God: The Video Game


A new video game tells a story so big, violent, raucous, and action-packed that its inspiration could only have come from a Bible-era text.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron–made for Xbox and Playstation, and created by Tokyo-based Ignition Games–is based on the apocryphal Book of Enoch, purportedly written by the great-grandfather of Noah.

In the Bible, Enoch is notable only for his death: the text says that “God took him.” The Book of Enoch is a much more flamboyant story. It describes the fall of a group of angels known as Watchers, and then tells of Enoch’s repeated visits to Heaven. “Metatron,” one of the angels, is where the game takes its name from; as for the rest of the title, the main character receives one-way phone calls from a higher being, never named, but assumed to be God (“El Shaddai” is a name for God in the Bible).

So far, reviews have been mixed. Gamer site UGO says that Ascent is easily the best art-directed game in years, but IGN claims its plot is incoherent and the game falls flat. Public reaction has been overwhelmingly positive: There are already El Shaddai-branded action figures and jeans.

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