Bayonetta 3 was released late last year and we already have a new entry in the series. Normally this would be a case for concern about the game being rushed through, but PlatinumGames did not bring cause for alarm. This new title Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a fantastic follow-up to the main trilogy that brings an emotional story, unique gameplay and a beautiful art style.

As to be expected from the title, this is about Bayonetta’s origin as Cereza undergoing training as an Umbran witch before getting lost in a forest full of Faeries and summoning a demon that possesses her toy Cheshire and takes that name for itself.  Cereza and Cheshire must work together to find a way home, gain the power promised to Cereza and set Cheshire free. As to be expected this will be much easier said than done.

 Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon sees you take control of two characters at the same time and builds on gameplay concepts that were first explored in Astral Chain. The control is actually handled rather simply and never becomes a hurdle for you to control. The left Joy-Con will control Cereza and the right Joy-Con will control Cheshire and making use of both characters in the right way will lead to some rather unique play scenarios.

It should be noted that there is also a mode called Hug Mode that sees you only control Cereza if you are too overwhelmed, and it is easier, but the game really is not hard to master if you give it some time and comes to feel very satisfying.   Cereza is incapable of doing damage but can use her Thorn Bind ability to hold enemies in place for Cheshire to attack. Cheshire will be your main focus of combat since Cereza cannot attack, but you must be careful as taking too many hits will revert the game into hug mode and force Cereza to grab him and charge him up again. But if Cereza takes too many hits, you will get a game over, so make sure Cheshire is always able to protect her.

As the game continues you will find various elemental cores that must be destroyed. Doing so will give Cheshire new abilities and these will be needed to solve certain puzzles. The abilities will also come in handy in combat, but remember this is not a stylish action game like the main Bayonetta series so do not go into the game with that mindset. This game requires a much different approach and be aware that some enemies have an elemental shield that must be attacked with the right element to damage, further giving the game more of a puzzle element.

 But while the combat is one thing, the next focus that needs to be mentioned is the art style as it is a vast departure from the rest of the series but not in a bad way. The game uses a storybook art style and it is absolutely gorgeous and calls to mind games like Okami, which in some ways is a title this game feels inspired by. Cereza and the Lost Demon takes full advantage of the unique art style to create some stunning environments and even the cutscenes are amazing.

Just because the art is amazing does not mean that PlatinumGames skimped out on the audio section. The soundtrack is excellent and does a lot to set the game apart from the main trilogy by giving it a unique identity. These music tracks make the game’s environments feel alive and even the voice acting has a different flair to it in a good way. Everything here serves to set up a different direction and where they are going is intriguing.

Story-wise, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demons does a lot to help provide a look at the series in a way that we have not seen before. We have a greater look at where the characters came from and why they are who they are, but there is more than just that. This game takes some bold chances with the storytelling and those who have played the previous games will truly appreciate many of the twists in store and surprises no one expected.

Bayonetta Origins is an amazing game with a gorgeous visual style, unique gameplay and an inventive story. The combat is extremely fun, with lots of depth that prevents it from becoming stake and while you may trip up a bit at first or during some intense moments, the game is very forgiving and never punishes you badly for making a mistake. With plenty of accessibility features for players that may need help with the gameplay, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon always feels inviting and welcoming. This is a game that is a must-play for fans of the series and those who want to try something that plays differently in a good way.

Disclaimer: A review key was provided