When I was told that El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron was a game based on the Dead Sea Scrolls, I wasn’t exactly sold on the concept, but then I played the game.
El Shaddai takes a different approach to combat than most Japanese action games, it focuses on one button combat and the different combos that can be achieved with that. While there may only be one combat button, the combos that can be strung together are able to dish out intense damage. These combos are mostly timing based but can also be triggered by holding the button or jumping and then attacking. Another key component to the combat in El Shaddai is disarming enemies and purifying their defiled weapon. The player must be careful though as purifying weapons leaves Enoch open to enemies’ attacks.
El Shaddai does something that most games aren’t willing to fully commit to: not having a HUD for the entire game. Instead of using life bars, the amount of armor shown on the characters correlates to the amount if health that each character has left.
One of the coolest parts of El Shaddai is that it doesn’t only take place in a 3D environment, but also switches to a 2D side-scroller view for certain sections of the game. This makes for some genuinely interesting gameplay as players jump from platform to platform riding on the wisps of clouds.
Think about that sentence for a second. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is something that almost just needs to be experienced to understand, which you can do as the demo that I played today is now available on Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade now.
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron will release on both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on July 26 in the US and September 9 in Europe.