El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
North American cover art
|Publisher(s)||UTV Ignition Entertainment|
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (エルシャダイ アセンション オブ ザ メタトロン Erushadai Asenshon obu za Metatoron?) is an action video game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles. It is developed and published by Ignition Entertainment. The development was led by Takeyasu Sawaki, who was design lead on Devil May Cry and Ōkami. The game was released on April 28, 2011 in Japan, on August 16, 2011 in North America, and on September 9, 2011 in Europe.
El Shaddai is a third-person action game featuring platform game elements, in which players control Enoch. Enoch wears holy armor that loses its pieces as the player takes damage, although it can be restored using hearts found by breaking objects. If the player is damaged when Enoch has no armor left, they are given a small amount of time to repeatedly push buttons to repair the armor before they have to restart at the last checkpoint. Throughout the game, Enoch and the majority of his enemies utilise three weapon types, Arch, Gale and Veil, each with their own strengths and weaknesses in and outside of combat. The Arch is a swift close range weapon which can perform quick combos and allows Enoch to descend slowly whilst jumping. The Gale is a long-range weapon that fires projectiles at enemies and allows Enoch to perform dashes over large gaps. Finally, the Veil is a slow but powerful weapon that can easily damage enemies and break certain objects that the other weapons can't. Enoch can retrieve these weapons by stealing them from enemies after they have taken enough damage or by taking them from icons found during platforming sections and boss battles. These weapons dull over time, requiring Enoch to purify them to restore their power, or steal a new weapon from an enemy. After a certain point in the game, Enoch will gain the assistance of the archangel Uriel and can activate 'Overburst' mode, increasing the power of Enoch's attacks and allowing him to perform a special attack combo.
Plot and setting
The story is inspired by the apocryphal Book of Enoch, and follows Enoch, a scribe seeking seven fallen angels to prevent a great flood from destroying mankind. He is helped in his quest by Lucifel, a guardian angel in charge of the protection of the world who exists outside of the flow of time, and four Archangels.
El Shaddai began development in 2007 and was formerly known as Angelic: Ascension of the Metatron. A work in progress trailer featured different designs of the characters.
The game's aesthetic is anime-styled, loosely drawing on sources such as Studio Ghibli. Enoch is a silent protagonist, as Takeyasu wanted to increase the connection between the player and Enoch.
El Shaddai was promoted with a trailer shown at the 2010 E3 press conference, as well as the Tokyo Game Show. It was met with strong feedback, which has been attributed to a line of dialogue spoken by Lucifel to Enoch: "You sure that's enough armor?". This quote earned first place of the Net Buzzword Awards 2010 Grand Prix in Japan. Despite the trend being the creator's intention, it exceeded their expectations. Other than the game's promotional movies, pre-release merchandise such as Edwin jeans and action figures were available for sale. Bandai also produced several figures of the game's protagonist, which were featured in a Tamashii Features event in Akihabara, Osaka and Taipei.
The game's reception was generally positive. Reviewers praised the sophisticated and visually arresting aesthetics and remarkably deep and nuanced, yet easy to grasp, combat system.
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