One of the most illustrious and anticipated upcoming games is Bayonetta 3 — a title that has been cooking for quite some time now. As its name suggests, it’s the follow up to Bayonetta 2 and presumably will send players on another action-packed journey as the sassy Umbra Witch known as Bayonetta. It’s in development by renowned studio PlatinumGames, best known for fast-paced action games like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Astral Chain, The Wonderful 101, and Nier: Automata to name a few.
Since its announcement, few details about Bayonetta 3 have been revealed. Though, we’ve scoured the depths of the internet to find as much info about it as possible. From its potential release date, trailer, gameplay, and more — here’s everything we know about Bayonetta 3.
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Let’s kick things off with the one and only Bayonetta 3 trailer (shown above) — the one that officially revealed the project during The Game Awards 2017. In it, we get to see a close-up shot of the moon, with the PlatinumGames logo, followed by a quick action sequence featuring the witch herself. Based on the trailer, it appears like Bayonetta has her long hair back (which was a point of contention since she had short hair in Bayonetta 2).
After a few quick shots, it’s revealed that Bayonetta 3 is in development exclusively for Nintendo Switch. And with that, no other trailers for Bayonetta 3 have been shown, so this is essentially most of what we have to work with. Still, it’s a neat teaser that gives us a few tidbits of information.
Eagle-eyed fans have mentioned that the reveal trailer for Bayonetta 3 resembles (almost shot by shot) the teaser trailers for the previous two installments. And as part of an interview with Famitsu (as relayed by DualShockers), PlatinumGames said the initial Bayonetta 3 trailer has hidden secrets in it.
Despite being in development since at least 2017 (possibly earlier), Bayonetta 3 does not have a release date or release window. Though, PlatinumGames did make a statement recently in which it mentioned it wanted to provide an update on the game’s development in 2021.
As part of an interview with VGC, PlatinumGames co-founder Hideki Kamiya was asked about the possibility of an update this year.
“It’s not really our position to say, but … it’s January,” Kamiya said in response. “We’ve got to have something come out, right? I guess it’s safe to expect that something will come out. There’s still a lot of the year left is what I’m saying.”
This could mean we’ll get some sort of news by the end of 2021, though Platinum isn’t making promises. When asked if the potential 2021 update would be more than just a CGI logo, Kamiya said “I understand it’s driving the fans crazy! In light of that, my suggestion would be that maybe we should all reset and forget about Bayonetta 3. Then when something finally does happen, it will be a nice surprise, won’t it?”
In addition, Kamiya was interviewed by Famitsu in 2020, in which he was quoted by saying the game’s development was “progressing smoothly.”
In 2020, Grey DeLisle-Griffen, the voice actress for Jeanne in the Bayonetta games, was asked on Twitter if the voice work for the character had started yet, to which she replied no. This could serve as an indication as to how the game’s development is progressing. Typically, voice acting is one of the last parts of development, so this doesn’t mean the game is in trouble.
I haven’t! 🙁
— Grey DeLisle-Griffin (@GreyDeLisle) August 23, 2020
As part of an interview with Eurogamer, PlatinumGames mentioned that Bayonetta 3 represents a turning point for the company and how it makes games. It’s unclear what this means exactly, but could help to explain the game’s long development cycle.
At the end of the day, these interviews are heavily monitored by PR, so it’s not exactly alarming that Platinum didn’t commit to anything or reveal Bayonetta 3’s release date. With the COVID-19 pandemic, development likely slowed, so PlatinumGames and Nintendo likely want to keep things under wraps until they’re confident they can hit the targeted release date.
Nonetheless, we could see Bayonetta 3 within the next couple of years — possibly by the end of 2021. Though a more realistic estimate puts it at 2022 or so.
As noted in its announcement trailer, Bayonetta 3 is in development exclusively for Nintendo Switch. Much like Bayonetta 2 before it, the newest entry will be exclusive to Nintendo. Though, given its long development cycle, the game might have shifted towards Nintendo’s next system — whether it be an upgraded Switch model or something entirely new. That’s a lot of speculation, sure, but when this game was revealed, Nintendo probably didn’t expect it to take an additional five or so years for the game to come out.
