Hands-On: Bayonetta’s Origins Shapes Up to Be a Good, Killing Thing

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If you got a secret chapter in Bayonetta 3 last year’s greatest, you will already be treated to a wonderful look at the art style and the general atmosphere found in Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon.

This secret piece is, as it turns out, a short demo game, which we assume shows some of the upcoming DLC ​​for the main game before this T-rated version is officially announced. With family-friendly values ​​and a fun storybook art style, we initially predicted that this would be a throwaway, fun-filled affair aimed at a younger audience that is full of some backstory. not much.

However, after spending a good amount of time blasting through the first five chapters of the game, we’re happy to report that this isn’t an attempt. What we get here is a fun and exciting adventure that combines puzzles, platforms and combat, to make the presentation of Bayonetta that we really got ourselves.

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon begins with the newborn Bayo, the illegitimate son of the Lumen Sage and the Umbran Witch. As punishment for their illicit love, Cereza’s parents are both exiled, with her father sent to a distant land and her mother locked in a dungeon deep in the earth.

We first meet our young heroine as she trains under the tutelage of Morgana, a kind witch who has also been exiled from Umbran society, and we follow Cereza as she wanders through a short dream sequence. . In this dream she is visited by a boy who tells her that she must visit the forest of Avalon and follow the trail of the mysterious white wolf if she is to be given the power needed to save the old mummy.

From here, you are introduced to some of the first game mechanics by doing some simple tasks for Morgana. You’ll find a bucket of water and use a few spells, Witch Pulse to control plants to grow and Thorn Bind to capture and hold a mysterious client who is trying to escape your sight. After a failed attempt to summon the Infernal Demon, Morgana chastises Cereza which leads to the girl reflecting on her dream and deciding to wander in the middle of the night into the Avalon Forest, AKA the Forbidden Forest, to capture the object. her fun game. , Cheshire, as she went.

Of course, it wasn’t long before Cereza was in big trouble and, surrounded by enemies, she tried to summon a bitter demon again, this time she ran into trouble with the demon now inhabiting the Cheshire boy’s body. When he tries to attack Cereza, the demon finds that he is prevented by an unseen force, and, moreover, he needs to stick close to the young witch in order to maintain his strength and magical power. So an uneasy alliance was formed. Cereza promises to help the demon return to Inferno and agrees to help her find the white wolf.

After a slow start, things kick into gear once we get to control Cereza and her demon friend. Each character is assigned to a Joy-Con thumbstick and can move in their own direction within a limited space. This mechanic is used to have fun with a series of simple platforming puzzles that teach you the ins and outs of gaming. Cheshire can attack barriers and enemies with her powerful fangs, while Cereza can use the Witch Pulse and Thorn Bind to create platforms and bind enemies so that Cheshire can swoop in and finish them off without taking damage. not.

The game gives you a few battles to get used to all of this before introducing Cheshire’s two walkthroughs, Unleashed and Hug. Unlocked mode is where you control the demon as an isolated entity, roaming around locations and attacking barriers and enemies, while Embrace mode sees Cheshire reduced to a toy form and walking in hand Cereza where it can be thrown on a hill or extended in order. to jump, dash and collect collectibles from nearby vegetation. Hug mode also works to refill Cheshire’s health/magic gauge, so you’ll find you need to balance Hug and Open modes during heated battles.

And, surprisingly, there are actually some heated battles. They may not be anything close to the level of devastation you’ll be used to from the main Bayonetta line, but the combat here throws enough different types of enemies at you that you’ll at least need to plan who you’re dealing with. future intent to avoid collisions. without knocking. Just five chapters in there’s already an impressive array of baddies here, too, forest villains whose names are pulled directly from Celtic lore and mythology – there’s a big Celtic connection here. There is even a boy named Aadan, which we are almost certain means fool in Gaelic. So, hard luck for this person in front of the name.

Along with defensive enemies that need to drop their cover, here are the enemies that Cheshire will need to kneel down to reveal, rocket weapons that can be deflected in their faces and a number of large minibosses to check in, there is certainly plenty of thought here. Both the city of men and Cheshire got the experience to pay the price too, with the graphics of the two skills, and they charged to open in the battles and research.

Indeed, as the adventure unfolds here, we are interested in the number of mechanics that we can capture with them. We thought this would keep things very, very simple – and there’s a ton of access options for those who want to control certain aspects of combat – but what we’ve found is a game that throws out interesting variations on . its real talent at a rate that makes you want to see what’s next. Cereza can eventually tie up multiple enemies and even kill smaller enemies on her own – something she’ll need to do during times when the pair are temporarily separated – while Cheshire can take on multiple forms. different backgrounds to destroy evil and open different paths.

As the story unfolds, our two heroes learn that they must destroy four elements to obtain the power Cereza needs to save her mother, and each of these elements, once destroyed, provides Cheshire with a new form. ‘i original and many collections. skills So far we have opened a path of wood and stone for the big man, and these allow him to hold the shields of the enemy to tear them from the enemy, pull bridges in a series of platforms, break stones out of the way, destroy damage. to the enemies who are greedy in terms of strength and more.

All these factors increase the number of species. different types different types types) are made of all the things that are being developed and both of them are being dealt with here, and Avalon Forest really feels like a place worth exploring. The art style is amazing, the Celtic music makes for a great natural adventure, and the forest itself is fully alive with animals, strange sounds, and all kinds of flora and fauna. There’s a bit of Nier Automata in the way the camera moves dynamically to frame the action at every turn, too, with plenty of depth-of-field effects that give the sense that this forbidden forest really is enveloping our main characters. This is a great looking game, don’t get me wrong, and we’ve had no problems working in either mobile or locked modes so far.

Add to that encounters and research that always rewards you with chests or other ingredients that Cereza can use to mix potions, explosives, and energy tonics, you’ve got Tir Na Nogs to deal with. Parts of Tir Na Nog (Land of the Youth in Irish) see you locked in a maze of delusions of reality that you will need to break free of in order to continue your downfall. These mini-dungeons consist of battles with other platforms or surprises that see you face a group of faeries or even a small boss before you use some loot from a large ancient treasure chest and destroy the magic that has been done in the surrounding area.

Beat a Tir Na Nog and your game map will be filled with nearby collection points; treasure chests, journal pages, and powerful highlights that allow you to use some powerful moves in your skill tree. These mini-dungeons can also be replayed once you’ve beaten them by simply selecting them from the menu in one of the game’s rest areas, where you can go back in, in normal or time trial mode, to get more money. grace.

There’s a definite Metroidvania-esque level of action to the various locations you’ll travel through in Bayonetta Origins and, as you progress through the story, you’ll sometimes find yourself twisting and turning in the places you visit. in the past, now with new ideas to open up the roads that were blocked to you before. It’s a rewarding experience that adds to the level of care and detail that’s been put into every aspect of the world building and environment here.

For the purposes of this preview, we cannot share anything beyond the fifth chapter but, as we leave our heroes at this point in the game, we already have a big boss fight with a big faerie in a twisted circus. tent and we made friends with forest wisps that we agreed to rescue as we found them for a reward. We’ll also use our ability to dodge trains, tower full of wild animals, and blast open Tir Na Nogs to reveal all sorts of cool things on our game map.

So far, then, we’re enjoying how this stacks up in terms of gameplay mix, and there’s more to find out as we go along to see how this fun final presentation comes together (or not). to the core. Bayonetta game series. Check out our full review before this finally comes out on St. Patrick. I told you the Celtic connection was strong!

Looking forward to Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon when it releases on March 17th? Let us know in the comments.

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