The lights are on
Bayonetta 2 offers more of the same action and ridiculous cutscenes that the first game introduced in 2009. It looks and feels like a true sequel, which should help silence the people who say the Wii U is incapable of producing high-quality games for the hardcore set.
The demo opens with Bayonetta (sporting a new, shorter hairdo) battling waves of enemies in a quick tutorial-style mission. It has been a few years since I played the first game, but it didn't take long to get back into the rhythm of combat. Like its predecessor, success depends on using combos, juggling, and dodging. The last part is particularly important, since perfectly timed dodges open up enemies to additional attacks. I saw a couple of the game's signature torture attacks, too. In one, an enemy was forced to run on a treadmill as a set of spikes spun menacingly behind him. Bayonetta loses patience and boots him through the chipper. In another, a giant bear trap is suspended by its chain from the sky. She launches her victim into the air, and that's that.
The battle waged from the tops of jet aircraft to a confrontation with a baby-faced angel on and around a speeding train. It was stupid, silly, and completely satisfying. Players who rely on button-mashing will quickly learn the error of their ways with that boss; its tentacles hit hard, slapping the top of the train with little warning. You'll need to learn to watch for tells and hit the roll button to evade.
I spent much of the time with the game watching the action on the GamePad's screen. It really looks amazing. It's also used in a touch-control mode, which is geared for novices who aren't used to these kinds of action games. There, players drag and swipe their way to victory. Personally, I'll do it the hard way.
See more of Bayonetta 2 in action in our video interview that shows off gameplay from the show floor of E3.
Visit our E3 News Headquarters for all the stories from the show. This preview was originally published on June 11, 2013.
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