RUMOR: Bayonetta 3 was planned to be semi-open world
Developing games isn't all hype and sunshine
A new report from Imran Khan claims that at one point in the developement process, Bayonetta 3 was intended to be a semi-open world game. Khan states that the game “was announced very early” and the pandemic as well as the director leaving left early development of the title in a rather precarious position. However, one of the main reasons the game took so long to release according to Imran is that “at one point in development, Bayonetta 3 was scoped as a semi-open world game.”
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. 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.
It’s rather interesting that the game would have been a bit more Super Mario 64 and Astral Chain-like. Those who have played the game can definitely tell that the scope was meant to be larger and whether or not that would’ve been fun is sort of in the eyes of the beholder. Having finished Bayonetta 3, I certainly am glad they kept it mostly to the same format because the larger spaces for exploring would have, in my opinion, detracted from the appeal of the series - the combat. Either way, it’s certainly an interesting tidbit and we’d love to hear what you think about this, so sound off!
You can see where it almost went full open world with how large the stages can be, but I'm ok with the design, I only wish they had more than A/B weapon loadouts.
I'm happy that not everything is open world. Let's not forget open world by design tends to make most aspects of gameplay very formulaic. It's important that some licences stay away from this. I'm finishing Xeno3 right now and I've got about 200 hours of gameplay. I bought Bayo3 and can't wait for it to offer me a bit of variety there. I want it to have tight design and rhythm set as priorities. Not to be another open world like freaking everything else.