Beautiful to behold, with some fantastic art design and brilliantly barmy 2D sections, El Shaddai is one of those games that you should play if only to say that you have. Highly divisive, its combat could have been better, and it gets repetitive after a while. But if you're up for a refreshingly left-field game, give this one a look. Currently a quid or two cheaper at Zavvi than anywhere else at the moment.
2011 has brought us some massive games and shattered sales records with merry abandon, but the fact is that a huge number of deserving titles managed to slip under our gaming radar into pitiful ignominy. So, in the true spirit of Christmas, it's time that we championed the underdogs: the games you probably didn't buy - or even notice - throughout the last twelve months.
Before we begin, you need to understand that this list is not an objective measure of raw quality. Instead, we passed these games though a
hungover discussion after our Christmas do totally amazing top-secret algorithm that also takes sales figures and how little a splash they made in the mainstream gaming consciousness into account.
Steel Diver is by far the best handheld submarine sim on the market. Erm, which is probably a good thing despite the complete lack of competition. Shigeru Miyamoto's pet project completely failed to make a splash (ha!), but for a niche audience, it's really rather compelling.
Many gamers were probably deterred by Sideway's too cool for school urban vibe, but the fact is that Playbrains crafted a superb downloadable platformer that blends Jet Set Radio's funky style with the most imaginative premise we've seen in some time: being a work of art on a brick wall. The unique gravity shifting and multidimensional mechanics should have ensured that gamers treated this title with respect and eagerly-opened wallets. Check out our 8/10 review.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PS3 (reviewed) | Xbox 360
Developer: Ignition Tokyo
Publisher: UTV Ignition
There aren't many games that place you in the shoes of a Biblical figure, let alone one whose place in theological history was excised and canned. Nor are there many that have you engaging in Tron-esque motorcycle jaunts across futuristic cityscapes, fending off the robotic henchmen of a Fallen Angel, or hopping over beachballs pushed by cutesy cartoon Nephilim (it's a bit odd that the bastard children of Humans and Angels appear to resemble a cross between a frankfurter and a meerkat), or attempting to send a troubled Grigori back to Heaven by battling his minions while he engages it what can only be described as techno-fuelled interpretive dance.
Suffice it to say, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is not your average game.
The actual premise is actually fairly high concept and straightforward: you play Enoch, a man who had his own eponymous Apocryphal text, who is sent by God to round up seven Fallen Angels, purify them through combat and return them to Heaven where a certain amount of justice might be served, in the hope of preventing God from unleashing a massive flood. Find Apostates, beat them up, save world. Simples. In order to do this, however, Enoch has to battle his way through the seven trans-dimensional floors of reality of an enormous, foreboding Tower, each of them housing a different Angel and their subjects.Click here to find out why El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is one of the most fascinating games of the year...
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron has one of the least snappy titles we've seen in a while, but it's looking drop dead gorgeous. The game takes Biblical apocryphal text The Book of Enoch as its inspiration for a fantastical third-person action adventure with a striking visual art style from a team with the collective experience of games like Viewtiful Joe, Devil May Cry and Okami under their belts. A war between Heaven an the Fallen Angels has broken out, and it's up to Enoch to try and sort things out before the ethereal battle ends up wiping out everything on Earth with an apocalyptic flood.
We'll be endeavouring to bring you a full preview in the next couple of weeks before the game releases on July 26th, but in the interim hit the jump and feast your eyes on some of the new screenshots from the other week.Click here to read more...