. While it seems just be purely ornamental, I could imagine this is one of those bosses where you are forced to shoot its weak point, in this case the smaller head and then attack it while it’s stunned (which are the kind of boss battles that I hate). Obviously the boss is pretty big, so this could very well be one of those bosses with the “unavoidable, takes up the whole screen” attacks which would be really disappointing. I was impressed that the designer actually provided an area that at least appears to be fairly open, so you might have some room to move around. And before you think I forgot, I did notice that Bayonetta is now wielding a sword and a pretty long one at that. The two-handed stance is pretty unusual for an action game, so it will be interesting to see if she has a variety of two-handed attacks or if it is just her general stance (see below).
First, you can see the black guns a bit better here. In fact, if you look at the right leg, it appears to have two barrels so perhaps it’s like a shotgun of sorts. This might explain why Bayonetta's legs are design to be disproportionately long. We also see the sword in action and it is being used one-handed now, so perhaps the two-handed stance is just for show. The angel’s wings seem to be falling apart and his flesh doesn’t have that porcelain-like shell, so perhaps the enemies change forms as you deal more damage (also check out this picture and compare it with the boss above and note the green arm bands). I do feel kind of bad for this particular angel, since he somehow manage to ended up with a trumpet for a weapon. Maybe he can call reinforcements?
I got nothing for this one, it just looks ridiculously awesome.
A few closing points, you’ll notice that none of the screenshot show the HUD or any sort of targeting system, which anyone who plays action games can tell you are both really important components of an action game. Be that as it may, I still have a lot of hope for Bayonetta and I hope some of these detail have peaked your interest too. Hopefully, we will get some decent gameplay videos in the near future.