Bayonetta 3 replaces its lead voice actress with a Mass Effect veteran

PlatinumGames has confirmed that veteran Mass Effect voice actress Jennifer Hale is the English voice actress behind the Umbra Witch in Bayonetta 3, replacing series staple Hellena Taylor.

According to a reportfrom Game Informer, Taylor hinted to fans on Twitter last year that she would not be reprising her roleas Bayonetta in the upcoming sequel, but couldn’t elaborate on the reason when asked as she was bound by a confidentiality agreement. Game director Yusuke Miyata said PlatinumGames held auditions to replace Taylor as the voice behind the titular character, and eventually offered the role to Hale.

“Various overlapping circumstances made it difficult for Hellena Taylor to reprise her role,” Miyata said. “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. 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. I’m confident that her portrayal of Bayonetta will exceed fans’ expectations.”

Hale is the most prolific video game voice actor, earning the title from Guinness World Records in 2015. She’s most notable for voicing Commander Shepard in the original Mass Effect trilogy, but also voiced Samus in Metroid Prime, Naomi Hunter in Metal Gear Solid, Rosalind Lutese in BioShock Infinite, Bastila Shan in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and more recently, Rivet in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Based on her nearly 30 years of experience in the games industry, Hale sounds like the fitting choice to voice Bayonetta.

Bayonetta 3 releases October 27 on the Nintendo Switch.

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