Bayonetta Updated Impressions

We saw more of Bayonetta's story, characters, and weapons in an all-new demo at GamesCom.

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When we last saw Bayonetta, the titular demon witch with the killer hairstyle was being played on the E3 show floor. PlatinumGames' Hideki Kamiya had a brand new demo in store for us at GamesCom 2009.

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What's New: Before we got to see Bayonetta in action again, we were presented with a lengthy new cutscene that answered some questions but asked many more. From what we know, Bayonetta had been sleeping for 500 years and was suddenly awoken in order to battle for forces of good. We're introduced to a new character, Luka, a debonair human who briefly met Bayonetta as a kid and has grown into a man and possible love interest for the seemingly ageless witch. Unfortunately for him, Luka and Bayonetta both exist in different dimensions, and while he can smell and hear her, he can't reach out and touch the alluring witch. Some of the cutscenes we saw used the in-game engine, while others were prerendered and had a cinematic look complete with sepia and film roll effects.

What's Different: While Bayonetta usually equips pistols on her ankles, this time around she was sporting two rocket launchers attached to her lower legs. While slow, the rockets pack a hell of a punch and can take out certain enemies with just a single round. You can also perform an ultracool handstand move where she fires both rockets at once. From what we saw, it looks like you can also lift any weapons your victims leave behind, as well as objects. At one point, we saw Bayonetta raise a car and effortlessly fling it at an enemy.

The demo ended with Bayonetta, doing battle with a monstrously large angel in midair. The menacing celestial being had a huge, faced tongue (think Aliens) and spiked tendrils. After attacking the tongue for a moment, Bayonetta was able to run up to the head and cut off the tongue in a satisfyingly bloody and brutal animation--something we've come to expect from this promising gorefest.

What's the Same: We got a chance to play the same demo that we first saw at E3 2008 and got hands-on with at E3 2009. We also saw some more witch time moments, a slow-mo mode executed by dodging attacks at the right time. From what we can tell, the ability looks like it will play an important part in the fast-paced combat.

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What Impression the Game Made This Time: Bayonetta is looking great and seems to manage making ultraviolent action both rewarding and humorous. The game packs plenty of action, drama, and sass together, and while we haven't seen a lot of the story, the combat looks and feels both intuitive and fun. We look forward to getting more time with Bayonetta before its launch in early 2010.

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