Bayonetta voice actress Hellena Taylor won’t be returning for Bayonetta 3.
A statement from PlatinumGames to Game Informer (via Nintendo Everything) has confirmed that Taylor, who voiced Bayonetta in the first two games, won’t be back.
“Various overlapping circumstances made it difficult for Hellena Taylor to reprise her role,” they confirmed. “We held auditions to cast the new voice of Bayonetta and offered the role to Jennifer Hale, whom we felt was a good match for the character.”
Hale is perhaps best known as the female voice of Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series, as well as voicing Samus Aran in the Metroid Prime series.
“I understand the concerns some fans have about the voice change at this point in the series, but Jennifer’s performance was way beyond what we could have imagined,” they said. “I’m confident that her portrayal of Bayonetta will exceed our fans’ expectations.”
Bayonetta 3 is currently due for release at the end of the month. A sequel to Bayonetta 2, the game sees the titular heroine tackling Homunculi as she travels to the island of Thule to stop an evil entity known as The Singularity.
Taylor first hinted that she wouldn’t be back for the third installment earlier this year, as fans took to Twitter to say they couldn’t imagine Bayonetta without her voice work.
“Well you might have to,” she replied.
Bound by a confidentiality agreement at the time, she was unable to confirm whether or not she would return for Bayonetta 3, but now we know.
Bayonetta 3 – Release Screens
IGN’s Bayonetta review gave it 8.2/10 and said: “Although Bayonetta has more than a few similarities to Devil May Cry, I believe that this game is worth playing… but it’s hard to recommend the PS3 version when the 360 version is so much better. Even when you consider the fantastic combat system, the slowdown and load times really do spoil the fun. With that said, Bayonetta is still stylish, entertaining, and unique. If you have no other choice but to purchase the PS3 version, you’ll still get a kick out of it. Just be ready to be exorbitantly patient.” Our Bayonetta 2 review was even more positive, with a score of 9.5.
Want to read more about Bayonetta? Check out our hands-on with Bayonetta 3 and find out about Hideki Kamiya’s obsession with classic arcade games.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.