Excited about Bayonetta 3? Play Valkyrie Elysium

At a recent Nintendo press event, I played a demo for Bayonetta 3, in which I tear apart a mob of demonic foes with monstrous sticks, faceted swords, and a collection of three-barreled pistols. I also summon friendly demons to fight by my side, and at one point, riding on the back of a demon ally, in turn, used a pair of train carriages to slide water through a narrow area of ​​a Tokyo Canal. Having never played Bayonetta before, I left the event feeling both stupid and excited: Why haven’t I touched this series before? I thought. It’s totally worth it. I’m now officially excited for the game’s October 28 release.

Fast-forward for me, that evening, flipping through my backlog of video games, only to find that they all lacked a certain fit. Origins of Assassin’s Creed is a known quantity. Total War: Warhammer 3 would require too much thought. Even Vampire Survivorwhich I count among my favorite game of the year, feel tough. In about an hour, I’m sure Bayonetta 3 messed up my existing game library – until I tried Valkyrie Elysium.

In the most recent entry in Square Enix’s test vehicle for 2022 releases, you play as the iconic Valkyrie, a proxy warrior sent by Odin to control damage during the mythical apocalypse Ragnarok. In contrast to its more tactical predecessors in the Valkyrie series, Place of paradise takes place in action-focused combat, third-person – chain combos, elemental attacks, weapon swaps and all. The combat system is slow, pitting your character against a homogenous horde of enemies while providing a limited set of moves. But by the third sporadic level, I’m grappling with long-range archers, targeting the elemental weakness of the flanks and juggling flying enemies before they have a chance to fight.

Valkyrie Elysium's protagonist, the iconic Valkyrie, swings a halberd imbued with magical energy at a monster in the courtyard

Image: Square Enix

The mid-battle moments are a mix of exploration, platforming, and light puzzle solving. Occasionally, I’ll find camps where I can upgrade my weapons and adjust my payload. While I like the balanced approach of a wide sword, it can be easier to counter some enemies with the speed and ferocity of a rapier.

Furthermore (in keeping with the series’ motif), the protagonist also gradually builds up a party of Einherjar – ethereal entities she can summon to fight alongside her and enhance her weapons. by elemental properties. They are mainly useful when distracting and they cannot be touched the absolute sight of Bayonetta 3demon of – but they are an integral part of Place of paradise notwithstanding. Even in the early zones, combat is a satisfying loop between aerial combos, acrobatic attacks, and amplified elemental attacks.

I make it about six hours, and although none of that matches the excitement I find 20 minutes worthwhile. Bayonetta 3it’s still a strong craft performance. Square Enix Fall 2022 Releases has taken over one of my recent obsessions, and Valkyrie Elysium improves with each passing chapter. And so far, it is tiring me out while I wait until October 28th.


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