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Religion And Games With El Shaddai's Takeyasu Sawaki

The character designer turned director talks about making El Shaddai, and why Japanese designers are more willing to touch religion than everyone else.

When the dust settles on 2011, it’s unlikely many will be arguing El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron was the best playing game this year, but it’ll be easy to make the case that it was one of the most striking. Every screen looks like a painting.

Of course, El Shaddai was overseen by acclaimed Okami and Devil May Cry character designer Takeyasu Sawaki.

“El Shaddai came about in a very interesting way,” said Sawaki in a recent email exchange. “Members of UTV Ignition’s London office first came up with the idea to create an action game based on the Book of Enoch, but they wanted the game to be developed in Japan.”

Like El Shaddai, Okami had an incredibly distinct look, one that made it instantly identifiable.

Ignition approached Sawaki about the idea, and asked him to become involved. Intrigued by the concept, he proposed being the project director--a first for him. El Shaddai started active development in 2007, and was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this past September.

Sure, El Shaddai hasn’t made the same impact as either Okami or Devil May Cry, but it’s received near universal acclaim for its looks, which are trippy, strange and distracting in the best way possible.

“When the process first started and I was reading the Book of Enoch, I actually thought the texts were boring!” he told me. “But creating the Tower of Babel level structure allowed for endless possibilities for design and variety. Since the game launched we have seen people write about how each level looks like it could have come from a different game--which is what we wanted to achieve.”

Its meaning is debated, but El Shaddai is often literally translated as “God Almighty.” And while El Shaddai is based upon the biblical apocrypha The Book of Enoch, the adaptation plays fast and loose with the events depicted within.

In the game, one of the main characters, Lucifel, is often found talking to God on his cell phone. El Shaddai continues a long tradition of Japanese video games, especially true regarding RPGs, having little problem layering religion into the narrative.

We don't really see in the West, but even in this case, the game isn’t meant to be especially religious, as Sawaki isn’t.

“I have no specific religion, but I always strongly feel that this world is not everything,” he said. “I believe in a ‘voice inside’ and ‘intuition.’ In Japan, we often view religion as more of a spectrum of beliefs and philosophies, but I was very conscious about the themes I was working with throughout the El Shaddai’s development.”

Xenogears' story is crazy, but you can't accuse the game of being afraid of touchy subjects.

Sawaki figures that’s why many Western games avoid religion.

“People in Japan typically describe themselves as following multiple belief systems and philosophies,” he continued, “whereas other regions of the world more strictly adhere to one particular religion. I believe this causes sensitivities on the topic of religion that does not happen here in Japan. That may explain why it is more ‘taboo’ in Western cultures than in Japan.”

You can’t make a game with religious themes without having given the subject some serious thought, however, and Sawaki admitted the subject has given him some pause, influencing the game’s look.

“Sometimes in my dreams I see what I think to be the afterlife,” he said. “Dreams I have had inspired some of the looks in El Shaddai.”

The game was designed with some narrative gaps that Sawaki is currently hoping to fill; he’s writing a novel that will expand on some of the side stories mentioned in the game. This could also feed into “further brand extensions,” but Sawaki was unwilling to talk about what else he was working on.

He also waived away the notion that El Shaddai’s sometimes heavier themes were a reflection of his own aging process.

“I will say that like Enoch, we are all faced with difficult choices in our lives and we want to believe we made the right ones,” he said. “That is human nature. However, the reality is someone like Lucifel,’ who views with third person’s eyes, realizes better than you.”

If you're tired of yet another military shooter, you can't get more different than El Shaddai. Seek it out.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
131 Comments
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Edited by thetrin

@dvorak said:

@DudeOlav said:

@dvorak: In what way? I am a devout atheist and the book that this game is based on is a collection of bronze age desert fables... wouldn't be any different from playing a lord of the rings game or a comic book game, you know, something else that is made up :)

I would consider myself an atheist as well, in the way that I don't really give a fuck about religion. Putting aside the fact that no one can be a 'devout' atheist, there a virtually infinite quantity of quality fiction-based content out there that doesn't deal with poorly translated pseudo-religious bullshit. Of course it's all made up, but it's also just fucking dumb on top of that.

It's not even as much the content, but the approach they took. I'd just like to remind everyone what that dude showing off the game in the QL said: "Well if you know your bible..."

Fuck. Right. Off. (not you, whoever that dude was)

It's not a bible-thumping game. I'm nowhere close to Christian. I was born a Hindu. What I loved about El Shaddai was its interpretation of the source material in a literary sense. I think theology is fascinating, but not in a religious way. I find the literature and its metaphors to be rich and interesting.

