Video Game Review – The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth
The first official DLC for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, this is the Afterbirth of Isaac. With updated visuals to already existing floors, new bosses and enemies as well as a whole new character and items galore, Afterbirth is an inexpensive way to breathe more life into an already exciting roguelike. But is this expansion to the game any good? Timlah has been playing it recently and weighs in.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a game that we’ve covered in the past here on GeekOut. To very quickly recap the story: Isaac lives at home with his mother who worships a faith. She one day hears a voice which tells her that Isaac is evil and must atone for his sins. She removes all that is considered sinful before the voice tells her to prove her devotion to Him, she should make a sacrifice. She believes in her Lord and therefore goes to do as she has been told. Isaac escapes through a trapdoor in the floorboards of his room and proceeds to go on a journey, finding himself and taking on evil of all manners.
In Afterbirth, there doesn’t seem to be too much story added per se, but what the expansion does is give you a greater sense of the macabre world that Isaac has come from, more than the world he’s in.
With the addition of the brand new Greed mode, we have a whole new way to play the game. Greed Mode is a set path to get to Ultra Greed. Ultra Greed is a pretty tough boss in that he’s able to take a right beating, but he’s alright – I put together a video of Greed Mode and how it plays, so please do check it out and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get more videos like it. When you beat Greed Mode with Azazel, you unlock Lilith who seems to have a unique way of playing.
As well as the addition of Greed mode, we’ve gotten the Daily Runs which are simply a challenge to do as well as you can in a run with either a specific character or within specific requirements (such as time or exploration). Because of these Daily Runs and the new mechanics built into the game from this, there are now scores which seem to be calculated via exploration plus loot, minus time taken, damage received and so on. It’s a fun addition to an already fun game.
Couple all of the above with some brand new game mechanics, such as Chaos, new cards and new pills, you’ve gotten yourself a really hectic new game.
Finally, I really don’t need to say much about this, but they suggest there’s over 100 hours of added gameplay from the expansion. This could very well be true, as there appear to be hundreds of brand new items, new enemies and of course new bosses. In the main story mode, there seems to be a new floor called ??? which features a brand new end game boss called Hush. This is proving to be a really stacked expansion, especially for an indie game.
There’s a whole damn new OST specifically for the Afterbirth levels and holy crap are they ever good!? Seriously, even if you don’t go to play the game, why not go and get the OST? The music is amazing, so this is well worth investing in Afterbirth. The above YouTube video is just one of the many great songs on the OST. Check it out and hey, go YouTube the rest of the songs because it’s worth every second of your listening time.
If I had one criticism, it’s to do with the addition of the new voices. Now I think this will be a subjective opinion, however the voices feel slightly too try hard for me. I don’t mind them that much, but they certainly take away the eeriness of the game for me. At the same time, I kinda like them for the cheesiness. It also feels as if Isaac is hearing things now, but who knows why they added the voice. It’s still fun enough!
Here’s a gallery for you to check through for the graphics! You decide – There’s a slight upgrade, but it’s very slight.
Love it. This is how an expansion should be done and I’m glad that this has been such a success once again. I’ve been looking forward to Afterbirth for quite some time and I’m glad I was able to get it at a discounted price thanks to owning the game and pre-ordering it. Still, it’s not that expensive at just £7.99 and for the amount of content you get, this is truly a steal. Please, I implore you to go out of your way to get this game and play it like there’s no tomorrow. This is the best expansion to a game I’ve picked up in an incredibly long time and I’m proud to be a fan of The Binding of Isaac. Thank you Edmund for yet another masterpiece.
Have you had a chance to play through The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth yet? What do you think of Greed Mode, Daily Runs and the wealth of new content that’s been added in? Are you an achievement junky and looking to go and unlock more? Let us know what your thoughts of the game are in the comments section below, or join in the conversation over on Facebook and on Twitter.