User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34

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  1. Aug 16, 2011
    9
    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. Expand
  2. Aug 16, 2011
    5
    Wholeheartedly 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.
    Expand
  3. May 27, 2012
    4
    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 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. Expand
  4. Sep 1, 2011
    7
    While many (including myself) will be frustrated by the platforming, and sometimes seemingly unreasonable difficulty as the player is tossed between different gameplay modes, the game is entirely worthwhile. The gameplay, while simple, still has more depth than a lot of reviewers lead on. Don't be deceived by the single attack button - this isn't entirely a masher. There will be plenty of moments that provide an adequate sense of accomplishment if you take the game mechanics seriously. Timing, armament strategy and positioning all come in to play. While I wouldn't call the fighting difficult, I still consider it satisfying. I think the major problem is that you CAN make it through by simply button mashing. With enough attempts, it'll work... which leads many-a simple minded folk to believe the game is nothing but inadequate. Visually, the game is absolutely stunning. I adore what they've done with this, and am continually more and more impressed by the graphical nuances as I progress in the game. If you're one to enjoy a beautiful, artistic world; this is a must see. The music compliments the ambiance extremely well. I can't stress enough how well chosen this soundtrack is. Each world is supplemented with a pristine match of musical style.

    All in all, this is not a game that will make you feel like an uber-gamer. It's not overly difficult... nor is it too simple, however. Don't expect groundbreaking gameplay, but don't underestimate the enjoyment of this title, either. Sit back, don't even bother trying to make sense of the story, and enjoy the overwhelmingly immersive experience.
    Expand
  5. Nov 7, 2011
    10
    An amazing game. loved the style, loved the characters, loved the enemies, loved the story, loved the ideas, loved the game.
  6. Feb 11, 2012
    8
    It takes time before El Shaddai really picks up the pace, but when it does, it turns into a wonderful experience that is unlike any other. The platforming, combat and story are all very weird and distinctive, but the real uniqueness lies in the art design and graphics. Most levels are bizzare and creative and somehow never look the same. The game meshes 3d and 2d gameplay and has fixed camera angles and hypnotizing background. It's hard to get used to it, and at first I simply didn't like it but you really should give it a chance if you are looking for a unique experience as it does get better later on. I thought the story was terrible. I dare you to understand what the hell is going on, because I didn't get at least half of it. The game is also rather short, about 7-8 hours, and can be inconsistent on many occations. But Otherwise this is a very good game that deserves our attention as gamers for it's fantastic art direction and bizzarness. Expand
  7. Mar 8, 2013
    6
    As the credits rolled by at the end of the game, something passed by that made sense. Copywrite 2006. El Shaddai was a game that was made at the end of the PS2 cycle in Japan and rereleased five years later in the US for the PS3. And here I am two years after that release playing it. Ha, ha. The game has an inticing story line using the bibical non-canon story of Enoch and the Fallen Angels. Although it uses Canaanite mythology, it offers a real sense of a God "of all ages" by allowing out of time nuances to enter the game, such as cell phones, motorbikes, and modern clothing. As compelling to story is though, it feels disjointed and has a lack of understanding for what is going on. In fact, when the game was over, I was left waiting for the final boss battle that never materialized. It's almost like the developers just got tired of working on the game and left it as is with a thirty second conclusion movie that says "And Enoch saved the Earth". As far as game play, like I said, it was a game designed in 2006. It's a simple platform experience, with a slight rise in difficulty due to the camera angle changing on you as you progress and messing up your depth perception in jumping. El Shaddai is also a fighting game in the true sense of "button mashing". So if you like slightly hard platform games, with button mashing fighting thrown in, and a half-hearted, yet compelling story, then this game is for you. Expand
  8. Oct 5, 2011
    5
    Highly overrated... if it was just a 2D sidescroller I'd have enjoyed it much more. For me, it's kind of broken sometimes and not too compelling. Finished and passed it along; it does not have a "collectors" feel for me. Beautiful and unusual, definitely, but I want more bang for my buck.
