El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is a beautiful game. That’s bound to be the player’s first thought so it seems like a fitting place to start. You descend from the heavens on a massive hand and immediately arrive in a region packed with dramatic mountains covered in brilliantly reflective icy surfaces. Each stage (and often sections within a single stage) takes you to an almost jarringly different location with its own well-defined and entirely unique aesthetic. That variety applies to the gameplay as much as it does to the visuals, too. El Shaddai never struggles to hold your attention because you never know what it has in store for you. Growing tired of all that hack’n'slash combat? How about some 2D platforming on flowing clouds? Want to go sword-fighting on a futuristic motorcycle? Ooh, let’s play with gravity next!