In short, John Linneman thinks the third game has “some serious technical hiccups”, and that it’s a game that “feels as if the entire production was in search of more powerful hardware that never ultimately arrived”.
Overall, the image quality is described as being “fairly limited”. Although Bayonetta 3 improves upon the second game by jumping from 720p to 810p docked, but the portable mode is now under 720p – with pixel counts lower than 480p.
As for the game’s performance, cutscenes retain 30fps and gameplay targets 60fps. Larger scale gameplay set pieces have now also been capped at 30fps.
“But here’s the thing, during normal gameplay the target frame is 60 frames per second, but it rarely manages to reach that and that is the real bummer…in a completely empty battlefield, the frame rate still regularly dips below 60 frames per second.
“…once you drop into combat, it basically just completely unlocked and unstable”
Despite the technical issues, Linneman thinks there’s still something special about Bayonetta 3, it’s just a case “where it could really use the next generation of Switch hardware to shine its brightest”.
“And given Platinum’s history with porting games, that actually seems like a very real possibility as well, so maybe we’ll see an enhanced version of Bayonetta 3 down the line…my feeling is that Platinum’s technology really needs a full revamp…it doesn’t exactly play well to the strengths of the Switch hardware…temper your expectations on the tech side and you’ll have a good time with Bayonetta 3”
On a more positive note, the game’s loading times are “relatively brief” – with seamless transitions between maps in real-time. Get the full rundown from Digital Foundry in the video above. You can also check out DF’s written tech analysis on Eurogamer.