Release Date: September 2009
Let's be frank here: There's still not a whole lot we know about Bayonetta. We know it's being developed by PlatinumGames — formerly Clover Studio, the hardcore heroes of the last console generation. We know it's being put together by Hideki Kamiya, the creator of Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry.
And thanks to E3, we now know that if the heroine of Bayonetta and Devil May Cry's Dante were to ever get into a fight, Dante would lose twice before he hit the ground. This is Kamiya doing his best to outdo himself because he doesn't believe that anyone else has gotten the genre right since DMC. Fortunately, it looks like he can easily back up his words.
Never has a 10-minute, closed-door showing elicited so many awed expletives from the gathered press. Bayonetta is nuts, and it doesn't care about your reflex threshold.
In the showcased gameplay, we were treated to a woman who uses her razor-sharp hair as a weapon, along with having guns on each limb, superhuman physical abilities, and magical witch powers that can, among other things, temporarily freeze time.
All of these abilities can be combined, and, of course, our good friend the air combo is back in business. Thanks to the foot-guns, you can follow up pretty much every attack you can land — be it a punch or kick — with a hail of bullets. You can launch enemies, then follow and juggle them in midair, Marvel vs. Capcom-style, and you can swallow them up with special finishing moves involving the heroine's hair. All of this takes place at a blistering speed. Thus far, Bayonetta takes pretty much everything that could be considered badass about the last generation of 3-D action games, multiplies it all by a factor of five, and lets you use it all in a single title. This is to say nothing of what's yet to be added.
The showcase ended with the heroine facing a monster roughly five times as tall as her, which didn't stop her in the slightest. She ran up, down, around, and all over the monster's length and width, slashing, hitting and shooting away while performing Matrix-style bullet-time dodges of its attacks. Eventually, she closed in for the kill, summoning a giant iron maiden made entirely of hair to finish it off.
September 2009 can't come fast enough.
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