Isaac is an old biblical name that most of us associates with a sacrifice on God’s demand. It’s very similar in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth + Afterbirth. I invite you to read the review.
It starts innocently; in the intro we can hear narrator’s loud voice saying “Isaac and his mother lived alone in a small house on a hill…” Yeah, good old times, life was easy until Isaac’s mom heard God’s voice commanding her to destroy all of her son’s filthy belongings. That’s what she’s done. She threw away all of his toys, but his soul was still profaned with sin. God has demanded another sacrifice. This time the mother locked the poor son up in a room to guard him from anything that could be sinful. She did everything God wanted her to do, but it still wasn’t enough for him. He ordered the final sacrifice– Isaac’s life. Mother answered his call, grabbed a chopper knife and entered her son’s bedroom. He, however, knew her plans and jumped into the dark cellar in the last moment. That’s how this unique story begins.
The start screen welcomes me with game controls tips engraved into the floor. Right, I’ve played the first part of Isaac for over 100 hours, so I know what’s going on. Tears are my main weapon, a bit sick, but that’s what it is. I enter the first room, I don’t know what I might encounter, because the game’s idea is based on randomness. There’s a swarm of flies coming at me, I barely make it out alive, because I’m weak as a kitten. I’m looking for the golden room, which is the most important, but I like to clear all rooms, so I walk through the basement with a hope of finding laser tears or demon’s wings.
Obviously all I get is some crap, but it doesn’t matter. The game has taught me that you can start with some totally weak build, but later everything can change. I finally get to the mother; the fight, as always, is difficult and unfair. I can already see drops of sweat on the controller, but I don’t give up. I can almost feel physical pain when I lose another heart, but then I finally defeat mother and get to another level. I have quite a good build with good stats, but I feel it could be better. After several minutes I come across a room with a dice engraved into the floor… Okay, you only live once. I step onto the dice, I transform into a walking pile of crap, really weak crap. Not long after that I die without even reaching Satan, what have I done wrong? Nothing. Everything is fine, I hoped for more, I got less; shit happens.
That’s more or less how I recalled gameplay specification of this wonderful roguelike. Seems like a simple concept to walk through the rooms looking for modifications to become stronger and defeat minibosses, so you can face a bigger one who guards the entrance to the next level. It’s not unusual that roguelikes are characterised by high difficulty level. There’s no saves, you can’t die and load the last save, but possibility to exit the game and to load the last state of game (as long as your character didn’t die) is a big nod towards the fans. The game doesn’t forgive mistakes, but can generously reward us for the hardship we go through. The graphics is pixelated, which is in my opinion really nice and suits the convention. The soundtrack is the cherry on top. It was created by the talented Danny Baranowsky. It’s slightly worse than in the first part, but still great. It’s hard to point out any weak points of the production. In my opinion it’s not worth playing without the Afterbirth DLC, so if you buy the game, only do so with the DLC. The price for both on a sale is about £10/$12. I strongly recommend it!
Translated by: Vicky Radziemska
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
- Satisfying difficulty level
- Game for hundreds of hours
- Local co-op
- Synergy of the items
- Price of the base game +DLC
- The first Binding of Isaac had a better soundtrack
- No online multiplayer