It's a shame you're offended by the game because it's vaguely connected to Christianity.

The guy, btw, was Shane Bettenhausen, who used to work for 1up. His point was the adherence to the source material, not that it's the game that will bring your closer to Jesus. Despite the sharp left turn the game constantly takes aesthetically, it still adheres largely to the material its based on , which is pretty commendable for such a bizarre game.

@Little_Socrates said:

@dvorak: Thing is, to know literature, you really do need to know your Bible, whether you're Christian or not. It's, you know, the first widely-published book. It shapes most of our narrative today. I'm not saying I know mine, but I acknowledge the importance of knowing the Bible to really get most literary allusions.

I think that Quick Look also largely misrepresents El Shaddai. There's a goddamned Tron level in that game. You ride a light cycle for an almost absurd amount of time. My jaw literally was dropped throughout the entire sequence.

Also, this loading screen has that one track that sounds EXACTLY like the jam at the end of Another Brick In The Wall (Part I).

This is precisely what I was getting at. Whether or not you're a religious person, theological literature has a huge impact on writing in the western world.

Edited by MeAuntieNora

@jetsetwillie said:

don't games encourage critical thinking. something which goes completely against faith/religion

I'm not sure I fully agree with either end of that sentence, but at the very least I will say that critical thinking is perfectly at home in religion. Local clergy organize events, schedule guests like scholars and writers, and have casual group meetings at their church where the sole purpose is to discuss who wrote the cherished religious texts and why this discrepancy and that redaction and who was the Yahwist source, etc. There's definitely a secular side to that stuff too, but most religious scholars recognize it's an important part of cultivating and preserving the history, and nowadays for most people it's generally not too much of a problem that investigating the Bible is going to turn up contradictions, because that's been known for centuries and the final editors and redactors almost seemed to include such things intentionally, creating a deep spiritual conundrum that shouldn't be ignored. Figuring out those mysteries, learning that much more about who wrote it and what their world was like, only strenghtens faith that much more. And this is often a cooperative thing with secular scholars and archaeologists.

I'm atheist by the way.

Posted by TehFlan
@jetsetwillie said:

don't games encourage critical thinking. something which goes completely against faith/religion

Since when does critical thinking go against faith? If your faith can't hold up against any critical scrutiny, it isn't much of a faith at all.
Posted by TehFlan
@Jumbs said:

@TehFlan said:

I'm not sure why atheists feel the need to talk about how much they hate religion every time it comes up ever. I sense quite a bit of bitterness. It's not even like this is a Christian game. Chill out, duders.

Bitterness? More like they're upset people still give a shit about these fables.

I believe the Bible is the true word of God. Also, you're exactly what I'm talking about. Don't believe in God? Fine, but there's no reason to try and play off others' beliefs as invalid.

Come at me bro.

Posted by Owlright

@Movius said:

A few comments seem to imply that this game is based on currently practiced Christianity/Judaism. Only the Ethiopian Orthodox Church considers the book of Enoch canon (they consider it the first human writing. It is actually quite late circa 100BC. ) All major christian churches in the anglosphere as well as jews do not consider Enoch to be one of their holy books. (Though it is cited in the new testament.)

This is like saying Neon Genesis Evangelion is an important piece of Christian theology.

Considering that there are nearly 50 million people in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, implying that the canonicity of Enoch isn't important to current Christianity is a bit bizarre (additionally there is a fairly large oriental orthodox church that holds it as canon as well as several very small western sects) It is not canon in Westernized churches, but it is certainly highly theologically important to a lot of Christians.

Posted by Beforet

God DAMN it, people! It's a ducking video game! Chillax, would ya?

Posted by MeAuntieNora

@TehFlan: I don't believe in a personal god, but I still respect your beliefs and would gladly defend them. Preservation of rich cultural heritage that in many cases dips a toe in prehistory seems patently of value, and the general beneficial effects of the social interaction and support of the culture cannot be denied either. I know I can't tell you all atheists/agnostics are like that. Hell, I can't tell you if it's the right way to be atheist or agnostic, maybe I'm a bad one. But I can say that generally people who take just enough interest in your personal life so as to be incensed by your personal creed, mode of worship, dietary choices, etc would probably still be that way even if they weren't so insecure in their irreligion.

