Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon was one of the biggest surprises from The Game Awards last December. There were two reasons for that. First, PlatinumGames had just released Bayonetta 3 to worldwide acclaim less than a month previous. A game that we would recently learn has crossed 1 million units sold. So congrats to them. The second reason is that the ending of the third mainline title implied that the franchise was over. Or at least, over in its current form. Yet here was a prequel game that wanted to tell more of the Umbra Witch’s story. But what story was there to tell?
We’ve gotten small details about that since its announcement. Cereza will be in her younger form and head into a mythical forest to save her mother. She’ll team with her first summoned demon, Cheshire, to get through the dangers. But one look at Bayonetta Origins, and you’ll see the game looks and feels nothing like the original titles. So how would it play and feel in practice? IGN was able to get a preview build for the game, and they revealed several key details.
For example, in terms of the gameplay, they referenced its style to Legend of Zelda. By that, they meant that the game is “balanced” between platforming, puzzle-solving, and combat. Add that to the isometric perspective of the camera, and you have a new viewpoint into Bayonetta’s world. What’s more, the way the story develops is less about a witch trying to save the world from monsters and more of a storybook tale of a “young girl in an uncaring world.”
A surprise you might not have predicted is the control scheme. According to the preview, the game will have you detaching the Joy-Cons and controlling Cereza and Cheshire independently through each Joy-Con.
That leads to the platforming and puzzle elements, as you must combine your abilities to overcome obstacles. One example was an obstacle being in your way. Cereza can use magic to subdue the obstacle, and Cheshire can use its power to get it out of the way.
In combat, Cheshire will be the “workhorse” of the group and deal damage, while Cereza will cast spells and buffs to help out. According to the preview, the controls will take some time, so be ready for that.
Despite the vast differences to the mainline game, the title seems to be a lot of fun, and you’ll get to experience it for yourself on March 17th.