With rumors running rampant about a forthcoming upgraded Switch Pro model, it’s quite possible Bayonetta 3 has been shifted to launch on that platform — in addition to the standard Switch we know and love today. Many have speculated that Bayonetta 3’s ambitious scope could benefit from the added power of a Pro model Switch. At this point, all we can say for sure is that it will launch for Nintendo Switch and that it will not release on PlayStation or Xbox platforms.
Since we haven’t seen anything in terms of Bayonetta 3’s gameplay, all we can do is speculate on how it’ll play. Though, it will almost assuredly play like its predecessors — giving players a fast-paced action adventure with tons of style and flair. Given the game’s lengthy development cycle, new features may be implemented. We can almost guarantee to expect to see large areas to explore, fluid action gameplay, and an over-the-top story that aims to captivate its fan base.
We’ll probably see the continuation of the combo system, along with various power-ups, weapons, items, and more.
As part of the Eurogamer article mentioned above, Platinum said Bayonetta 3 would still be a linear core progression action game, but notes that new features and mechanics would be added, as well. Platinum knows that “fans expect crazier, better, tighter action games,” so we’ll likely see a noticeable evolution with Bayonetta 3.
As part of yet another interview with VGC, PlatinumGames Studio Head Atsushi Inaba said “for Bayonetta 3, we can say that we learned enough from making the past two games to change our process in a way that’s different to what I just described. Maybe the players will recognize this as well. And that’s all the hints you get!”
Again, it’s unclear how this new development process will translate to the gameplay itself, but you’ll likely see some changes with the third entry when everything is all said and done.
Bayonetta 2 featured an interesting co-op multiplayer component called Tag Climax that allowed players to team up to defeat waves of enemies with the original Wii U release. That mode was carried over to the Switch edition and was one of the most beloved aspects of the entire package. With this in mind, there is precedent for the inclusion of a multiplayer mode that could return in Bayonetta 3, though nothing has been confirmed.
It’s possible multiplayer might be totally scrapped to focus on the single-player portion of the forthcoming release. We’ve seen this happen with sequels before, like in BioShock Infinite or The Last of Us Part II. Since nothing about multiplayer has been confirmed one way or the other, we can’t say for sure — but we do hope multiplayer makes its return since Tag Climax was so fun in Bayonetta 2.
In Bayonetta 2, free DLC costumes were implemented including ones based on Link from The Legend of Zelda, Princess Peach from Super Mario, Princess Daisy from Super Mario, Fox McCloud from Star Fox, and Samus Aran from Metroid. Since Bayonetta 3 will be published by Nintendo, it may include a similar set of costumes for the heroine to utilize.
As for more substantial DLC like new story content or levels, it’s unlikely, as PlatinumGames doesn’t have much of a history adding major expansions after launch. There are a few exceptions like with Nier: Automata and Metal Gear Rising, but for the most part, you shouldn’t expect major DLC in Bayonetta 3.
Of course, nothing about DLC has been confirmed so we can’t say for certain just yet.
Finally, you might be wondering about pre-ordering Bayonetta 3. At this point, pre-orders aren’t available just yet, due to Platinum and Nintendo remaining tight-lipped about the project’s development schedule. Typically, games become available to pre-order when a release date is announced. In referencing the re-release of Bayonetta 2 for Switch, consumers were able to pre-order shortly after the port’s announcement in December 2017 at The Game Awards — before its release in February 2018.
Since then, developers and publishers have eased back on announcing release dates too early, as fans are often disappointed when delays occur. With that in mind, don’t expect to be able to pre-order Bayonetta 3 until closer to launch.
As for pre-order bonuses, you may get some extra goodies when you buy early, though as history shows, we wouldn’t count on too much. With Bayonetta 2, Japanese customers gained access to a microfiber cloth when pre-ordering through Amazon — but aside from that, there wasn’t much in terms of extra bonuses. Since the series has a much bigger fan base now, the pre-order bonuses might be more plentiful with the next release, but nothing has yet been confirmed.