PlatinumGames' Bayonetta is packed with megatons. The action game from Devil May Cry creator Hideki Kamiya starring titular witch Bayonetta was playable at E3 this week and we got to unleash some of those megatons.
We're not talking about video game industry shaking announcements, message board dwellers. We're talking about one of the many facets of Bayonetta's combo attacks, particularly her finishing moves that push enemy Angels into Iron Maidens and guillotines or grind them into oblivion with massive spiked wheels. When an enemy's health is low, wailing on the X button builds up megatons, adding more pain and more points.
Those moves will be supplanted by gigaton-level attacks. But there's another level of attack beyond the gigaton, something that developer PlatinumGames isn't yet ready to reveal.
Until then, there's no lack of variety to discuss in Bayonetta's menu of moves. Her rich list of combos is comprised mostly of kicks and punches, a surprisingly deep system with little more than jumping and pausing between attacks to mix things up.
Those combos can be practiced during the game's loading times, giving the player time to become familiar with some of Bayonetta's moves that one might not be able to pull off in the midst of the game's chaotic battles. A running tally of how many times you've been able to pull off a particular combo will be shown on those loading screens as well, letting you know what moves you're taking advantage of regularly and which ones you're not.
Some of the more spectacular combos that we were able to execute during our 20-minute hands-on session ended with giant stiletto heels and massive fists emerging from mystical portals. Others, the Torture Attacks, wrapped up with giant dragons made of Bayonetta's hair, clearly exposing the witch's expertly modeled backside for a half-second.
Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of Bayonetta's combo system is the gunfire. When you want to cancel out a combo, you can simply hold down the Y or B button on the Xbox 360 controller and Bayonetta will wrap things up with a hail of bullets.
We battled two giant boss-level creatures during our session. The first was a cherub faced hulk with a weak spot located on its back. After going on the offensive for most of the battle, we quickly learned that the Bayonetta's dodge move, performed with the right trigger, was crucial to surviving hand-to-hand fights.
That dodge, done just at the right time, as explained the demo's tutorial, will also kick in Witch Time. When Witch Time kicks in, everything slows down with the exception of Bayonetta.
Our second boss encounter wasn't so easy. He crushed the bridge we were standing on again and again, making Bayonetta fall to her death. The only reasonable tactic: run. We made it to safer ground, then let loose on the massive Angel with a series of combos and lots of Witch Time moves until we'd whittled down his health.
Finally, we had a run in with a character more our size, a female opponent seen in the game's most recent E3 trailer who matches Bayonetta's speed and combo capabilities. This showed of Bayonetta's Witch Walk, an ability that lets her walk on walls and ceilings, adding a topsy-turvy perspective on the action.
Our hands on time with Bayonetta absolutely did not disappoint. The game's 60 frames-per-second action is beautiful to behold, with tight controls and a deep list of fast action attacks. With the added variety of megaton attacks, Torture Attacks, the ability to pick up almost any weapon from defeated foes and maybe just a little titillation, there's plenty to see and do in the game.
It ships later this year for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Set aside some cash.