The fallen angels in El Shaddai: The Ascension of the Metatron have corrupted Earth, and God wants to flood the place to clean it up a little. Enoch is given a chance to save the planet and its inhabitants by recovering the angels, which requires a bunch of fighting, lots of running and a good amount of jumping. And Lucifel, your probable boyfriend, follows you around on his cell phone, talking casually to God to let him know how you’re doing.
It’s all pretty gay. When fighting, you win when you strip the guy naked. The colors are fabulous and outrageous, and it’s got buttloads of style. Static pictures don’t do it justice; most of the levels have a feeling of flow, a soft focus, a sense of lightness, as they carefully waver and shift. It’s beautiful.
The characters are pretty, too. Lucifel wears tight black jeans and a form-fitting shirt buttoned in the middle, revealing his chest and midriff. Enoch has blond, bouncy hair and a strange configuration of armor that seems completely impractical, but well put together. The fallen angels look like they came from a Klaus Nomi fashion show. Enemies are tribal looking and interesting.
Gameplay is simple. It’s a basic platformer/adventure scheme. There is one attack button, and different timing creates different combos. There are three weapons that play very differently. A complexity underlies the controls, if a gamer wants to find it, but it’s also great for casual gamers.
The story is what you would expect from a Japanese RPG, pretty nonsensical stuff pretending it has real meaning. The game is an experience, and it is completely beautiful. It plays easily and is original in its mythology (Christian but not Bible-throwing). Plus, there’s that mesmerizing art style. Gay subtext is not hard to imagine throughout the game. Demos are available on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, and if you’ve got 60 bucks to spare, check it out, or wait six months for the price to drop. It is well worth a look, and a lascivious look at that.
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Frag Dean is a podcaster on Silly Frags, available on iTunes, Sticher and sillyfrags.com.