When El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron was originally released in 2011, I couldn’t believe someone had created a game based on an Amy Grant song. Ends up that wasn’t the case; the game is actually based on an ancient Hebrew text called the Book of Enoch.

Now, if you’re a firm believer in the separation of church and game, you can put away your protest signs; the Book of Enoch is not actually in the Bible. Most Jewish and Christian church bodies view it as non-inspired…or maybe just too freaky-deaky, because this game is visually and thematically nuts.

The story centers around Enoch, a scribe tasked with finding seven fallen angels, known as the Grigori, who have stolen artifacts from God to live amongst the humans. Their cohabitation resulted in Grigori-human hybrids, or Nephilim, who could destroy the world. This upsets the Council of Heaven, which decides the best way to take care of the Nephilim is to flood the world. That checks.

Thankfully, not everyone feels torching the village is the best way to solve a stray cat problem. God decides to see if Enoch, along with the help of the uber-cool guardian angel Lucifel, can capture and return the fallen Grigori before the Council of Heaven can kick off the nuclear option.

So, thematically, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is not that different from every JRPG you’ve ever played, except that you don’t finish it by fighting God. He’s got your back this time, which is a pleasant change of pace, really.

And anyway, all of this takes a backseat to the amazing level design, slick combat, and constantly changing gameplay elements. The majority of that action is hack-and-slash combat. The player progresses along a highly linear path, taking out various low-level enemies along the way.

For larger fights, including bosses, Enoch becomes trapped in the area until all threats get eliminated.

Combat centers around attacking, jumping, and blocking. There’s only one attack button, but you can alter attacks with different abilities provided by the weapons you steal from the enemies. Yes, stealing; God’s willing to overlook His seventh commandment on this particular mission. So, after damaging enemies enough with your current weapon, you can steal theirs by hitting the L button when in close proximity. Obtaining and using the right weapon for the job is often the key to victory. Enoch loses his heavenly armor as he sustains damage, and that’s really your only indicator that you’re about to die. When he’s down to blue jeans and sandals like an ensemble cast member from Godspell, you know he’s about to fail. Thankfully, the game is generous with its save points and health packs.

And while we’re giving thanks, El Shaddai doesn’t require a mastery of combat combos in order to progress. Most fights are manageable once you figure out the enemies’ weaknesses, and there are different difficulty levels to ease the burden. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the platforming elements.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron frequently changes up the way you play it, and you’ll often find yourself leaping and climbing in 2D environments to reach the next area. In addition to the enemies to fight, you’ll be solving puzzles, navigating complex environments, and trying to land difficult jumps without falling to your death. These areas are less forgiving and are often very frustrating.

But man, they look so cool. The whole game does, really. The bulk of the action takes place in a tower where the Grigori are hiding, the only constant being that the pathways are just floating in space. Although you’re confined to a tight, linear pathway, the environments are a seemingly never-ending chasm of light and color. Most tower levels and 2D platforming sections have their own visual flair, some of which completely deviate from the game’s overall visual theme. By the time I was leaping giant beach balls to get back to the tower, I’d given up on setting expectations.

It may help to know the game was directed by Sawaki Takeyasu, character designer on games such as Devil May Cry, Ōkami, and Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse. The characters have that kind of attitude, and Lucifiel’s one-sided phone conversations with God are enjoyable throughout. Enoch’s doing his best, here, man. Don’t forget my bro’s just a hippy scribe by trade.

It’s also impressive that the game plays so well on the Switch in both docked and handheld mode. That sounds dumb to say, considering the game was originally released 13 years ago, but you wouldn’t know that from this HD remaster. The visual design is stunning.

Honestly, there were moments when the graphics—more so than the story—incentivized me to keep pushing onward when I couldn’t stop falling into holes.

So, I’d encourage fans of action games—both 2D and 3D—to give El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron a go. Its diverse gameplay, wonderful designs, and bold story won me over early and held my attention throughout. I wouldn’t be at all disappointed if this is what the afterlife looks like…only without the dudes in jeans and sandals.