Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon review (Switch)

We had to wait a long time for Bayonetta 3, but PlatinumGames surprised us all by announcing and releasing the next game in the series very quick after that. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is quite a departure from the first three games though – which were all about visceral combat and a stylish audiovisual presentation. Does the gamble pay off? Here’s our take on this Nintendo Switch exclusive.

It certainly doesn’t take long to realize that Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is different, as it has a visual style that’s very distinct – a bold change from what Bayonetta fans are familiar with. The game leans into a more fairytale-like aesthetic visually, and sticks with that from a storytelling perspective as well. With graphics that look like they came from a hand-drawn picture book and story that even involves a forbidden forest-type angle, it’s the kind of fairytale narrative that you never thought you’d see in a Bayonetta game.


For those going into this expecting “Bayonetta 4”, that’s going to take some getting used to. Combat is far less grand and cinematic here, nor will you find epic boss fights to tackle. There are boss fights, but it’s all toned down from what you might expect and the controls for combat aren’t as fluid either. It’s a serious change of pace, but it’s a great game nonetheless, largely thanks to a great story. In it, you’ll focus on a young Bayonetta, known then at Cereza – the child of a witch and a sage who is shunned by others.

It’s an origin story, and for those who’ve played through the other games it’s a very engaging one that sheds more light on Bayonetta past and personality. She finds her mother imprisoned by a society that doesn’t want to accept her nature, and sets out to grow stronger together with her stuffed animal/demon Cheshire – with the goal of ultimately being able to free her mother.


In a campaign that plays out very differently from other Bayonetta games, you play as both Cereza and Chesire as you navigate a top-down world map and encounter storybook-like interludes with sketches that help flesh out the story. Switching between the two characters isn’t optional either – both have unique abilities that require them to work together in order to pass the challenges in front of them. In a way, it’s reminiscent of games like Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons, another single player adventure with a strong emphasis on cooperation. Bayonetta Origins even uses a familiar two-stick method to control both characters.

Over the course of your journey, you’ll also unlock new abilities, which keeps the story flowing nicely without too much repetition in its gameplay – no small feat for a fifteen hour campaign, especially when you consider that the game’s developers left out so much of what traditionally makes up a Bayonetta title.

We think that Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a fantastic game for the Switch, thanks to some charming audiovisual storytelling, engaging (through perhaps not overly challenging) puzzles and unique gameplay take on a popular franchise. That latter element might make it harder for the game to find its audience though, since this isn’t the pure action fest that Bayonetta fans enjoy while at the same time there might be fans of narrative-driven puzzle adventures who aren’t into the Bayonetta series. Let’s hope both of those groups overlook that – this is a game well worth checking out.

Score: 8.3/10

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