A great indie game that will slowly suck your life away. The Binding of Isaac is one of those games that not everyone will enjoy at first sight. People that prefer good graphics definitely will hate this one. There are also those that don’t like it because of the lack of plot (even though there is one, which is not that complex). So why is it good if there is no plot or good graphics? It is a great game because of how challenging it is in the beginning and how fun it ends up being later after you’ve mastered it. When you first start your long adventure to unlock everything on the game, you are still learning the controls and the enemies’ patterns. Then, after a while, you finally get addicted to it and cannot stop playing. You’ll have the goal of unlocking everything and getting the Real Platinum God. When you get close… they release a DLC with new content.
I clearly like this game and this review is to introduce those who don’t know it to this amazing experience. At the same time, I want to review individually the game and its DLCs.
The original Isaac has not aged well. So, they released a remake entitled ‘Rebirth’, in which they added many other items, creatures, and bosses (even new floors). This game has a way to addict you easily because you want to know what every item does and its synergies. There are over 300 items in the base game and countless enemies and room variations. If you like what I said so far, Rebirth is a must try. Be prepared, however, it will drain your life as it consumes hours and hours. There is another point as well: it is not for everyone, in the sense that religious people shouldn’t play it (I’ll leave it at that). Before I move into the first DLC, I must point out that the game is not perfect. There are a couple of things that really annoy that casual player. Some playable characters and challenges are really hard and can become quite challenging and an impediment to achieving the 1001% (yes, it is not 100%).
The first expansion for the game added over 100 items, new bosses, new creatures, new rooms and new floors. There is even a new game mode (Greed mode), which is full of controversy due to some players finding it too easy of a mode. It is what a DLC should be. It is not expensive and definitely worth your time if you already spent your entire vacation on the base game. However, like in the base game, they added something that can really get on your nerves: The Keeper. He is a new playable character that you unlock after getting 1000 coins into the Greed machine in Greed mode. His problem comes after you try to play him and realize how awful he is. To be honest, after the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of hours that I have, I don’t care much about the keeper, but, for a new player going into the game, it can be challenging and at times frustrating. Overall, this DLC is worth every penny.
Now to the controversial one. To the Isaac players that have spent hours and hours on the base game and DLC, this one comes as a little bit of a shock. It is definitely way below the level of the first one, even though it adds 100+ items, new rooms, new bosses and new floors. Why is that? Before the release of Afterbirth+, there were some mods that players had developed that really incremented the game while they waited for a new DLC with official content. These mods were so fun and full of content that when the DLC hit, it hadn’t lived up to the hype and to what it could and should have been. Yes, it added a ton of new content, but, to be honest, most items it adds are bad. The final boss is really annoying and after you’ve unlocked everything you need from it, you will never fight him again of your own free will. However, I’m not going to say that it is not completely worth it. I bought it, even though I knew it wasn’t as great, and I’ll explain why. First of all, the things added by the DLC are official, so they are made to work perfectly with everything in the game and designed by the team that developed the game in the first place. Second, there are two main things that make this DLC worth it in my opinion: the access to mods and The Forgotten. The access to mods was possible in the past, however, you had to go through a manual download and there was no actual official support for mod developers. With the DLC it is now much easier to download them. The Forgotten is a new character that has a different mechanic to all the other ones. I must say it is a really easy character to play with, but it is so fun that it doesn’t matter. For these two reasons, I believe the DLC is worth purchasing (try getting it with a discount).
To end it quickly with my final statement. I think The Binding of Isaac is an amazing game. It is definitely not for everyone, and some people might go into it thinking it is going to be awful because of how the game looks. The DLCs are great to a certain extent and can add hundreds of hours of entertainment. I believe it is a must try for fans of this genre of game.