El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, formely called “Angelic”, is an intense action-adventure game similar to the Darksiders or Dante’s Inferno-style but mixing both third-person action and side-scrolling platforming elements.
The game is being developed by the character designer responsible for Capcom’s Devil May Cry and Okami franchises and is loosely inspired by the Old Testament tale of Enoch from the Holy Bible; one of the most unique tales that the Bible offers. Although the game also takes extreme liberties with the source material
The name of the game, El Shaddai, is one of the Judaic names of God which translates to “God Almighty”. The game features a hand-drawn, anime graphical-style inspired by the works of Studio Ghibli with fantastical locations and effects; giving the game an etheral, otherworldly, Heavenly feel and look.
Here is the E3 2011 official story trailer for El Shaddai which gives you a wealth of gameplay footage and shows off the unique storyline and premise.
In the game you play as Enoch (Noah’s Great Grandfather), a priest seeking for the souls of Heaven’s Fallen Angels; if Enoch can sacrifice them to God, the Father will spare mankind and not destroy the earth with the cataclysmic flood.
Originally sworn to protect the earth, these “Sons of God” became fascinated with the “daughters of men” (in keeping with the Biblical text) and abandoned Heaven for the Earth realm.
In the Bible they are called “The Watchers” and are said to have birthed the Nephilim, which is a reference made twice in the Old Testament Hebrew text. Some believe the Nephilim to be the origin of the Old Testament giants like Goliath who were the direct descendants of these evil Fallen Angels who had sexual relations with earthly woman; thus creating entirely evil, ungodly and unholy beings.
One very cool aspect in my opinion is how the Bible specifically names three Archangels (Michael, Gabriel and Raphael) as well as the Angel of Death (called Azrael in non-Biblical texts) and El Shaddai has the three above angels alongside “Uriel”, guiding the player from the Heavenly realm.
A Fallen Angel named Lucifel (Lucifer? Possibly before he was tossed out of Heaven to become Satan, in another liberty taken by the developers) will also guide the player, and Lucifel is an angel with unique powers as he exists outside the flow of time.
Enoch begins unarmed and must seek out the “Full Armor of God” (taken from Ephesians 6:10-18); As he defeats enemies and bosses he will steal their Holy Armor and Weapons.
You begin the game with the “Arch”, a curved blade that allows you to float in the air temporarily as you slash at your opponents. The second weapon you’ll obtain is the “Gale”, a ringed blade that fires deadly darts in quick succession. A third weapon comes in the form of gauntlets called the “Veil”, which act as a shield increasing your melee and defense. The Gale is the quickest weapon with the Veil being the slowest, requiring some strategy as you choose the right weapon for the job depending on the enemy you are facing.
Additionally, weapons will begin corrupting the more they are used, weakening them. You’ll need to purify them to return them to their full strength.
Here is the impressive E3 2011 gameplay trailer for El Shaddai!
As a Christian it makes me extremely happy to see awesome games like this one that are inspired by the Bible. In my humble opinion the Bible is full of a wealth of interesting ideas that could be mined and, whether directly lifted from the Scriptures, inspired by or taken extreme liberties with, could make for some really interesting videogames.
With titles like Dante’s Inferno, El Shaddai, Bayonetta and Darksiders, all of which feature, at the very least, angelic or demonic forces or themes (such as the Four Horseman from The Book of Revelations), I feel confident that the future will give us more great titles that use the Holy Bible as a base. And I say, bring it on! It’s about time we get some refreshing perspectives and concepts instead of going for the same ol’ Greek/Roman mythology or whatnot which have been played out to death. Time for something new!
How do you feel about using the Bible or other religious mythology, themes, text or what-have-you for gaming inspiration? And what do you think of El Shaddai so far?