Bayonetta 2 carries on the action-style gameplay of its predecessor, in which players control the eponymous Bayonetta as she fights against various angelic and demonic forces using combinations of melee attacks and gunplay. Dodging enemy attacks at the last second activates ‘Witch Time’, slowing down enemies around Bayonetta and allowing players to easily retaliate and solve certain environmental puzzles. Players are also able to use special moves called Torture Attacks, trapping opponents in infernal devices for extra points. Weapon customization from the first game also returns, allowing players to equip combinations of new weapons on both Bayonetta’s hands and feet. A large array of weapons can be equipped, including the character’s signature guns, a bow, swords and other forms of projectile weapons. Players earn grades during combat, with the highest ‘Pure Platinum’ grade achieved by performing high numbers of combos, in the fastest time possible, without being damaged. As with the previous game, Bayonetta can use Torture Attacks on her enemies, conjured torture devices that finish off single enemies in gruesome ways and grant a bonus to the player.
Bayonetta 2 adds a new gameplay element called Umbran Climax which can be activated when the player has a full magic gauge. Similar to the state of boss fights in the first game, this technique strengthens Bayonetta’s attacks and combos with extra Wicked Weaves and Infernal Demon summons for a short period of time. This increases their overall range and damage and replenishes Bayonetta’s health when in use.