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Bayonetta Review

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Become a complete witch, sharpish

★★★★

In a gaming world obsessed with military machismo and the tireless pursuit of realism, sometimes it’s refreshing to take a step into pure fantasy and leave the real world behind. And if it’s an outrageous flight of fancy you’re after, they don’t come more thrilling, camp or silly than Bayonetta.

Starring a super-sexy, magic-weaving witch who shirks cats, pointy hats and broomsticks for skin-tight leather and kinky boots, Bayonetta is the latest slash ’em up from the lunatics behind Devil May Cry – which, to fans of the series, is your no-quibble guarantee of dapper heroes, groovy villains, and action so fast and brutal you’ll miss a dozen outrageous killings every time you blink.

From the dramatic opening scene – where two spicy witches battle monsters on the face of a huge clock as it plummets through space – to Bayonetta’s signature move where her clothes fall off and her hair twists into a high-heeled boot that kicks monsters into another dimension, the game is full of outrageous set-pieces and towering creatures that’ll leave your head spinning, your brain bubbling and your blistered thumbs begging for mercy. And while the haters will doubtless dismiss Bayonetta as a triumph of style over content – which it unashamedly is, of course – the adventure is ferociously imaginative, ridicously easy to play and hugely rewarding as pounding the buttons can make you look like a gaming god, and able to topple skyscraper-sized demons with the gentlest stroke of your controller.

Moreover, by replacing Devil May Cry’s po-faced, cheesily earnest attitude with humour and tongue-in-cheek irreverence, Bayonetta is much more fun to play than its solemn forbear, its playful approach and snappy storytelling making for a seductively charming experience that’s sure to melt the heart of anyone normally turned off by button-bashing brawlers.

Outrageous, depraved and utterly confounding, Bayonetta is a short-lived, completely disposable experience, but one that will bewitch you every moment it lasts.

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