It looks like the annual Summer gaming drought is finally coming to an end. After last week’s retail barren wasteland, it’s even more exciting to be talking about El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. It’s not every day we see a game as unique as this make its way to territories outside of Japan. Creatively lead by Takeyasu Sawaki, character designer for Devil May Cry and Okami, the game’s art style is an ethereal, evolving landscape that harkens back to the best moments of his previous games. The plot, however, is even more unique to gaming than its visual design.
Based on the Book of Enoch and other texts within the Dead Sea Scrolls, the game recounts these excised sections of the Bible and filters them through an Eastern lens of Japanese design. While Enoch’s story of seeking seven fallen angels in order to prevent an apocolyptic flood is retold as it is in the Book of Enoch, the game takes liberties with certain aspects, showing its Japanese influences from time to time. It’s exciting to see a game take Western mythologies and see what happens with them in the hands of Eastern designers. Lucifel (yeah, that one) guides Enoch on his quest as players battle their way through this third-person action game. Lucifel exists outside of the flow of time and has brought back many artifacts from his love affair with the future including designer jeans and the cellphone he uses to talk to God. Apparently the reception in Hell is terrible. Veterans of the Devil May Cry series will feel right at home with the frantic yet deep combat system. Overall, this is a rare gem of a game that deserves to be enjoyed by all and savored by those who appreciate the bold steps forward it takes in using unique source material to bring new experiences to gamers. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is out now for PS3 and Xbox 360.