El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron Impressions - First Look

We take our first look at this unusual action game developed by one of the artists behind Okami and Devil May Cry.

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The 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo is in full swing, and although many games are out on the show floor, several more are being shown behind closed doors, including El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. This unusual third-person action game is being developed by Ignition Entertainment, headed up by character designer and artist Takeyasu Sawaki, formerly of Capcom, whose artistic credits include Okami and Devil May Cry.

El Shaddai is a third-person action game with a biblical theme. In the game, you'll play as Enoch, a heavenly angel tasked with saving the world from the wrath of God himself by descending to Earth and rustling up the souls of fallen angels who have descended from heaven to wreak havoc on mankind. On the off-chance that you happen to be at the E3 event, you'll see posters that depict the game's two main characters outside of the West Hall--the blond-haired young fellow with the frilly, open white shirt (which is actually heavenly armor) is Enoch, while the unassuming brunette fellow in the black shirt and pants is none other than Lucifer himself, though the Prince of Lies has gone modern by getting himself a cellular phone.

We were shown two different trailer videos for the game that depicted its gameplay, which includes third-person exploration and puzzle-solving, third-person melee battles, and even some 2D side-scrolling platform jumping. While little was shown of the exploration aspect of the game, the combat will apparently include both barehanded brawling, as well as melee weapon fighting with an arch--a gigantic, glowing semicircle that looks a bit like a longbow but is used by Enoch as a two-handed sword blade. Mr. Sawaki suggests that more than half of the game will consist of third-person exploration; slightly less than half of the game will focus on combat; and the remainder, about a one-tenth of the game, will be the side-scrolling platformer sequences.

However, aside from the fact that the game draws upon the Book of Enoch for its story inspiration, El Shaddai will have several other unique features. For starters, it was heavily implied in the game that Lucifer will not only make regular appearances in the game, but that he's also a close personal friend of Enoch and will take direct action to save the blond angel's life (despite the fact that the two are technically not playing on the same team). One segment of the trailer shows a prideful Enoch about to descend from the clouds to face his enemies, equipped with what appears to be the mundane armor of a Roman centurion. A voice asks Enoch whether he thinks his armor is sufficient, to which the angel confidently replies that it's plenty good enough, then descends to the surface below to fight a troupe of masked humanoid enemies (presumably fallen angels) who are all equipped with arches of their own. The scene makes various quick camera cuts that show the fallen ones hacking Enoch's earthly armor to bits, shattering Enoch's earthly sword, and finally making a cut against his breastplate that will surely decapitate him. Suddenly, the scene freezes and Lucifer's voice cuts in behind that last image, muttering something about how he can't allow this to happen. The scene then cuts right back to Enoch standing on the cloud, being asked again whether he feels his armor is sufficient. This time, the angel humbly requests the best armor available and is outfitted in his flowing white clothing and given an arch, and he is shown successfully defeating his foes.

But perhaps the most striking aspect of El Shaddai is simply the way it looks. While the game is clearly rendered entirely in 3D with various 3D models, it uses a softer version of the now-classic cartoon-style cel-shading technique that made earlier 3D games like Jet Set Radio and Viewtiful Joe look like cartoons in motion. As a matter of fact, in many cases, the game abandons clear-cut textures and even entire swathes of scenery for rows of soft, washed-out, bright colors, which gives the game an eerie, otherworldly look.

According to Mr. Sawaki, the game has been in development for close to three years, though the production should wind down sometime this year.

Discussion

84 comments
maderrin
maderrin

asian's another twisted take on the western culture; not that i have anything against 'interpretation', just am curious how much more twisted can it get?

sapool
sapool

hehe, el shaddai, its a name of a religious/charismatic group which is well known in the philippines.

Tiffer
Tiffer

interesting style, but i'm not sure about the story. lets watch it and judge later..

freekedoutfish
freekedoutfish

@ Arab-man666 Your comment just shows a complete lack of research and sheer ignorance. The 'Book of Enoch' is not part of the Muslim scriptures (which I assume you meant by Eastern), and isn't even included in Western Catholic or Christian bibles as it is considered non-canical by the Church and part of the many Hidden texts. It is purely part of the Ethiopian bible and not even something which a lot of Christian's know about or have read. There is no basis for this game being considered offensive because its content isn't even considered canical. As a practicising Christian though, its a shame this is coming out only on the xbox360 as I own a PS3 and I would loved to play this. I think its great when games, films and books bring out bible orientated stuff. Even if it takes artistic lisence, because the bible is a great source for amazing stories.

