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 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, the September 2021 Nintendo Direct finally gave us a first look at the forthcoming action game, with a release window and even gameplay footage. We still have a flurry of questions, but we’ve scoured the depths of the internet to find as much info about it as possible.
From its potential release date to its trailer, gameplay, and more — here’s everything we know about Bayonetta 3.
Let’s kick things off with the reveal trailer for Bayonetta 3 (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. 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.
That brings us to the second trailer, which was shown during the September 2021 Nintendo Direct. This was an absolute blowout of a trailer, giving us nearly four minutes of Bayonetta 3 goodness. It showed off gameplay, some of the characters, Bayonetta herself (sporting a new haircut), and the gameplay. It ended with a release window, which was certainly heartening to see. We won’t spoil the trailer here, so give it a watch above.
After a lengthy development cycle, Bayonetta 3 will finally be ready to launch in 2022. PlatinumGames and Nintendo didn’t announce a specific date, but it might make sense for it to come out in the summer. Its launch day depends on how the development cycle shakes out, along with other Nintendo Switch release dates. The game was initially revealed in 2017, so it’s been a long time coming, that’s for sure. Hopefully it reaches its 2022 release window.
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 published by Nintendo, meaning it won’t come to other platforms — at least not anytime soon. It’s possible Bayonetta 3 will eventually launch on Nintendo’s next console, much like the way Bayonetta 2 jumped from Wii U to the successor to the Switch, but at this point, nothing like that has been confirmed.
Bayonetta 3 will play like its predecessors — giving us a fast-paced action adventure with tons of style and flair. Given the game’s lengthy development cycle, new features will likely be implemented. Based on the recent trailer, it looks like the new installment will implement large-scale battles between massive creatures. Bayonetta can control a Kaiju-like monster to defend against another foe of equal size, which will probably make for some memorable moments. Bayonetta has always been wild and over-the-top, but this entry seems like it will raise the bar, particularly in terms of scale.
We can expect to see large areas to explore, fluid action gameplay, and a wacky story that aims to captivate its fan base. Bayonetta 3 will probably have a continuation of the combo system, along with various power-ups, weapons, items, and more.
As part of a Eurogamer interview with PlatinumGames’ co-founder Atsushi Inaba, it was revealed 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.
During an 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 solid 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.