Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
Buy On
  1. Sep 23, 2011
    This obscure take on a legend of the Jewish religion has a remarkable art direction and some of the most beautiful graphics we've ever seen. Too bad the combat system is shallow and the overall gameplay doesn't live up to the standards of the art department.
  2. Sep 19, 2011
    Through its boldly chosen subject matter, ravishing good looks and slick mechanics El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is without question a title that deserves to be played – the big question mark that hangs over it is whether you'll engage with it enough to care or to want to come back for second helpings.
  3. Sep 9, 2011
    When it all clicks El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is a beautiful, exciting, fast paced game that is bursting with ideas. Unfortunately the latter half of the game fails to recreate the initial rush and the 3D platforming mechanics aren't particularly strong, leading to much frustration.
  4. Sep 8, 2011
    El Shaddai isn't perfect, then, but it's got a lot going for it because of the sheer energy that's gone into its construction: energy you can see in the focused poise of its combat, and in the game's astonishing desire to top itself with each new vista it flings before you.
  5. 70
    One of the most beautiful video games ever made and if the gameplay isn't quite as angelic it's perfectly righteous in its own way.
  6. Sep 6, 2011
    You may love it or hate it, but El-Shaddai was necessary for the industry, a risky game that tries something different and innovative.
  7. Sep 12, 2011
    El Shaddai is an unconventional and beautiful game that seduces with its ideas rather than its gameplay.
  8. Sep 15, 2011
    A game this rich in inspiration and bizarre in interpretation should be beheld; to be played, it seems, was not El Shaddai's priority.
  9. Sep 9, 2011
    El Shaddai is a game that seduces with its looks, atmosphere and little ideas rather than its gameplay. This beat'em all is far from a Bayonetta or a God of War for sure, but it mesmerizes nonetheless with its hallucinated and daring visuals, its soundtrack and its very personal way - to say the least - of interpreting a religious text. One does not come out unscathed from the experience... whether it is in a good or bad way, depending on one's appreciation of the value of the form over the substance, or the artistic approach over the efficiency of a gameplay.
  10. Sep 8, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  11. Sep 9, 2011
    This game is all about the looks: the imagery on offer here is simply spectacular. But what is the message? We have no clue. The gameplay is lacking and overly simplistic. If you're looking for the next "art-game", look no further, but don't expect to play something that's truly fun.
  12. Aug 16, 2011
    In the end, El Shaddai attempts to do too much, and much of what it does it doesn't do well.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Aug 16, 2011
    El Shaddai is, above all else, a prime example of how a video game can transcend its genre conventions to become a work of contemporary art.El Shaddai is, above all else, a prime example of how a video game can transcend its genre conventions to become a work of contemporary art. This game is both gorgeous and unique, with constantly shifting visuals that somehow straddle the line between surreal religious imagery and Tron-like aesthetics. For starters, you play as heaven's scribe, the namesake of the apocryphal Book of Enoch, as he hunts the fallen Grigori angels and delivers them to God before he decides to wipe out the planet with a great flood. The sheer boldness of not only referencing Judeo-Christian religion but also placing the game's story within the context of such a controversial text is commendable in this conservative age, and the integrity of the source material is maintained throughout. Strangely enough, though, Enoch (and his pal Lucifel) are both wearing Japanese name-brand Edwin jeans as a part of their holy garb. In fact, those jeans are all that are left on Enoch's body after sustaining enough damage, since the game uses no health bars or other UI elements on-screen and represents all pertinent stats through visual changes. As a result, there is no inventory management either. Power upgrades and weapon changes are all instantaneous, with Enoch steeling one of three weapon types from his foes (each carries its own pros and cons), and Fruits of Wisdom add to Enoch's latent abilities as they are gathered. The visceral combat actually feels like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, which is appropriate since designer Takeyasu Sawaki originally worked on both DMC and Okami. The controls are simple, but intelligent use of the limited weaponry and rhythmic attack input add enough depth to keep things interesting. Also, the player's perspective will change between distant third-person, over-the-shoulder, and side-scrolling views, which not only makes the levels play in different ways but also makes optimal use of each stage's visuals. Side-scrolling stages may look flat, with cel-shaded platforms and parallax eye catches, while an over-the-shoulder view may be used while Enoch runs across a shadowed landscape towards a bright light that reveals the silhouettes of his enemies. It all comes together nicely, but if there is one criticism I could make about the visuals, it's the fact that El Shaddai still only uses 720p. While that resolution has become standard on even the greatest PS3 and XBox360 titles, the game uses such minimalism in its presentation that I think both systems could have handled true 1080p. The PS3's fans don't even come on during most of the 60 fps gameplay, so Ignition probably could've pushed the resolution higher and eliminated some of the game's jaggies. Some players may also find the combat to be a bit repetitive, but with its inherent depth and the addition of platforming, environmental puzzle solving, and even driving, things stay fresh through the ten or twelve hours of gameplay. It may not be the longest game in recent memory, but it warrants multiple playthroughs on various difficulty settings. Overall, I had a blast with El Shaddai, and its combination of visual flare and great story-telling places it firmly into Shadow of the Colossus territory. This could be an instant classic if enough people embrace its artistry. Oh, and as an added bonus, the game does allow you to switch between Japanese and English voiceovers, both of which are quite respectable. I would encourage all of you to give this one a shot. Full Review »
  2. May 27, 2012
    Highly artistic with a use of cel-shading similar to Prince of Persia but even more stylish. Also a new take on beat-em-up's using onlyHighly artistic with a use of cel-shading similar to Prince of Persia but even more stylish. Also a new take on beat-em-up's using only well-timed presses of a single attack button and forcing the player into the tactical limitations of only a few weapon choices. Unfortunately, could not progress past the unforgiving platforming. For a game with an advanced theme and religious undertones and presumably targeted to players in their mid-20's and up, the designers overlooked how little time and patience such an audience may have with attempting the same platforming challenge over and over and continually failing because of the ridiculous timing involved. The boss fights also got confusing with regards to victory conditions. A shame the flow of the game wasn't thought out better since there was an interesting back story and a rare look at a world not often explored in gaming (let alone action gaming). Unfortunately, none of that was compelling enough to overcome the frustrations of the 2D portions. Full Review »
  3. Aug 16, 2011
    Wholeheartedly agree, El Shaddai goes beyond what many players will expect when they unwrap this game. While the art design and visuals goWholeheartedly agree, El Shaddai goes beyond what many players will expect when they unwrap this game. While the art design and visuals go far beyond the average game, the gameplay is uneven, unbalanced, seemingly broken in places, particularly with the platform elements.

    Imprecise jumping with a die-and-retry mechanic, locked-camera, and odd combat, El Shaddai might be one game that players either love or hate. For those gamers that thought that CATHERINE was a controller-hurling, puzzle-frustration, disguised as an anime, El Shaddai WILL evoke many religious assertions from players as they navigate the multivariable gameplay elements. Combat, platforming, puzzling beta-like inconsistencies all suggest that El Shaddai might've been rushed out the door. Or, more likely, El Shaddai (as a game) was envisioned beyond the contraints of the development team, whether money, time or talent.

    It's not bad, just maddeningly frustrating in many ways. The art is impeccable.
    Full Review »