Bayonetta & Vanquish Bundle Xbox One review: Amazing gameplay but dated visuals (update)

Bayonetta and Vanquish are amazing on Xbox One X!

(Image: © Sega)


Source: Sega (Image credit: Source: Sega)

Updated February 20, 2020: According to Digital Foundry, the bundle runs at 1440p on Xbox One X.

Bayonetta is an incredible action game that originally launched on the Xbox 360 a decade ago. The title was regarded as a refreshing take on the action genre with a quirky story and intriguing main character. While Xbox One owners could always play the backward compatible version, the game lacked native support for the console.

Vanquish follows a similar story. It launched in 2010 and was considered one of the best action games ever made. The focus on slide-based combat was a new concept that hasn't been adopted by many other games to that extent even to this day.

Both of these titles are available in the "Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle." The package costs $40 and features the Xbox One X Enhanced versions of the games. While they're a joy to play in 4K resolution and 60 frames per second (FPS), the overall visual quality is quite dated. A lot of work is needed if PlatinumGames and Sega want to attract more players.

Bayonetta & Vanquish Bundle background and gameplay

Bayonetta is about the last survivor of an ancient witch order who must keep the balance between the forces of light and darkness. The titular character, Bayonetta, is revived after 500 years and her presence sparks a chain reaction that threatens the world. It's up to the player to make it right.

Gameplay revolves around third-person gunplay and melee combat. It's a lot like Devil May Cry where you go from one area to the next, fighting enemies, solving puzzles, and slowly making your way to the boss. However, the plot takes a number of twists and turns, and gets crazier as the hours go by.

Vanquish is one of the most stylish third-person shooters ever made. Everything from the way your main character – in an advanced Iron Man-like suit – moves to the slow-motion shooting feels incredible and very polished. When you try out Vanquish, you'll want to slide everywhere and shoot enemies while constantly on the move.

However, it's not a surprise that Vanquish is one of the best action games of all time because it's made by Shinji Mikami who's known for the Resident Evil series. While the story may be a little strange because you have to save the American government from a mysterious force known as "The Order," I think, you gear up in an "Augmented Reaction Suit" and kill countless enemies and towering machines along the way. The gameplay is definitely the highlight of the experience.

Bayonetta and Vanquish Bundle performance and visuals

Bayonetta is still just as fun as it was all those years ago, but the camera controls are still a little "wonky" to say the least. Since it's originally an Xbox 360-generation game, the lighting is very dated. Everything looks grey and pales in comparison to Bayonetta 2 even on the Nintendo Wii U.

I would've liked to see some improvements to the lighting because it can be quite jarring to witness a game that looks this "old." Vanquish is plagued by the same problem. Both games maintain 4K and 60 FPS, but look washed out. The colors aren't vibrant and the lighting is mediocre is say the least. While it's sharp on a 4K display, it's not an overall visual treat anymore.

I realize that both games are rereleases, but it would've been nice to see more work put into the native Xbox One versions, especially on Xbox One X. It feels like a wasted opportunity. I'm not sure if the Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle will be adopted by new fans because it does nothing to bring newcomers in. Visuals are just as important on gameplay nowadays, especially in an age where console manufacturers are talking about supporting 8K displays.

Bayonetta & Vanquish Bundle final thoughts


Source: Sega (Image credit: Source: Sega)

If you haven't played both games, then you should pick up this collection since it's the best way to play Bayonetta and Vanquish. Nothing beats the clarity of 4K with smooth performance at 60 FPS. However, know that you'll be picking them up for the superb gameplay – despite some minor camera issues – rather than the overall visual quality of in-game assets and lighting. If you've already played them, then get them for the improved performance.

Even to this day, Bayonetta and Vanquish are among the top of the action game genre. I just wish some greater changes were implemented to make them shine on Xbox One X. Right now, the bundle seems like it just appeals to existing fans, and that might be its biggest problem because it lacks any noticeable refinements aside from the boost to resolution and performance.

The game was reviewed on Xbox One X with a code provided by the publisher.

Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.