oneEnigma
oneEnigma

amazing artwork, amazing soundtrack whats not to like? Cant wait for this game to come out it will put me in a dream state, thats what more games need to do. these days. If you showed me screenshots of all the Halo and Gears of War games, i wouldnt have been able to tell whats halo 1 and whats halo 3 etc. We need more games and work of art like this hopefully it all adds up to a unique and playable game

unbentonslaught
unbentonslaught

looks blasphemous and retarded, not even gonna give this hack n' slash a chance

sridanu
sridanu

Its one of the few games started by a Indian owned company. Hope it goes well. We need a bit of variety

Arab-man666
Arab-man666

@ hapydirtyhippie No, "El Shaddai" is a title from an ancient Proto-chaldean (Iraqi) language, and it roughly means "God the Sustainer/Life Giver" It was adopted by Hebrews along with Adonai.

Arab-man666
Arab-man666

100 Bucks says this game's already banned in the Middle-east. Them eastern folk don't like names like "El Shaddai" and "Enoch" to be thrown around in games : ) I, on the other hand, am intrigued by this, and see that it has almost nothing to do with it's namesake.

Eneru112
Eneru112

oh look another feminine protagonist

Dr_Jackal
Dr_Jackal

@StanLords. Agreed. I'll definitely try the demo first.

BFKZ
BFKZ

Looks unique..awesome :D

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

I am not so sure about the story.. the combat looks ok.. I guess the best thing is the art style for me. That story.. i will look more into it.

Xeogua
Xeogua

The art style is gorgeous, still not sure about the story or the fact that a guy has man boobs that big...

ya5ee007
ya5ee007

Finally, a new 'good' adventure game!

StanLords
StanLords

I agree with everyone about the cool design...but I'm really not sure what to think about everything else...this is a def must "try-out" first, rather then a must buy,

drew36chambers
drew36chambers

its about time we have developers who think outside the box, technology today is opening so many doors, we need people like these to show us what today's tech can do......push the envelope, watch it bend.

Jackc8
Jackc8

The art style is incredibly gorgeous. If the gameplay is good as well, I'll definitely be buying this.

bellolugosi
bellolugosi

Magnificent arty looks.... The gameplay seems to be like Bayonetta and DMC... Wait and see!

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

The art is great. We'll just have to see about the gameplay...

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

@DeMoN_SouL_666 No, you completely misunderstood what I was trying to say. I wasn't saying it might be a sequel to Okami, that would be stupid. I was saying that it would fill the role that Okami had last generation. Don't see things so literally.

thankqwerty
thankqwerty

Probably play like any other similar action games. Though cool art style I must say.

coaltango
coaltango

the name el shaddai sounds arabic

ChoiMein
ChoiMein

hmm i dunno.. but when a dude is wearing a literal "breast" plate.. with boobs and all... kinda throws me off...

Ntikrst
Ntikrst

Mien got en himmel! He's got BEWBZ!!! Looks as effeminate as it does repetitive...but wait that's the foundation to all anime.

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

Enoch wasn't an angel though.

Shadow_zone
Shadow_zone

Retina burn alert! This game looks like it takes itself WAY to seriously. Only reason I looked at this is because of the name, El Shaddai, which means God Almighty, Im pretty sure if the Almighty was into games He wouldnt be intereted in this one.

mosamania
mosamania

Azazel?? isnt this suppose to be the one eyed man who appears at the end of days?? akhh dont use religion in games it ruins it >_>

lextexrex
lextexrex

This looks like it's gonna be a fun seizurefest. It's cool seeing more variety in these games.

DeMoN_SouL_666
DeMoN_SouL_666

@HollowNinja the next Okami is announced, and its Okamiden. so no, its a whole new game.

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

This one has caught my eye. Next Okami? Maybe.

Wolf-5
Wolf-5

Very unique looking but empty game. Will try it.

Deth_Walkr
Deth_Walkr

That Enoch guy is disturbingly pretty.

Seiki_sands
Seiki_sands

Description 8/10 Screenshots 9.5/10 Trailer 5/10 The trailer should have been more reflective of the game in motion. I have a good feeling about the game though.

AirWolfe591
AirWolfe591

Looking interesting, I'm definitely gonna keep my eyes on this one.

wahyudil
wahyudil

because I know the story and the legends, its still tickling my brain even I know this is just a game .... I don't know if I will play this game or not ... the alternate history made me very annoyed ...

deafwing
deafwing

already a visual masterpiece .. easily.

JJB03
JJB03

looks gay and makes no sense