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Bayonetta 3's Family-Friendly Mode Is Raising Eyebrows

PlatinumGames finally revealed that "Bayonetta 3" will launch later this year on October 28. Alongside the launch date, Nintendo dropped a new trailer showing off more of the story and the characters who will return from the established "Bayonetta" timeline. The news solidifies the stacked 2022 Nintendo Switch lineup, but a tweet from PlatinumGames following the announcement really got fans talking.

"Relax, the witch is back and sexier than ever. We've added the revolutionary 'Naive Angel Mode' to 'Bayonetta 3' so more people can fully enjoy it. By turning it on, you can play right in the living room without having to worry about what's on screen... we think," the studio wrote. The tweet included a short video highlighting the differences between the regular game and the Naive Angel Mode. The sequence shows that the base version puts parts of Bayonetta's body on display underneath moving cloth, while the protagonist is fully covered in the family-friendly mode. When running Naive Angel, a butterfly boss enemy also has their chest covered by additional fabric.

While PlatinumGames made it clear that Naive Angel Mode is just an option, fans are still fighting over its inclusion.

Players aren't sure how to feel about Bayonetta 3's family-friendly mode

As with any conversation around video games and prospective censorship, fans had some strong opinions about the Naive Angel Mode in "Bayonetta 3." 

Many people seemed genuinely happy about the option, seeing it as a useful strategy for avoiding awkward conversations with parents or children who might walk in while they have "Bayonetta 3" running. Others celebrated the inclusion of Naive Angel Mode, even if they have no intention of using it themselves.

The "all censorship is bad" crowd reacted quickly, with one Twitter user attempting to counter arguments stating that the mode shouldn't be considered censorship. "It is still censorship if they feel even the smallest inkling that they need to change their vision for the sake of not offending others," they tweeted. Someone else joked about how the content of the game itself, which centers on slaughtering hordes of enemies, isn't appropriate for families regardless of the amount of implied nudity.

Considering "Bayonetta 3" is an M-rated video game, it does seem a little odd for PlatinumGames to include this option, although there are a few possible explanations. Publisher Nintendo may have asked for the mode, since it presents itself as a family-friendly company. Or the developer could have decided to offer it due to the handheld aspect of the Switch, letting fans tone the title down if they are playing out in public.