  9. Aug 19, 2011
    7
    We've seen an influx of religious/mythological action games since Kratos first took up the Blades of Chaos, but none of them have chosen to stray as far from its image as El Shaddai. Forsaking the predictable, time-worn experience/level progression element, El Shaddai boils its combat down to the very basics. While initially exciting due to its simplicity, combat fails to get any more interesting after all the weapons have been revealed, and eventually can just be tiresome. If the battle system had been even nearly as dynamic and dazzling as the graphic designs of the levels, El Shaddai would have presented a much more enjoyable experience. Though not quite perfect due to some jarring, awkward polygonal shapes that look straight out of a Playstation One game, the game's art is dastardly unique and always stunning. In the end, El Shaddai reminds us that not every game needs to attempt to appear as close to reality as possible, and sometimes they should look exactly the opposite. Expand
  10. Feb 6, 2012
    7
    This is an interesting game with a wholly original and rather fantastic style. I heard all the complaints about the combat being too repetitive and the platforming being too frustrating but I disagree. The combat is as repetitive as you would expect any beat-em-up to be, but where El Shaddai differs is that it disguises its complexity in a single attack button, there are many distinct attacks per weapon that vary based on the timing of your button presses, this concept was difficult for me to grasp at first (and the game does a poor job explaining things) but once I figured it out I found the combat to be very enjoyable and unique. The platforming rarely frustrated me as the game provides abundant checkpoints so if you ever miss a jump you usually restart in the same exact area to try again, so even the most difficult platforming sections didn't take me long to navigate. While the game never quite reaches the same level of excellence as other AAA titles in either genre (beat-em-ups or platformers) the games unique style and general strangeness continued to impress me through to the end, every time I thought I saw all the game had to offer, they showed me something new in the very next chapter. Expand
  11. Nov 12, 2011
    9
    An amazing art game. All the love put in a videogame. It's different, like flower or katamari. Games like shaddai make you hope in the industry, it's a enemy of call of duty and fifa. I hope companies make more games like this (sorry for my english)
  12. Jan 7, 2012
    6
    El Shaddai feels unfinished. The art design is the only thing that appears to have been given the time and resources necessary to fully flesh out. Combat is basic, monotonous and encounters feel overlong, with little meaningful feedback given to the player to let them know how effective their tactics are or in some cases, how much damage they're doing; the platforming is adequate, but these sequences also crop up a little too frequently for something so shallow. It's worth playing, but only barely. Expand
  13. Feb 16, 2012
    8
    El shaddai. is a quality triple AAA game that quickly went into the bargain bins of western stores due to the obscure title and nature of the game. But for any japanese manga fans or video arts students and even if you just want to try a game that is totally fresh and different to most of the stale titles out there. Make no mistake this game is worth playing just for the experience. Yes the combat is confusing at first yes the platforming can be seriously frustrating but its worth it. just to enjoy the vivid experimental almost hallucinogenic graphics and sounds of the game along with an obscure but interesting story. -Elshaddai stands alone but proud as an example of pushing the boundaries and not being afraid to do so. It deserves more recognition than it got when it was released from players and critics alike a cult classic. Expand
  14. Oct 16, 2012
    9
    This is one of those games that you need to experience. The art style and design alone are worth the price, but its also got some very creative gameplay. The idea of timed button combos instead of a heavy attack light attack system is very well implemented, and gives people who cant pull of the insane combos from DMC or Bayonetta a chance to fight well. This game has almost everything perfect, however, the story can be confusing at points, hence the 9 out of 10, but you will be fine as long as you get the main plot points. Expand
  15. Aug 12, 2013
    7
    First lets get this out of the way. The game looks gorgeous. The game's various art styles look really nice and each level looks and feels very distinct. Not to mention that the character and enemy designs look quite good as well. The sound effects do not sound out of place and the music does a nice job of setting the tone And the theme for overboost mode is just fantastic (look it up after reading this). Unfortunately, the majority of problems come from everything that's NOT the graphics and sound design. The combat system revolves around timed button presses and the use of three weapons that for the most part you steal from enemies although during boss fights one of each type will be floating around for you to take. This allows for the need of smart decisions during combat involving which enemies to take out first and which to take a weapon off of. The problem with the combat is not the fact that the system is broken or anything. But the problem comes with the enemies. While varied in appearance and difficulty. They all attack in the same predictable patterns and this can make the combat just seem a bit tedious and boring near the end of the game. Not to mention the random boss encounters that, bar a few exceptions, end when you get your butt kicked to the curb by said bosses. But as I said, the mechanics themselves are not the problem... until you get to some of the 3D platforming. They work well for the parts that you can control the camera yourself. But when the directors view is imposed upon you it becomes really difficult to gauge how far away and what angle you are relative to the platform that you're jumping to. The 2D platforming, while simple, works well with the super tight controls that are still present during the 3D portions of the game. The story is done in an interesting style. Sometimes delivered through regular cutscenes and sometimes during voice overs during gameplay. The story itself is based off of a judeo-christian story and if you aren't really familiar with the source material some of the story elements may go over you head but is still pretty neat. To conclude this review I'd say buy it. At most stores the price went down a bunch and if you're lucky you can find it in the bargain bin. The game's art style and sound design shine through as the best part of the game and the hack and slash mechanics work nicely not to mention the super tight controls and the 2D platforming sections. But just be wary of the somewhat repetitive combat and 3D platforming. Expand
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
  1. 80
    El Shaddai it's a great game because of its concept and mixture of that creates on the player, and should be taken into account by those who seek something more than a game.
  2. Dec 12, 2011
    90
    While not a perfect game, the only real nitpick I have is the platforming sometimes became a little difficult due to the art style and camera angles, it's definitely an experience that shouldn't be missed.
  3. Oct 10, 2011
    87
    An entertaining action - adventure with strong religious overtones and quite exquisite audiovisual effects. [Oct 2011]