The game "gets a little harder" each time you die as our character, Enoch, is immortal. It's "mostly 3D action" at first but it shifts "more to a 2D platformer."
"This is a retelling of the Book of Enoch, part of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” says Shane Bettenhausen of Ignition Entertainment. "It’s not meant to be a complete retelling – we’ve taken some liberties.” A demo for El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is on PSN.
"Enoch, as a character in the bible, is immortal,” he said. “He cannot die. So when you die in this game, you always have the chance to come back to life. If you jam on the four buttons that you use to play the game fast enough, you come back to life. But each time you do that, it gets a little harder, like Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!”
"When you start out, the game is mostly 3D action adventure, and it starts shifting more to a 2D platformer,” Bettenhausen elaborated.
“This level is kind of cute, it’s based on these characters called the Nephilim – the unholy offspring of humans and angels. They’re the reason why the world needs to be fixed, because these Nephilim would take over the world.”
Game director Takeyasu Sawaki was art director for Devil May Cry and Okami, which explains why El Shaddai is a visually striking videogame. It has no HUD whatsoever.
"Enoch is tasked with hunting down seven renegade angels,” he added. “Each of the angels has built a utopia inside the Tower of Babel. So the fact that it didn’t need to make physical sense freed us up from the normal constraints of graphical design."
"One of Sawaki’s design tenets was that ‘the world should always be changing around you.’ So you see different art styles, different types of gameplay, and you really never know what’s around the next corner.”
"With this game, I think Sawaki designed a new aesthetic. Because there’s so much variety in the levels, and some of the really crazy graphics towards the end of the game are unlike anything I’ve seen. Clearly colors are very important; we feel like a lot of games these days don’t use many colors," noted Bettenhausen.
"The animation was crucial too, and having a really clean frame rate of 60 frames per second is really important because when the combat is all about reading characters animations, reading when to parry, you can’t have slowdown getting in the way of that.”
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron releases on Xbox 360 and PS3 July 26th.