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As I put the game in and reached the main menu, it already
began to win my attention with the dazzling background and mesmerizing music. El
Shaddai from the very beginning is a game which contains a marvelous mixture of
colors, but the colors are not the only good thing about the game.
You start off as the main
character Enoch, a human scribe who has been allowed to stay in heaven while
still alive as a result of his righteousness. Now the story is based on the
defiance of a group of angels named Azazel, Ezekiel, and Sariel who are known as the Watchers.
The angels were so fascinated with the way humans lived on earth that they
decided to leave heaven to go live on earth. As a result of their actions, the
elders of heaven make the decision of flooding earth, but Enoch with his pure
heart objected. Enoch was given the mission of going down to earth and bringing
back the fallen angels to be imprisoned in heaven, in order to prevent the
elders from flooding the earth. This is where your journey begins.
Shaddai you will encounter many different types of creatures in different
locations throughout every artistic scene you enter. Each scene has some unique
creative properties, most of which you can interact with. For example, you can
ride a giant wind wave or you can fall into a dark abyss which you then must
climb your way out (failing to do so will result in getting consumed by the
darkness below!). There are three main weapons bestowed upon you by the man
upstairs and they are called the Arch, the Gale, and the Veil. Each weapon has
its strength and weaknesses and if you don’t want to find out the hard way, then
just look inside your instruction booklet. A special creature you will come
across is known as the Nephilim (the offspring of fallen angels and humans).
These abominations are a barbaric bunch; they eat each other and grow larger.
At one point you are forced to trek your way through a world of Nephilim and
even battle a gigantic Nephilim with power great enough to strong-arm the
earth the fallen angels created a massive tower with a different angel on each
level. As Enoch you must climb this tower, fighting waves of enemies, in order
to reach the fallen angels you must defeat. There are also some random
encounters with them. You will be beaten a couple of times, but never fear because there
is a nice feature you can use. Simultaneously tapping the right bumper, left
bumper, along with X and A, will trigger a rapid recovery in which you get all
new armor and a revitalized Enoch (so get your button-mashing skills ready
because trust me when I say you will need it). Traveling up this enormous tower
leads to a number of visually dazzling scenes. Each level of the tower is
designed to amaze your eyes. At one particular point in the story mode, Enoch
comes across one of the archangels who made his level to look futuristic,
which is probably the most astonishing level in the game. You get put into Tron-like armor and go on a high-speed futuristic motorcycle ride.
While you are
riding you also have to fight the minions of one of the fallen angels, and this
is one fast-paced battle with even more amazing gameplay footage. You even end
up on a level where you are completely under what they call water. On this
level you run into a character who loves to dance while he fights (he even does
several moonwalks and break dance moves as you fight him). Soon after the battle
you must use this character in order to save Enoch from the darkness of the
underworld that he has been dragged to, so you even get the chance to use one
of the fallen angels. Don’t worry, you won’t have to travel this journey on your own. You will have the assistance of an angel named Lucifel who will pop up randomly throughout the game where you can save your progress. You will also have the three archangels helping you get through the game, not to mention one lends you their physical angelic powers while you are in battle.
Shaddai will also force you to use some intellect in order to find your way
pass select areas throughout the game, which shouldn’t be hard for the average
gamer. Overall, this game was an excellent one with an interesting storyline
(one where I could not predict the outcome as I played). This action-packed
eye stunner will keep you on your toes with the variation of the story and the
obstacles that get thrown at you. A good way to describe this game would be a
fusion of Kingdom Hearts and the God of War series. Although it resembles these
two popular titles, El Shaddai still has a style all its own that will
captivate and astonish gamers. I give this God game a 9.5 out of 10 for great
visuals, a decent storyline and not being repetitive (there’s some pretty good
music, too). El Shaddai is now available at a game store near you for Xbox 360
and PlayStation 3.