Posted by doobie

@TehFlan said:

@jetsetwillie said:

don't games encourage critical thinking. something which goes completely against faith/religion

Since when does critical thinking go against faith? If your faith can't hold up against any critical scrutiny, it isn't much of a faith at all.

which religion holds up then.

which have cold hard facts and don't rely on leaps of faith and vague nonsense.

oh that's right none of them.

Posted by MeAuntieNora

@Beforet: Lmao it's true. I see where you're coming from. I actually quite enjoyed the game and it was a different enough take on the character action game with some pretty spectacular visual sprinklings. It has nothing that should be offensive to anyone IMO.

That said, is it really the worst thing to have a game be thought-provoking enough so as to be argument-provoking? Nobody will ever agree about religion, period. But people engaging in (albeit lite) philosophy debate because of topics stirred up by a game is something I can get behind.

Posted by TomA

I'm christian, and this was really interesting to read. Thanks Patrick! Awesome article as always!

Posted by Jumbs

@TehFlan said:

@Jumbs said:

@TehFlan said:

I'm not sure why atheists feel the need to talk about how much they hate religion every time it comes up ever. I sense quite a bit of bitterness. It's not even like this is a Christian game. Chill out, duders.

Bitterness? More like they're upset people still give a shit about these fables.

I believe the Bible is the true word of God. Also, you're exactly what I'm talking about. Don't believe in God? Fine, but there's no reason to try and play off others' beliefs as invalid.

Come at me bro.

It is invalid.

But that's not really the point. Once religion stops fucking over the world, atheists will stop complaining. But that will never happen.

Posted by MeAuntieNora

1. Get it into my head that I'm going to be be rational-minded and use logic and scientific empiricism to discern my truths.

2. Figger I'ma dismantle a relgon or 4 with my witticisms and unyielding application of my logical prowess and my ergonomic keyboard.

3. Use patent logical fallacies and poorly extrapolate subjective thoughts into universal constants.

4. Fold arms and click Refresh.

Posted by prestonhedges

Man, I didn't know they'd start including written ads, too.

Posted by Animasta

@gladspooky said:

Man, I didn't know they'd start including written ads, too.

yeah right like ignition could afford to pay GB to run any sort of advertisements

Posted by mnzy

@gladspooky said:

Man, I didn't know they'd start including written ads, too.

People like games here, you know?

Posted by prestonhedges

@Animasta said:

@gladspooky said:

Man, I didn't know they'd start including written ads, too.

yeah right like ignition could afford to pay GB to run any sort of advertisements

True.

Posted by Vexxan

I should really play this game, it looks fantastic.  
 
Great article as always, Patrick! 

Posted by NathHaw

One of the reasons I liked Xenogears so much was that it incorporated religion in interesting ways. If games want to address religion, I typically encourage them to tackle it head on. More games developers shouldn't be intimidated at what people's opinion might be about religion; if a religious game is the type the developers want to make, they should make it if possible.

Many people are ignorant about religion, and the right kind of exposure could prove eyeopening for some.

Posted by bhhawks78

I like my games like I like my politics, less religion the better.

Edited by SpaceRunaway

El Shaddai had the worst 3-D platforming segments I've ever encountered.  The penalty for falling is minimal, but fall enough times and the minimal damage is enough to accumulate and kill you.  And there were points of this game where I was just continuously dying.  Despite this, I really, really enjoyed the game.  You never knew what the game was going to throw at you; I was completely blown away the first time you died in the Darkness (the times after, not so much...it's a long sequence).  As a huge fan of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure I have to say the homoerotic sensibilities of the game didn't hurt either.  The Armaros battle may have well been straight out of an Araki comic.
The subject matter of the Book of Enoch is something I've always found really interesting, which is probably mostly the fault of  Madeleine L'Engle's Many Waters, which is set in the same time period.  Reading over the wiki entry (which is really all I know about the original text itself), I was kind of amazed at how much Sawaki was able to adapt into the game. 


If he was hinting at a sequel, I'd be all for it.  At the end of the game
Anyway, I'm really glad this got brought over, and look forward to Sawaki's next directorial outing.
Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish

A vastly relevant quote from John Gray 
 

 Evangelical atheists who want to convert the world to unbelief are copying religion at its dogmatic worst. They think human life would be vastly improved if only everyone believed as they do, when a little history shows that trying to get everyone to believe the same thing is a recipe for unending conflict.

Posted by l4wd0g

@bhhawks78: don't move to SW Asia, of E Asia, N Africa, or pats of Europe.

Posted by Sammo21

Because they are increasingly the most a-religious country on the planet dominated by materialism?

