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The newcomers’ guide to Bayonetta 3

Getting your angel-slaying feet wet with Bayonetta 3? Here's everything you need to know before jumping in.

Fans have been waiting for the third entry in the Bayonetta series for a long time. Since PlatinumGames announced it back in 2017 and following numerous delays, it’s hard to believe that Bayonetta 3 is just around the corner. It’s got just about everything longtime fans have wanted (barring, of course, Bayonetta’s original voice actress). But what about the newcomers who are coming to Bayonetta for the first time via Bayonetta 3?

With a brand new game on the horizon, it’s inevitable that many will be jumping into the series for the first time. Whether you’re starting straight with Bayonetta 3 or planning to get the entire franchise under your belt first, you’ll want to know what you’re getting into. That’s why we present this newcomers’ guide to Bayonetta 3, which contains all the story and gameplay info you need to know beforehand.

As a note, this article will contain spoilers for Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2. Spoiler-filled sections of this guide have been marked, but read at your own discretion!

The gameplay of Bayonetta 3: what you need to know

In Bayonetta 3, the titular witch takes to the streets of Tokyo (among many other locations) to deal with a Homunculi infestation.

The Bayonetta series is known for many things: a take-no-nonsense protagonist, charming characters abound, and kick-butt gameplay. In this game, you take control of Umbra Witch Bayonetta as she slays angels and demons. You’ve got a variety of moves at your disposal for intense melee and ranged combat, while you’re also able to use a variety of weapons. Bayonetta’s signature guns can dish out the pain at a distance, while she can also summon Infernal Demons for special moves and finishing blows.

Bayonetta 3 will continue the same high-octane gameplay of the previous two games. Bayonetta is still equipped with numerous weapons and combat maneuvers to take down giant demonic threats. Witch Time, Torture Attacks, and Wicked Weaves are making a return, with some improvements to the mechanics.

New to the series this time are two new abilities. There’s Demon Masquerade, which allows you to summon Infernal Demons at any time during battle. You can also use Demon Slave to transform into your demon companions to deliver devastating attacks.

In addition, you’ll have a new player character in Viola, who moves and attacks slower but can deal out the damage like nobody’s business. Her Infernal Demon companion, Cheshire, can’t be controlled by Viola directly. But as a compromise, Viola will still be able to attack herself while Cheshire is in the field.

The lore of Bayonetta

Bayonetta 3 New Features
Bayonetta gets things done in style.

But what exactly is it you’re doing in Bayonetta? Why is this Bayonetta woman taking on angels and demons, and what the heck is an Umbra Witch anyway?

Let’s quickly explain the lore of the Bayonetta series to get you up to speed. For an abridged summary of the previous two games, see the next section. (That section will have spoilers, so beware!)

Bayonetta takes place in a universe much like our own, except for the existence of angels, demons, and multiple factions representing them. In the world of Bayonetta, in addition to the Human World (AKA the World of Chaos), there exists the realms of the demon-infested Inferno and the angel-infested Paradiso. Demons and angels from both realms are engaged in a lifelong struggle, with the World of Chaos caught in the middle.

Two clans of humans operate across the human world. The Lumen Sages are followers of light and have the power of the angels of Paradiso on their side. The Umbra Witches are followers of darkness and summon the power of the Infernal Demons. Our hero, Bayonetta, belongs to the former, operating as one of the few remaining Umbra Witches in the world.

What’s the story so far?

It’s just another day for Bayonetta — even when the threats are brand new.

WARNING! Spoilers for Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 below!

Long before the events of the first game, Bayonetta — a half-Umbra Witch, half-Lumen Sage by blood — participated in the Great War (not that one) between Paradiso and Inferno 500 years ago. Her fellow Umbra Witch Jeanne, however, seemingly betrayed Bayonetta and sunk her in a coffin under the sea for 500 years.

Bayonetta then awakens after her long slumber with no idea of who she is. She slowly regains her memory over the course of her adventure, with help from bartender and arms dealer Rodin, informant Enzo, journalist Luka, and mysterious girl Cereza. To help claim her lost past, she hunts the Eyes of the World, two treasures that belong to both clans.

It turns out that Jeanne has been brainwashed by the Lumen Sages — specifically, corrupted Lumen Sage Baldur. Baldur is not only Bayonetta’s father, but also brought a young Bayonetta from the past as the modern-day Cereza. With a revived Jeanne’s help, Bayonetta seemingly puts Baldur down for good.

Some time later, Jeanne’s soul is condemned to Inferno and Bayonetta sets off to rescue her. She meets a boy named Loki along the way, who claims to have lost his powers and memories. The two rescue Jeanne, but Loki’s powers return and he sends Bayonetta into the past to meet her mother Rosa. The two ladies fight against Loki’s evil counterpart Loptr, with Bayonetta returning to the present to destroy Loptr.

Everything we know about the plot of Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3 Viola
Viola, a brand new character, has a story of her own in Bayonetta 3.

Right from the first trailer, we learned a few details about the story we can expect in Bayonetta 3. A few more trailers have revealed more information, giving us a preview of what’s to come.

Bayonetta and her crew this time are faced with a new threat altogether: the Homunculi. These creatures come from neither Inferno nor Paradiso, and appear to be human-made in nature. Nonetheless, they’re a threat to the world and therefore, Bayonetta’s going to hunt them down.

There’s also a cast of new and old and new-old (I’ll explain) characters as well. Joining Bayonetta as a playable character this time is Viola, an Umbra Witch in training whose power is unquestionable. The team is going after a being known as Singularity this time, whose plan involves merging multiple realities into one to create an Alphaverse.

As a result, there’s a whole bunch of Bayonettas this time around, likely the result of time or dimensional manipulation. Some have also theorized from the first trailer that we’re actually controlling a grown-up Cereza this time based on her different voice. Given the voice actor drama that’s unfolded, however, that’s looking less like the case — though it’s not impossible.

So suffice to say, the Bayonetta story — which has already been pretty crazy and confusing — is gonna get even crazier.

Bayonetta 3 Story Trailer
The witch is back — and back in full force.

With this newcomers’ guide, you’re now hopefully ready to jump into Bayonetta 3 without hesitation!

Bayonetta 3 will launch on Oct. 28 for the Nintendo Switch, costing $59.99 USD. In addition to the standard digital edition, the game will be receiving a physical edition as well, dubbed the Trinity Masquerade Edition. It includes a 200-page artbook and three special game sleeves.

Pre-order the game for your Nintendo Switch here via our affiliate link!

What are you most excited for in Bayonetta 3? Are you picking it up when it launches next week? Let us know!

Daniel Hein

Daniel Hein is either A) a lifelong video game fanatic, writer, and storyteller just sharing his thoughts on things, or B) some kind of werewolf creature. We're not quite sure which yet. He also makes mediocre video game retrospectives (and other content!) on YouTube where you can watch him babble on for hours about nothing.
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