'Bayonetta 3' elevates witchy strangeness to the level of an art form

‘Bayonetta 3’ elevates witchy strangeness to the level of an art form

A new Bayonetta game is like bringing the circus to town. Of course, Bayonetta is the ringmaster, and she appears out of nowhere with boxcars full of odd monsters, unusual allies, hazardous spells, exquisite apparel, and infinite promises to wow. Her storylines don’t always make sense, but they’re full of melodrama and action, magic and bullets, and once Bayonetta steps into the limelight, there’s no turning back. Not when she’s dancing her way through a spell in a dress fashioned of her own hair, while 40-story creatures struggle for her life behind her.

Bayonetta 3 is packed with traditional Bayonetta lunacy, all amplified by one degree. The stakes are bigger than ever, the foes are gigantic, Bayonetta’s magic is immensely strong, her clothes are fantastic, and the battles never cease. The whole game is held together by a hazy storyline – an army of man-made bioweapons known as Homunculi is threatening the survival of the universe – but it’s basically an excuse to toss Bayonetta and companions into an unending series of combat across a variety of collapsing cities. In that sense, Bayonetta 3 isn’t dissimilar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but PlatinumGames’ newest entry contains much more witchcraft, silliness, and shoe-operated weaponry than anything directed by Robert Downey Jr.