Posted by MormonWarrior

Religion isn't tackled by western developers? Oh.

I kid. But y'know, whatever. I don't even understand what "religion" El Shaddai is approaching. I mean, there's Old Testament references I guess but it kinda has as much to do with religion as Darksiders does - which is, not much. Maybe I'm misunderstanding.

Also, I played a bit of the game and it felt really, really awful. I liked the look of it but the gameplay is kinda terrible.

Posted by Patman99

@mnzy said:

@gladspooky said:

Man, I didn't know they'd start including written ads, too.

People like games here, you know?

I hate video games. I am here for the carpet sample reviews.

Posted by MormonWarrior

@doobie said:

@TehFlan said:

@jetsetwillie said:

don't games encourage critical thinking. something which goes completely against faith/religion

Since when does critical thinking go against faith? If your faith can't hold up against any critical scrutiny, it isn't much of a faith at all.

which religion holds up then.

which have cold hard facts and don't rely on leaps of faith and vague nonsense.

oh that's right none of them.

Hmmm...that's interesting. I was a missionary for the LDS church and we'd specifically ask people to question what we were teaching them and take up the challenge of figuring out for themselves. It's fine if you don't believe it, but real faith isn't blind belief - it's trust based on confirmation, not vague hopes. It's belief in things that are true that aren't seen. It's equally blind to just reject all religion whole-hog as it is to just accept whatever dogma you're taught without praying about it/studying it out.

Posted by Jumbs

@MormonWarrior said:

@doobie said:

@TehFlan said:

@jetsetwillie said:

don't games encourage critical thinking. something which goes completely against faith/religion

Since when does critical thinking go against faith? If your faith can't hold up against any critical scrutiny, it isn't much of a faith at all.

which religion holds up then.

which have cold hard facts and don't rely on leaps of faith and vague nonsense.

oh that's right none of them.

Hmmm...that's interesting. I was a missionary for the LDS church and we'd specifically ask people to question what we were teaching them and take up the challenge of figuring out for themselves. It's fine if you don't believe it, but real faith isn't blind belief - it's trust based on confirmation, not vague hopes. It's belief in things that are true that aren't seen. It's equally blind to just reject all religion whole-hog as it is to just accept whatever dogma you're taught without praying about it/studying it out.

Haha. I hope this is a troll, because otherwise this is why I constantly think "Fuck America"

Posted by damnboyadvance

Just try looking at some threads about religion on this website, and you'll see why we are not mature enough to mix religion and video games.
 
Think what you want. But don't go attacking me because of my religion.

Posted by doobie

i view ALL religions equally. i think they are ALL nonsense.

the fact we have multiple religions is the main reason i think its all man made shit designed to exploit the poor out of their money while fat clergy sit in mansions smoking expensive cigars laughing at the sheeple. you can't all be right.

Posted by TehFlan
@Jumbs said:

@MormonWarrior said:

@doobie said:

@TehFlan said:

@jetsetwillie said:

don't games encourage critical thinking. something which goes completely against faith/religion

Since when does critical thinking go against faith? If your faith can't hold up against any critical scrutiny, it isn't much of a faith at all.

which religion holds up then.

which have cold hard facts and don't rely on leaps of faith and vague nonsense.

oh that's right none of them.

Hmmm...that's interesting. I was a missionary for the LDS church and we'd specifically ask people to question what we were teaching them and take up the challenge of figuring out for themselves. It's fine if you don't believe it, but real faith isn't blind belief - it's trust based on confirmation, not vague hopes. It's belief in things that are true that aren't seen. It's equally blind to just reject all religion whole-hog as it is to just accept whatever dogma you're taught without praying about it/studying it out.

Haha. I hope this is a troll, because otherwise this is why I constantly think "Fuck America"

What do you mean?
Posted by mnzy

@TehFlan said:

@Jumbs said:

@MormonWarrior said:

@doobie said:

@TehFlan said:

@jetsetwillie said:

don't games encourage critical thinking. something which goes completely against faith/religion

Since when does critical thinking go against faith? If your faith can't hold up against any critical scrutiny, it isn't much of a faith at all.

which religion holds up then.

which have cold hard facts and don't rely on leaps of faith and vague nonsense.

oh that's right none of them.

Hmmm...that's interesting. I was a missionary for the LDS church and we'd specifically ask people to question what we were teaching them and take up the challenge of figuring out for themselves. It's fine if you don't believe it, but real faith isn't blind belief - it's trust based on confirmation, not vague hopes. It's belief in things that are true that aren't seen. It's equally blind to just reject all religion whole-hog as it is to just accept whatever dogma you're taught without praying about it/studying it out.

