It’s been a while since Bayonetta 3 was first announced at the 2017 Game Awards, showing a short teaser trailer of Bayonetta seemingly beaten and defeated. In the time since, Nintendo has announced and will presumably release other PlatinumGames action titles like Astral Chain, with Bayonetta 3 nowhere to be seen. Even more concerning, Bayonetta 2 director Yusuke Hashimoto left PlatinumGames at the beginning of 2019 — while Hashimoto was never confirmed to be directing the third game, it was widely presumed he was at least involved with it, and his departure was certainly strange.
A recent interview with studio head Atsushi Inaba, however, might give us the first hints about something being slightly different with Bayonetta 3. In speaking with Video Games Chronicle, Inaba commented on the way the game’s pacing and buildup were different from the previous two games’ development.
“With Bayonetta 1 and 2 we had basically an orthodox development process, at least for us,” he told the outlet in an interview. “We did stage one, then stage two, then stage three and built up the drama and the pacing chronologically. 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.”
Inaba was asked if players would notice this change or if it was purely a development thing, to which he only really responded with “Maybe players will recognize this as well.”
It’s difficult to parse exactly what Inaba means here without knowing if he is talking about the game’s pacing or their own, but the bit about the drama and pacing makes me think it is both. Through that lens, it makes me wonder if there’s a particularly different tact they are taking with Bayonetta 3’s structure. Might we be looking at something slightly more non-linear or even massively more non-linear? Or perhaps, with the teaser’s suggestion of a younger or alternate Bayonetta, the game’s structure might involve time travel itself.
We will find out whenever Nintendo finally decides to talk more about the game, though my suspicion is that Astral Chains, which releases this summer, will be out first.
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