El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron - Xbox 360

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El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Xbox 360)
Also for: PS3
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Ignition Entertainment Soft. Co.: Ignition Entertainment
Publishers: Ignition Entertainment (GB)
Released: 9 Sept 2011 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
No Accessories: No Accessories


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The halls of Hell have been reasonably well-trod in the videogames medium, with the likes of Dante's Inferno and Shadows of the Damned springing to mind by way of example. More unusual ground in the world of gaming lies at the other end of the celestial scale. We just don't get many games that send you off to heaven, do we? But then, there's not a lot about El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron that you'd describe as 'usual' or conventional.

You play as the oft-forgotten angel Enoch, who (in this particular version of events, though not necessarily in the Old Testament he originally hailed from) is a human stuck in the crossfire of a war between Heaven and a group of rebel angels. To stop Heaven from unleashing a catastrophic flood that will wipe the rebels from the face of the Earth, Enoch must use his combat skills to master the use of heavenly weaponry and ascend through the seven levels of heaven to stop the rebels.

The result is a thoroughly strange third-person brawler/adventure game. Mad plotting aside, the title also eschews the combo-centric gameplay favoured in third-person action games in favour of a stripped-down control system. There are only four buttons – attack, jump, block and purify. The skill comes from knowing when to purify – in layman's terms, taking weapons from enemies. Getting the right weapon at the right time can be the difference between victory and defeat. These combat sections are broken up by platforming sequences that take their cues from the likes of Mario.

The most striking thing about El Shaddai, though, is its appearance. The landscapes are beautiful, haunting and unearthly. They're pretty much unlike anything you'll find elsewhere.

In fact, 'pretty much unlike anything you'll find elsewhere' sums up the entire game quite neatly.

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