Haha. I hope this is a troll, because otherwise this is why I constantly think "Fuck America"

What do you mean?

Maybe because you used "praying about it/studying it out" as if it's anywhere near the same thing.

Posted by blaakmawf

American games tend to shy away from religion because America is fucking childish about religion. Everybody gets real touchy when you misrepresent their imaginary friend (or accurately represent how shitty they really are). This mass rejection of reality in favor of supernatural narrative would be utterly unacceptable in any other context, but in this country, you're virtually unelectable if you don't join in.

Posted by Napalm

Giant Bomb comment sections are arguable some of the worst things you can view on the internet related to games. True fucking story. Y'all are goddamn embarrassing. Shut the fuck up and enjoy the story. Christ.

Posted by McShank

@blaakmawf said:

American games tend to shy away from religion because America is fucking childish about religion. Everybody gets real touchy when you misrepresent their imaginary friend (or accurately represent how shitty they really are). This mass rejection of reality in favor of supernatural narrative would be utterly unacceptable in any other context, but in this country, you're virtually unelectable if you don't join in.

America is no where near the worse when it comes to religion... Try any of the islamic countries and how strict they are about their religion.

Edited by Cornman89

As I see it, some Western games use religion as a broad theme, but are more hesitant to comment on the outright truth of the beliefs therein.
 
For instance, Dragon Age deals with religion but the actual existence of the Maker is left to speculation. A lot of Japanese games have you straight-up kill that dude, which is an interesting comparison.

Posted by bhhawks78

@l4wd0g said:

@bhhawks78: don't move to SW Asia, of E Asia, N Africa, or pats of Europe.

Or America..o wait FUCK

Posted by coakroach

In Final Fantasy Tactics you murder Jesus after his second coming, after he is revealed to be a fraud of course.

So yeah, Japan isn't afraid of knocking religion thats for sure.

Edited by Cornman89
@coakroach said:

In Final Fantasy Tactics you murder Jesus after his second coming, after he is revealed to be a fraud of course.

So yeah, Japan isn't afraid of knocking religion thats for sure.

And in Xenogears, God is an evil computer, salvaged from a crashed proto-human starship, who is coddling human beings for the sole purpose of incorporating their flesh into itself as components.
Posted by mattisonfire

great article Patrick

but man never be so embarrassed to be a member, people have a right to believe in what they want to believe, so just because your atheists and have just as little real evidence for all that there is doesn't mean you can be assholes

Posted by Tesla

I dislike religion for the ignorance and bigotry it brings out in people, but the actual literature always fascinates me. I love it when games dabble in the topic. Xenogears is dope!

Cool article, I think Sawaki is dead on with his reasoning.

Posted by Pezen

@Branthog said:

And yes, I discern between the two things: religion and mythology. A game set in the world of Norse or Greek gods is mythology. A game steeped in a currently practiced and preached dogma is religion. (Unless there is a huge contingent of people out there that still believe in Norse or Greek gods, in which case I guess that's still "religion", too . . . but I am under the impression those are dead religions).

Aside from one segment being less practiced (or even dead) and the other being widely practiced, how does either or make a justifiable difference in regards to whether they are a "mythology" or "religion"? They still fit within the definitions of those words. No one said anything about a specific number of practicing people in order to define itself as religion. We just happen to call 'dead' religions mythology because it's been accepted as old superstition and folk lore. The fact that people in the same breath pledge loyalty to another deity of just as unlikely existence is a pretty funny irony to me.

And while I have no knowledge of modern greek religious beliefs, I know there are plenty of people practicing a norse belief system. Though, probably without the ritualistic killing of animals as that tends to be frowned upon.

Posted by Gamer_152

Okay guys, this rapidly seems to be turning into the typical "religion debate on the internet". We're better than this as a community and if you can't discuss religious beliefs with other users without getting hostile or insulting then don't post. As always the forum rules apply and those who don't stick to them will be moderated.

Moderator
Posted by geirr

@mattisonfire said:

great article Patrick

but man never be so embarrassed to be a member, people have a right to believe in what they want to believe, so just because your atheists and have just as little real evidence for all that there is doesn't mean you can be assholes

You have consider that atheists are not the ones making extraordinary claims, that's people of faith and believers, hence atheists do not have to prove anything - believers however do, and can't. But such is the way of personal beliefs.

