I’ll say it, video games should be sexier – especially cookie-cutter AAA action games. There are only so many gross white male protagonists I can take. Fortunately in 2010, action game experts Platinum Games thought exactly that, and released a new title that mixed campy and fun appeal and satisfying combat to create one of the best action games of all time, Bayonetta, creating a now beloved franchise. It also introduced the world to everyone’s favorite dominatrix witch. And we’re all better for it.
Love at first sight – From the first moments, Bayonetta is a striking game. It throws players into the middle of a battle atop a falling clock tower against angels. You take control of a mysterious woman dressed in black, wearing a masquerade mask and a large hooded cloak.
She fights alongside another woman dressed in red as the narrative tells the player about an endless conflict between factions. They shoot and kick their way through waves of enemies as sparkling effects and kiss marks appear during combat.
Before you know it the scene cuts to a graveyard with the black clad woman now dressed as a tempting nun, as angels cut into her the clothes fall away revealing skin until she sheds them completely. Now she looks classy in a skin-tight black bodysuit with a lot of skin on the back and wearing high heels. She proceeds to kick the crap out of every angel in sight. This is your introduction to Bayonetta.
If you don’t love her immediately, then I feel sorry for you.
Bayonetta as a character and as a series is known for two things: being horny and a good fight. While the unmotivated moans, money shots and insinuations that abound Bayonetta may sound like the opposite of a girl boss, Bayonetta embraces it with a wink to the audience and goes full camp.
Unlike games like Lollipop chainsawwhich feels voyeuristic in its objectification of Juliet Starling, Bayonetta reveling in the feminine power that the titular witch exudes. The joke of the franchise is that Bayonetta would never give you the time of day most likely, she’s just a hot dommy mom with guns for shoes who I … I mean it players easy for from a distance.
Love is a battlefield – But Bayonetta is more than just a pretty face. Platinum Games is today known as one of the best action game developers in the industry. With titles like Defeated, NieR: Automataand Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance the studio has consistently delivered some of the best action games out there. Bayonetta is the root of this pedigree, as the studio’s first major AAA release.
Bayonetta’s combat is no less expertly designed than some of the studio’s later releases. Obviously building off devil may cry as the greatest inspiration, Bayonetta entices players to get a high rank in each battle encounter by racking up combos, beating time limits and using special skills like Witch Time. It all has the feel and look of a great action game that entices you to keep working towards higher scores.
Even in battle, the camp of Bayonetta is palpable. Bayonetta seductively chastises her enemies, then perform special torture or punishment attacks that see her in an even more revealing version of her iconic skin-tight suit while suggestively stomping on enemies with her heels or punching them until they’re defeated (wish it was me) . ).
Despite good performances, one more sequel Bayonetta was shelved until Nintendo stepped in to provide more funding and resources. Ever since, the very-not-family-friendly witch has called family-friendly Nintendo her home. With three games in the series and a prequel coming in March, Bayonetta has solidified herself as an unlikely mascot and continues to live in the hearts of gamers.
Bayonetta is available on Nintendo Switch and PC.