E3 2013 Hands-On: Bayonetta 2: These boots were made for demon-stompin'
When I paid a visit to Nintendo's booth at E3 this year, I noticed a big sense of familiarity – mainly because most of the games the company introduced were sequels or HD remakes. The Wind Waker HD, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8… you get the idea. Not that they're bad, but I was looking for something a little bit more, what's the word, invigorating. Fortunately, that's exactly what I got when I went hands-on with Bayonetta 2.
The game, first announced last year as a Wii U exclusive, has been long anticipated by the Nintendo community. And for good reason – the masterminds at Platinum Games were once again behind the helm, promising that every bit of sexiness from the original game would make a return for the second time round. And judging from the hands-on we got with the game, the team is definitely fulfilling that promise.
One of the first things you'll notice about Bayonetta 2 is, yes, the heroine got her hair cut. But don't freak out, because this isn't one of those game-changing events. The fact of the matter is, the gun-toting witch is as dangerous as ever, which she proved by riding around on a moving platform that darted its way through the city. While maintaining her stance on the cart, enemies came swooping in, forcing her to do just what she does best – swinging around and performing some stylish attacks.
Bayonetta 2 retains every bit of gameplay goodness as the original, and then some. The combos you can put together in the game are outstanding, ranging from light punches and kicks to hard-hitting demon boots that come flying out of portals to skoosh the bad guys flat. For good measure, the stylish "megaton" executions also make a return, whether you're capturing an enemy in a hangman's noose or, my personal favorite, setting them up to be ground up in a set of spiked gears. These really come together to form some solid gameplay…but you haven't seen anything yet.
In the second half of the demo, we came across a huge ringed dragon who hastily ripped through a number of buildings in the hopes of reaching our flying platform. He eventually did, and that's when Bayonetta went to work, striking away at him and occasionally dodging an incoming attack, which in turn activated a slight time freeze. During this, Bayonetta could get some extra kicks in, doing additional damage to it.
Finally, it came down to getting to the Climax, where Bayonetta's wardrobe flew off (yep, it still leaves suggestive nudity behind) and turned into an enormous demon, who reached in and snacked away on the dragon. The additional damage it did depended on how quickly we tapped the buttons, adding even more "megaton" hits as we finished it off. The demo concluded with Bayonetta cradling her fellow leather-clad witch buddy, knocked out in the heat of battle.
Though short, the demo definitely left a good impression on us, especially considering how awesome the first game was. Platinum Games has poured just as much combat into this game as the original, and the graphics are astounding, as the action moved at a rapid 60 frames per second with barely any slowdown. Considering you're flying through the city at a wild velocity – and the cinemas show quite the explosive action – that's a feat you don't see much on the Wii U.
Bayonetta 2 was easily the best Wii U game Nintendo offered on the show floor (at least for me – the argument could easily be opened for the other staffers), and is bound to be a big hit for the system when it drops in 2014. That can't come soon enough, because we've got some demon-stompin' to do. And what better way to do it than with sexy gun boots?