Posted by geirr

I've heard so much bad stuff about this game gameplay-wise, but it looks delicious. I might pick it up when the price has been cut dramatically.

As for religion in video games, it's become a cliche by now for me and if the cut scenes can't be skipped, and don't look super pretty, I'll drown out the blabber or text with mature fart noises.

Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam

Ah, the old cliche of "Japanese guy reads Bible, finds it uninteresting, decides to spice it up with motorcycles and sunglasses".

Posted by Mayu_Zane

@Axxol said:

I like to think the Giant Bomb community is filled with smart individuals, but whenever a thread about religion surfaces, people rather result to shitting on one another instead of engaging in a real conversation.

Happens on pretty much almost every other website too, really. Most folks just cannot understand why a seemingly-rational/sane individual would disagree with their personal beliefs. Same with politics.

Posted by SeriouslyNow

@Animasta said:

@Branthog said:

Using various mythologies as the background or world to create a story out of isn't very original, but it's something I can tolerate if it is done right. Religion, on the other hand, is just another gimmick. This seems to straddle religion and mythology, but still contain nothing that I find compelling or interesting. The background on this sounds a lot like a Shyamalan "with a twist" *yawn* story. Or like a Dan Brown attempt -- ridiculous and uninteresting, yet somehow that found an audience of people who thought they were in the middle of something clever and awe-inspiring.

I want to play a game about religion about as much as I want to play a game about abortion, feminism, immigration, or any of several "I just took Philosophy 101" concepts. Gamers seem to succumb to this sort of trickery, so easily, but it strikes me as no different than GamaSutra needing more hits, so writing yet another "sexism/women in gaming" article or a television show promoting that an important character might die this next episode, or a show putting a puppy or a child in harm's way because they aren't clever enough to find another way to achieve emotional impact.

To each their own, but this is a genre that does not appeal to me. Much in the same way that demons and ghosts don't appeal to me. It's like watching Paranormal Activity, which is a lot like staring at your fireplace and waiting for Santa to climb out with a sack full of toys. I think we all want to see more games with a greater level of maturity, complexity, and story depth, but I don't think we want the cheap low-hanging-fruit attempts at it.

And yes, I discern between the two things: religion and mythology. A game set in the world of Norse or Greek gods is mythology. A game steeped in a currently practiced and preached dogma is religion. (Unless there is a huge contingent of people out there that still believe in Norse or Greek gods, in which case I guess that's still "religion", too . . . but I am under the impression those are dead religions).

me not knowing the bible had no impact on me enjoying the game; sure I looked at the wiki article on the book of enoch but i felt like it really had nothing to do with real life stuff. Isn't Assassins creed steeped in religion? Persona 4, even, was pretty well steeped in Shinto, and there's still a large amount of people who believe that. Digital Devil Saga is so steeped in Hinduism... it fucking included Ardhanarishvara for christ sake (look it up). They aren't actively promoting Christianity with this game. The book of enoch isn't taught in many sunday school classes after all! Just because Christianity is a big thing that I don't agree with doesn't mean that the bible can't spawn a good game or two.

Yup. The Book Of Enoch isn't Christian either, it's Jewish. Enoch was the great grandfather of Noah. The Book of Enoch isn't canon for most Christians (only Ethopian Othordox) or Jews (Beta Israel teaches it too) and so this game could hardly be reverential to Christianity or religion per se, it's more of a Creative Work which uses Religious Stories to tell its own story. Think of it like a gaming take on something like The Mahabharata.

Posted by RankRabbit

Jesus loves you all, he wanted you all to know that science is just a system of measurements though. lulz

Posted by Losfer

Very cool article, Patrick. I'm another atheist who likes to see Western myths used as the backbone for the occasional game story. Xenogears was kind of a mess, but I liked the setting quite a bit. Sometimes you get bored of Roman and Greek mythology being used all the time. ...I just wish El Shaddai /played/ better. :P

Posted by GioVANNI

@McShank said:

@blaakmawf said:

American games tend to shy away from religion because America is fucking childish about religion. Everybody gets real touchy when you misrepresent their imaginary friend (or accurately represent how shitty they really are). This mass rejection of reality in favor of supernatural narrative would be utterly unacceptable in any other context, but in this country, you're virtually unelectable if you don't join in.

America is no where near the worse when it comes to religion... Try any of the islamic countries and how strict they are about their religion.

Sure, countries like Iran are far more strict about their religion than the US, but trivial issues like gay marriage, abortion, and prohibition are still a hot topic of discussion because of people legislating their dogma.

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