El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is a hack-and-slash platform game, which will see your child making their way through fairly linear levels, beating up enemies, jumping from platform to platform, and fighting bosses. While the game's meant to be loosely based on the Book of Enoch, you won't really be learning too much here - especially considering the story is quite hard to follow at the best of times.
Play quizzes, win prizes! Test your knowledge with our quizzes, and you could win £/$/€ 20 of PSN/XBL/eShop/Steam credit!
What might be confusing for some are El Shaddai's more illogical design decisions. Firstly, there are numerous boss fights where it's actually impossible to win, as the game needs you to lose - only without telling you, which kind of seems at odds with what you're usually doing in most games. The crazy art style also means that it can sometimes be hard to tell what you can jump/stand on, and what will send you plummeting to your doom when you try to land on it.
Generally, the controls are quite straightforward and shouldn't pose too much of a problem - the Left Stick moves your character, hammering X attacks, A jumps and LB is used for stealing the enemies' weapons for your own use. El Shaddai also has a fairly decent tutorial at the start of the game to explain all this, as well as the option to play on an easier difficulty if you 'just want to enjoy the story'.
In terms of reading ability, there's not that much of a requirement here, as all of the cut scenes and conversations have voice-overs. Not that it'll make understanding the somewhat convoluted story any easier, however, as the storyline's more than a little tricky for adults to understand, yet alone children.
Although it's heavily combat based, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron contains nothing in the way of blood, guts or gore. When enemies are defeated, they just disappear, and leave orange orbs behind. What parents may be slightly more concerned about is that some of the enemies - particularly the Watchers, who have heads that fold into their bodies, and are replaced with a giant triangular eye - may scare younger kids. They're certainly creepy enough.
In terms of sex and swearing, however, there's nothing to report on here.
El Shaddai: The Ascension of the Metatron is an entirely single player game, and as such has no multiplayer modes to speak of.
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360