With the acclaimed release of SEGA and Platinum Games’ Bayonetta on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 now more than seven years in the past, the stealth release of a PC port earlier this week will undoubtedly have taken many by surprise. While it might have overshot the ideal launch window by a few thousand days, it provides the definitive version of a game that miraculously hasn’t aged a single day, and, as a result, is still very much worth your time.
While perfection is a big ask, Bayonetta's PC port comes very close.
Controlling that action translates incredibly well to a keyboard and mouse, which was somewhat unexpected. We’d happily click our way through the game, but with the gloriously hectic battles looking a little cramped on a 14” laptop screen, we reached for a controller and made use of Big Picture on Steam to pick up where we left off on a 49” TV. Switching over was seamless, but we did run into problems when reverting back. All keys had inexplicably been unbound, which made controlling the game literally impossible until we reconnected a controller to navigate the menus and reset them to default.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only issue of its kind. We were baffled when the game stopped outputting sound, only to discover the audio sliders had randomly depleted; the UI and tutorials turned themselves off, leaving us scratching our heads in the absence of vital information; the subtitles switched from English to Japanese. You also have to invert the camera for uninverted controls, though this one’s intentional. While all incredibly easy set straight, it’s nonetheless bizarre that the options menu can be a law unto itself.
The only other downside is that cutscenes haven’t been lavished with the same care and attention as the gameplay, which makes for some jarring transitions – though it’s hard to get too worked up when their contents just ooze style. Bayonetta’s characters and biblical narrative are utterly bonkers and all the better for it, especially the badass leading woman herself, who’s still empoweringly sassy and sexy.
From gravity-defying platforming to rewardingly deep combat encounters and beyond, Bayonetta is not only as joyous as it always has been, but better than ever, thanks to a some stellar work on the conversion. With a sub-culture for lazy PC porting currently going strong, one that nails the fundamentals this well isn’t only refreshing, but deserves applause, and is an easy recommendation.
Bayonetta is available on PC right now exclusively on Steam, you can download it for just £14.99 here.