We’re not even a month shy of Bayonetta 3’s release and Hideki Kamiya, the creator and supervisor of the series, has already confirmed that Bayonetta 4 is in development and that it will address the game’s contentious ending in “unexpected” ways.
In a Twitter thread responding to a fan’s inquiry about the future of the Bayonetta franchise via the question-asking service Peing, Kamiya said, “unexpected developments are waiting…please look forward to it.” Bayonetta 3’s finale greeted players with a Marvel movie-esque stinger text saying the series will be “continued in a new generation.” In the thread, Kamiya revealed that this continuation will address a poorly conveyed aspect of Bayonetta 3’s ending.
“I didn’t think it was unexpected at all, but it seems that the ending of Bayo 3 wasn’t conveyed correctly to everyone, so I think Bayo 4 will be an unexpected development for everyone,” Kamiya wrote in a machine-translated tweet. “After all, when Bayo 4 comes out, I’m sure there will be people who say, “You added that as an afterthought,” so I’ll say it now.”
Read More: Bayonetta 3: The Kotaku Review
Although Kamiya is obtuse about what aspect of Bayonetta 3’s ending the forthcoming sequel will work to address, Kamiya’s reply to a fan’s inquiry points toward it addressing Bayonetta’s character specifically. When a Twitter user said Bayonetta’s sudden “submissive” romance with Luka, a “subspecies” to her, and their subsequent death wasn’t fun to watch and negatively impacted her character, Kamiya replied, saying “That’s [just] how it [is] to you.”
If you’re not squeamish about spoilers and want to know why fans and some game publications that reviewed Bayonetta 3, including Kotaku, disliked its ending, here’s a quick rundown of its finale.
- Bayonetta’s “roommate” and bestie, is unceremoniously killed off
- Bayonetta ends up romantically involved with Luka, a bit player in the series who suddenly has a larger role to play in Bayonetta 3
- Bayonetta and Luka are killed off
- Bayonetta and her alternate-dimension daughter Viola have a weird post-credit scene passing-of-the-torch fight
- Celebratory vogueing and Marvel movie stinger text ensue
In a follow-up tweet, Kamiya said folks who didn’t enjoy Bayonetta 3 and who became “maddened poisonous radio transmitter[s]” should steer clear of any future entries in the series, especially if their outrage was due to how the game handled a specific character, i.e. Bayonetta. Instead of dwelling on outrage over Bayonetta 3’s handling of the beloved witch, Kamiya said players should take the game’s design, art, and story into consideration as well.
“I feel like I’ll never be able to interact with a person who puts so much into one element (e.g. a character) and judges based on that alone,” Kamiya wrote in a separate tweet.
Speaking personally, I think it’s hard not to look back at Bayonetta 3’s ending and its soft confirmation of Bayonetta 4 and not regard the game as the bizarro version of Devil May Cry 5, in which Capcom passed the torch from series mainstay Dante to his nephew Nero. Rant inbound.
Way back in 2008, Devil May Cry 4 itsself was originally supposed to be a passing of the torch from Dante to Nero but never quite stuck its landing, partially due to its unhappy decision to make the player replay every level but in reverse, as the opposite character. The subsequent release of Devil May Cry 5, turned DMC4, in retrospect, into a rough draft of how the torch-passing and Dante’s send-off were supposed to be, with a more delightful sequence of events filled with satisfying action and story beats.
Bayonetta 3, in comparison, almost mirrors the story beats of DMC5 except that it actually killed off its old hero, in this case Bayonetta. It then made matters all the worse given how tonally dissonant Viola’s “prove yourself by defeating a dark Bayonetta” post-credits fight scene felt with the rest of Bayonetta 3’s story. Instead of serving her character, it felt like a heavy-handed way of communicating with fans that Viola is the new hotness. This felt entirely unearned considering Bayonetta 3 players spent only about 25 percent of their playtime as her. This concludes my TED Talk.
Hopefully, come time for Bayonetta 4 in whatever amount of years, PlatinumGames will regain its luster and favor among fans who felt slighted by Bayonetta 3’s ending. But for now, the shadow remains cast.