Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 34 Ratings

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  • Summary: Developed by a hugely-talented, Tokyo-based team headed by the legendary Sawaki Takeyasu (Devil May Cry) and Masato Kimura (Okami, Viewtiful Joe) El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, draws players into a rich storyline inspired by events in the Old Testament's apocryphal 'Book of Enoch.' In the game, players take on the role of Enoch and must harness his natural combat skills to master a range of powerful and Heavenly weapons under the guidance of the watchful Archangels. Only then will he be able to deliver the souls of the Fallen Angels and spare the world from a great flood ordered by Heaven. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
  1. Sep 12, 2011
    100
    It's an engaging, exciting, fearless and endlessly imaginative masterpiece with a clarity of vision that is so, so rare in traditional big-budget releases.
  2. Aug 24, 2011
    90
    A visually stunning game with simply fun action and challenging platforming, El Shaddai is only slightly marred by the death system and unoriginal mechanics.
  3. Sep 11, 2011
    86
    Now here's a nice surprise. This may not have been the most hyped game out there, but it delivers in almost every way. A fresh and original style, interesting gameplay… El Shaddai does everything right, except for the way it tells its story.
  4. Aug 18, 2011
    80
    Combines gorgeous artistic design with enticing combat to create a memorable adventure.
  5. Sep 7, 2011
    78
    Truly a masterpiece in terms of graphics and soundtrack, but loses itself when it comes to playing the game, especially the combat system too much limited. The story is quite interesting, it takes a lot of references from different religions, but the plot sometimes shows huge holes and characters without a background story.
  6. Sep 23, 2011
    70
    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.
  7. Sep 21, 2011
    33
    I won't deny that it has a great art style, but the rest of the game could have certainly used the same attention to detail.

See all 46 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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

See all 15 User Reviews