Bayonetta 3 was originally supposed to be open-world

Bayonetta 3 was supposed to be a “semi-open-world game”. That’s according to video journalist Imran Khan as posted on his Patreon page.

Bayonetta 3 was first announced in 2017 and after a patient wait, it finally arrived in October 2022.  Resulting of its lengthy arrival, some assumed that the game may have suffered a troubling development.

Bayonetta 3 was almost something a little different

While we don’t know for sure whether Bayonetta 3 encountered troubles during development. However, it seems that there may have been some indecisions. That’s at least what’s suggested by Imran Khan.

At one point in development, Bayonetta 3 was scoped as a semi-open world game,” wrote Khan on a public Patreon post.

Credit: Nintendo/PlatinumGames

The design was going to draw more off Astral Chain than Nier Automata, but the idea was that a large hub world would send Bayonetta [or whoever else] to different worlds which would themselves be fairly open. Maybe Super Mario 64 would be a good reference point for this.

The game apparently struggled on the Switch

Khan added: “There was a lot of work and experimentation on this idea, but it kept falling apart when it came to pacing, and eventually Nintendo wanted them to scale back. It was, I hear, also not particularly well-performing on the Switch hardware either.

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However, Khan went on to explain: “there’s still a lot of vestiges of the semi-open world design in the final game” adding that a hub world of Thule “is broken up into smaller pieces that Bayonetta and Viola navigate to get into the next major world.

The chests were redesigned a bit to be searched for in larger areas and provide a lot more variety to make use of the environment. Even the various weapon transformations were going to play into traversal a bit,” said Khan.

I’m of the opinion that if it didn’t work and the developers don’t think it worked, then we’re probably not missing anything huge. Still, PlatinumGames tends not to throw away old ideas, so I would not be shocked if something else gets this treatment later.

In related news, unless you’ve been loving under a rock, you may have heard of the messy controversy surrounding voice actor shenanigans. So, if you want to know the latest on that story, all the details can be found here.

Credit: PlatinumGames

Would have Bayonetta suited an open world?

Obviously, Bayonetta 3 never came to be a semi-open-world title. This begs the question, would the series have benefited from a form of open-world approach? Let us know your thoughts across our social media channels.

Bayonetta 3 is out now for the Nintendo Switch.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our video of the week. 10 of the scariest horror games of all time are shown off. What is your favourite horror game?

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Featured Image Credit: Nintendo/PlatinumGames/Source: Eurogamer via Imran Khan