Platinum Games' Bayonetta 2 demo for the Wii U at E3 2013 started with gratuitous cinematic crotch shots, filled gameplay with intense combos and hideous angelic monstrosities, and ended with a heft dose of what-the-hell-is-going-on spiced with a touch of slight emotional poignancy. Ah, it's good to have you back Bayonetta, even though you're male gaze personified at least you ... no, no that's pretty much it. Damn it, video games.
Nintendo's publishing Bayonetta 2 to appeal to the make hair-growing-in-weird-places demographic and so the demo starts out with a close up of our protagonists breasts and hooha through a tight suit. Then the camera pulls back and we discover that, oh my, Bayonetta has cut her hair very short -- adorable! Instead of her long black locks, Bayonetta has a short cape of black feathers (in addition to her normal black hair suit) from which she summons demons to do her dirty work. It's a fun visual change, but ultimately just that. After all, a fashionista/diva/Umbra Witch like Bayonetta wouldn't show up to her own sequel in the same old rags, right?
Anyway, back to the action, the camera pans back to reveal Bayonetta fighting several angelic winged centaur-pegasi on the back of a fighter jet as it soars in between skyscrapers mid-city. Also darting between buildings is a giant angel-dragon-work thing that should remind players just how messed up the world of Bayonetta is. Several waves of centaurs will appear and between each one the dragon will slice in, slightly damaging the jet, until finally it plummets into a river.
Before moving on, let's talk about the combat itself. Again, it's combo-centric, and while I can't recall the exact logistics of the combo system in the original Bayonetta, I can confirm without doubt that the sequel feels much easier. Finishing a combo allows you to activate a demon power with the press of a button, a symbol of Bayonetta's newfound Umbra Witch power. I can't even remember what buttons I was pressing and I had demon fists popping out of the sky, purple lightning on my gun slashes and odd chain torture devices tearing dudes apart by accident. It's not easier, after all the enemies still hurt unless you time your dodges precisely, but it's certainly flashier.
A flashier Bayonetta, sounds ridiculous right? IT IS. It's also why I loved the demo so much. It was five minutes of centaur angels getting sliced up bye demons and Final Fantasy-esque summoning spells on the back of a jet fighter all in real time. It was sensory overload, but if you focused in on any one action the details were astounding. Platinum Games deserves a lot of credit for their work with animations and coloring, to put so much on screen and have it still very clear what's going on while still blowing your mind.
Plummeting to the ground, the dragon-worm-angel slices apart the jet with Bayonetta still on it via cutscene. Naturally she's still on a part of the wing as it flies off, but luckily she can freeze time and leap from piece to piece of the as yet un-exploded jet plane to finally reach a passing train. Whew, finally a breather. Yeah right, a portal to another dimension opens up and another huge, one-armed Angel steps up. I think his name was Delight or something else completely ridiculous. I wonder where that other arm went.
What follows is huge boss battle where the Angel runs alongside the train smashing and slicing as Bayonetta beats at him, slowly tearing away his armor and revealing a disgusting organic alien body underneath. Another angel throws a sword at the train and suddenly the other surviving Umbra Witch, Jeanne, is battling the one-armed angel right beside you. Fighting together, the angel doesn't stand a chance at all and in the end you summon Gomorrah with a huge Gigaton finisher and he devours the angel.
All is well, right? Not so, as Gomorrah frees himself from the summoning circle of Bayonetta's hair, or whatever. Things look bleak as Gomorrah strikes at Bayonetta, until Jeanne throws herself in the way, saving Bayonetta but condemning her red glowing soul to be dragged down to the Infernal Hells. What follows is another huge boss fight that ends in Bayonetta summoning an even bigger demon to eat Gomorrah alive.
We zoom out to see Bayonetta cradling Jeanne's body aaaaaand scene. I threw the controller on the ground and ran screaming from the premises, but it was all for naught as the nightmares returned anyway. I mean, what even, Platinum Games? You win, okay? I'll play your game, I'll love it, but damn guys... maybe it's time to make an indie game about flowers or friendship or something.
Bayonetta 2 is planned for release in 2014 exclusively on the Wii U.