Preview: El Shaddai is a game of biblical proportions

June 29, 2011

In an industry full of brown and gray military shooters and with fresh and original games generally found only on the downloadable market, it’s refreshing to see a game like El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. Like a painting come to life, El Shaddai strives to combine something we’re all familiar with, character action games, with a gorgeous art style and intriguing story that is rarely found in most games today.

The game is based on the biblical Book of Enoch and has you following Enoch himself (in some nice designer jeans no less) fighting some of the most fantastical enemies you’ll ever see in a game. You’ll also followed by Lucifell, a friend and/or rival meant to guide you on your rather strange journey. It’s clear they are taking a lot of liberties with the religious text, but in a way that makes the story more interesting in the long run.

While you may be initially grabbed by El Shaddai‘s aesthetics alone, the gameplay is nothing to scoff at. Enoch is a very capable fighter, equipped with a strange sword/bow hybrid that can combat enemies at close range and from afar, making the combat not unlike something found in Bayonetta. It’s not as fast as some character-driven action games, but the combat feels just as fluid as it looks. The variety in the ways you dispose of your enemies make for some fun combos.

El Shaddai also features many sections of 2D platforming, which feature some surprisingly solid jumping mechanics. The platforming isn’t difficult, but it seems like it could provide a nice departure from the pure action sections that seem to be more prevalent in the game. It’s hard to say just how much of the game will be made up of these sections, but they fit in perfectly.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron comes out on July 28, and is one game that is definitely worth checking out during the rather slow release schedule.