Ignition Entertainment’s cult classic – and visually sublime – PS3-era action-adventure El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is, in delightfully unexpected news, heading to PC.
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron originally launched for PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011, and recounts the story of blond, be-denimed Enoch (in the first and probably only game to be inspired by the apocryphal Book of Enoch) as he hunts seven fallen angels at the behest of God.
The ensuing adventure gamely hops between platform segments – both 3D and side-on – and a deceptively simple, but thrillingly balletic three-weapon combat system that rewards those willing to inject some rhythmic flair into their strikes and dodges. Granted, platforming is only passable, and limited enemy types and a lack of combat evolution do let the side down, but El Shaddai’s flaws are surprisingly easy to forgive, thanks to the delights it offers elsewhere.
El Shaddai’s real strength lies in its relentlessly imaginative, gleefully unrestrained world – a breathtaking, quasi-religious sci-fi landscape that constantly reinvents itself, switching perspectives, wonderfully psychedelic visual styles, even genres on a whim.
“At the point where I emerged out of a narrow corridor into what turned out to be a vast stadium,” wrote Keza MacDonald in her 9/10 review back in 2011, “and a gyrating dance master exploded from the sea in an outfit that would make Lady Gaga proud, I almost collapsed with joy. If that sounds like you, this could the best thing you buy this year.”
El Shaddai is a game I still recall with enormous fondness, even though the specifics are admittedly a little hazy almost a decade after its original release. But needless to say, I was delighted to see director Sawaki Takeyasu’s recent announcement that El Shaddai will be getting a long-awaited revival via Steam – with the option to switch between Japanese and English audio and subtitles – at some currently unspecified future point.
Now, time to start lobbying Capcom for that Asura’s Wrath PC release…