Remember El Shaddai? The bizarre 2011 title blended a unique take on stylish action and a dreamlike aesthetic with a narrative heavily steeped in biblical lore. The cult classic has been trapped on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for the last decade, but it’s getting a new lease on life with a move to PC (via Steam).
There’s no release window for the port, but the official announcement says the game is coming “soon.” El Shaddai’s story follows Enoch, a scribe who tries to save humanity from a great flood by locating seven fallen angels. The story draws inspiration from the Book of Enoch, an ancient bible text that’s widely excluded from most biblical canon. The game’s combat revolves around a unique one-button system that players must time correctly to initiate various combos. Outside of battle, players traverse the colorful, abstract world in breezy, linear 2D platforming. El Shaddai launched in August 2011 to a positive reception, with players lauding the beautiful art direction and unique, streamlined combat. Years later, El Shaddai’s creator, Sawaki Takeyasu, would go on to create The Lost Child, a follow-up of sorts that launched in June 2018.
Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner scored El Shaddai a 9 out of 10 at launch, writing “When the credits began to roll, I felt like I traveled to the Guggenheim with Charlie Kaufman on one arm and Timothy Leary on the other. Although the story delivers a cohesive narrative arc, the singular tangential moments of peculiarity, abstract level design, and well-crafted combat are the main attractions. El Shaddai is a rare treat of a game and a celebration of video games as an art form.”
It’s always cool to see a cult classic make a return like this, especially since they don’t often receive updated ports the way mainstream successes do. For more on the El Shaddai, check out this feature on what makes it a cult classic.