El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
Brought to you by some of the guys behind Viewtiful and Okami is El Shaddai, a title loosely based on the Book of Enoch. You play as the Enoch, actually, in a quest to save humanity from fallen angels. As some of you educated folks might know, in the bible there’s a bit where Angels are so enamoured with mankind that they chose to commit the sin of descending into our world. Some even bear children with humanity, which results in the creation of giant beings. Of course, God gets angry and calls in a flood because that’s the sort of thing God does. Except, in the game, Enoch petitions God to hold off on flooding our asses because he will take it upon himself to get rid of the fallen angels. So God gives you a few Angels of your own, one of which is apparently Lucifer. The premise alone seems interesting, to say the least.
Then, then you see the trailer and you realize that this title must be in your life.
I remember when SF4 came out, and my friends and I were adamant about starting the game up. We just wanted to play. But then as we turned the game on, the promotional cinematics for the game started rolling and we were absolutely stunned with the beauty of the Sumi-E inked Ryu and Ken. We probably watched that thing like 5 times in a row that day, and we all agreed that even if we couldn’t tell what the heck was going on in the screen, we’d totally play a SF4 rendered completely in this style.
And it’s interesting because, I would think that with the technological power that is currently available to developers, they’d be more into realizing creations with actually look like their original concept art. I mean, isn’t that the entire point of the concept art? To conceptualize what something will end up looking like? Imagine if Final Fantasy looked anything like its concept art. That would be insane!
Then you look at something like El Shaddai and it blows you away. The visuals are probably a lot like what the concept art looks like, and since that is so stylized, the game ends up looking gorgeous. I can definitely see myself picking this game up and just staring out into its world, appreciating its subtle details and nuances. This, in stark contrast to the admittedly beautiful empty world of Red Dead Redemption. For some reason when I play that game and look out into the horizon, I’m acutely aware of the fact that I’m holding a controller and pressing buttons to make my horse go faster. Perhaps it’s just the complete dichotomy between the natural landscape and the technological reality which I live in. Or it might just be my subconcious thinking that if I actually wanted to appreciate the beauty of nature I’d be…outside, not looking at some pixellated representation. That being said, having a stylized representation of the world makes it easier for me to slip into. There’s no comparisons to be made and the world has its own visual language and cues.
Anyway, stay tuned as we bring you more information on El Shaddai: Insert Pretentious Subtitle here!