Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle Review

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Bayonetta & Vanquish are like chalk and cheese in many ways. But they both have some things in common.

They’re both developed by Platinum Games, for example. They are both full of over-the-top action, and they are both shining examples of their respective genres. If you like action games, you’ll surely like a piece of Bayonetta. Third-person cover shooters more your forté? Vanquish will delight. Bundled up here for both games’ 10th anniversary, it’s players who love both genres who are in for the biggest treat.

Boasting 4K visuals and a blistering 60fps on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, playing Bayonetta & Vanquish has never been more pleasurable if you’ve forked out for either of these current-gen powerhouses. If not, you’ll still be playing at 60fps, but at 1080p instead, which is still a worthy upgrade. The increased resolution really makes these games shine, though. On last-gen consoles they could look a little blurry at times, especially Vanquish, taking some pizzazz out of the action. Here, the quality assets of each game are paraded in all their glory. These game’s may be 10 years old, but they just show that good art design always pays off.

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Bayonetta is full of beautiful European architecture and flora. Though sometimes it’s given the backseat for more fantastical endeavours. Vanquish, on the other hand, is constantly metallic. It’s the characters and enemies found within each title that really adds life to them, though; particularly Bayonetta. While Vanquish‘s robot army can eventually begin to feel a little bit samey, the assortment of enemies encountered in Bayonetta is simply wonderful. They’re brilliantly designed; original and inventive. Your opponents may have heavenly origins, but they’re creepy. You’ll have no qualms making their faces all mushy.

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In Bayonetta you’re a witch searching for information about your past. You’ll sure as hell get it, eventually, but there’s plenty of fighting to be done along the way. The combat begins deep and only gets deeper as you unlock more moves, weapons and accessories. All the while, the titular Bayonetta proves to be an entertaining host, busting out quips and playing on her sexuality to tantalise the audience. Across a campaign that lasts a good ten hours or so, only when the gameplay deviates from the norm for a couple of gimmicky high-octane sequences does it begin to disappoint. On the whole, however, Bayonetta remains one of the best games in its genre.

Placing you in control of a gruff soldier named Sam, Vanquish is a much more of a serious game than Bayonetta, though it’s still rather camp. A third-person shooter for those who think Gears of War is too slow and boring, boosters on your feet mean you can move at blistering pace from one piece of cover to another. Or, you can bust out your guns while boosting, enter slow-mo, then take out some enemies along the way. You can play Vanquish like a traditional third-person shooter if you wish, but it’s those who’ll take the time to master its boost functionality that will truly appreciate it. Shooting an army of robotic invaders from cover with weapons that you upgrade by picking up multiples is fun; but vaulting over that cover, taking out three enemies in slow-mo then boosting to take out a final one with a melee attack is truly spectacular.

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With multiple difficulty levels, secret Alfheim trials to discover and a whole host of items to unlock, Bayonetta is not the type of game that you play just once and then you’re done. Chances are you’ll return to it time and time again, and once Bayonetta is as powerful as she can be you’ll strive to achieve the best rating possible in each chapter. The same can be said of Vanquish to an extent; though it’s a shorter game with nothing really of worth to unlock. It’s simply the action itself that will keep you going back for more. And it really will, because there’s nothing else quite like it.

Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle is surely a bloody good pick-up then, isn’t it? There are some things you perhaps need to be aware of, though, that you might not be too enamoured with. The cutscenes in both games, for example, are not up to the visual standard of actual gameplay. Aside from the odd duff texture, they’re the only thing that gives away the true age of these games. And speaking of cutscenes, those found in Vanquish can stutter from time to time, especially on Xbox One. Thankfully, the gameplay in both titles remains consistently faultless.

All things considered, Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle is a must-have, especially for those who haven’t yet played either of these stunning games. It goes a long way in bringing two of the last generation’s best games visually up to date, and their gameplay hasn’t aged a bit. In fact, thanks to 60fps and up to 4K visuals, it’s better than ever before. Of course, PC remains the best way to play both of these titles, and both are also cheaper on that platform, but console owners won’t be disappointed if they pick this bundle up. You’re getting two 9/10 games for less than the price of one new release. What’s not to love about that?

Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle is available on PS4 and Xbox One. We reviewed the Xbox One version.