Bayonetta 2 Preview – Umbran Climax

by on August 8, 2014

Much has been written and said about the Wii U’s woes: the gulf in technology separating the system from it rivals, the lack of regular AAA releases, alongside a total absence of third-party support or confidence. This hysteria is whittled out every single time a game is released that is worthy of note, with each title weighed down under a pile of “Saviour of the Wii U” badges, which is unfair for any developer to live up to.

Bayonetta 2 finds itself as the next martyr in this position, but it also finds itself in the good position of being a third-party game with the full backing of Nintendo, plus SEGA, both of whom share top billing in the game’s initial introduction. From the moment the game was announced as a Wii U exclusive, there has been a tidal wave of negative comments from people who don’t understand why developers Platinum Games aren’t bringing the spectacled one to the other consoles of this world. Let’s get this straight, this game would not be financially viable if it weren’t for the support of Nintendo and SEGA.

As for the game itself? Well, it’s Bayonetta to the core, and going by the areas of the game I’m currently allowed to talk about, it contains everything you would expect from Platinum Games: Action, Silky-smooth framerates, campiness, unique characters and enemy designs, and uncomfortably overt sexual themes.

From the get-go, there is an instant feeling of familiarity as we’re reintroduced to the titular character. Ultimately, our heroine is once again fighting the demons and angels that reside in various planes of existence, namely Paradiso, Purgatoria, and Inferno. All you need to know is that the fighting is as manic as before, while the extravagant set pieces are even more absurd right from the very start. Within those initial chapters I fought demons on skyscrapers, angels on fast-moving trains, and even on top of fighter jets in the middle of a city. I imagine these early stages are a good primer for a clear escalation of the absolutely mad action that will no doubt pervade the rest of the game.

It’s also gorgeous as well, appearing lightning-fast and running at a consistently high frame rate, that only occasionally drops at non-essential moments, and pre-rendered cutscenes. There is so much going on screen, and as you’ll be able to see from our preview video, each battle is an exercise in beautiful chaos. The asset design retains the uniqueness from the original, with some very weird enemies, not to mention Bayonetta’s signature Wicked Weave summons.

She retains the same basic abilities she had in the original, and so far, her only major new ability is the Umbran Climax. After completely filling up the purple magic bar by damaging enemies, pressing a specified button will engage a mode where all your attacks will be replaced with Bayonetta’s significantly more powerful Wicked Weave attacks, wherein giant fists and feet made of hair will pummel your foes. Evading enemy attacks at the last second (to activate the slowed down Witch Time) is still very much the order of the day, and remains a good way to give yourself a breather while multiple enemies try and beat you down.

Bayonetta 2 Preview

While the battles have so much going on, it’s comforting to know that efforts have been made to make the game a little more accessible for new players or those not confident with these types of game. There is an easy mode of course, but for players who aren’t comfortable with the finger gymnastics required for racking up some of the big combos, there are touch-screen modes available. The whole game can be played in this manner, with swipes and slides taking care of movement and evasion, and taps for jumping and attacking enemies. At this stage, I wouldn’t say it’s a preferable form of control, but it’s certainly usable and I had even racked up a few gold medals using this method. You can see another video detailing how the touchscreen functionality works here.

It isn’t all about fighting though, as there are a few sections of the game that are a little slower in pace, as you traverse areas to get to the next fight, finding various collectables and secrets on the way. Rodin and his shop (The Gates of Hell) return to give you a place to spend all of those lovely rings you pick up on your travels, as well as to provide a little bit of comic relief in between the violence.

So at this early stage, this is basically more Bayonetta. Alas, there is some time before you’re going to know if that’s a good thing or not, as the game isn’t released until October. But it’s shaping up to be another stellar Wii U-exclusive title, which is something we all want, right?

Bayonetta 2 is due to be released in October 2014, exclusively for Wii U.

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  • HarakiriKami

    Lmao, cant y’all just focus on the game or does everybody need to make a focus of the Wii U and the state of the internets endless flurry of articles about it and Nintendo?

    (frankly the xbox is doing worse, Microsoft just lost 400 million$ on that.)

  • http://GodisaGeek.com/ Adam Cook

    I think Lee is trying to make that point, too. That the “saviour of Wii U” stuff is utter tripe – the console has some *incredible* games, and we at GiaG have supported it from day one :-)

  • HarakiriKami

    Mhm I understand.

    My tactic is just simply ignoring the noise XD. Not mentioning it, not dignifying it ect.

    I just dont understand the media’s love for negativity. Anything that they can spin as a negative they will. They just love their train wrecks.

    Nintendo and MS have been on the blunt edge of that lately. In MS’s case its for what they have been doing and in Nintendo case its what they havent done. Or what people think they arent doing because they’re misinformed and others who just want to watch the world burn on Apple’s App Store.

  • http://www.godisageek.com/ Lee Garbutt

    As an almost-satisfied Wii U owner, I’m fed up with the negativity as well. I hope that our Bayonetta content today has got you excited, because we have a lot more stuff coming in future, and this is a VERY exciting game to play.

  • http://www.gamespot.com/profile/CyberLips/ ReinAtieh

    Damn you Wii U now i have to buy you.

  • http://GodisaGeek.com/ Adam Cook

    We’re not really a “negative” site, if that makes sense. We all love video games. Sure, there are poor ones, and we’ll always say so when they come to us, and we’ll score them that way too. But we never, *ever* set out to be negative – we approach things with an open mind.

    As I say, we love games, and I can 100% understand the frustration from certain sections of the media.

  • HarakiriKami

    Fatal Frame girls will drag you under

  • bistricky

    I bought my Wii U because of Bayonetta 2, and from the looks of it … I made the right decision …..
    BTW, great preview ….. :D

  • http://www.godisageek.com/ Lee Garbutt

    Thanks for the kind comment! I’m going to be posting a lot more coverage between now and October, and there’s a lot more to show, so you should definitely check back with us :)

  • bistricky

    Cheers to you Lee …. I will definitely …. it was an exceptional article (w/ video), and it should be commended. :D

  • http://GodisaGeek.com/ Adam Cook

    Not allowed to mention Fatal Frame here until it gets a NA/EU release window :-P

    Would love another scary game on the Wii U. ZombiU was excellent!

  • Raouf Thabet

    Bayonetta 2 Wii U GamePad Functionality Explained