Finishing a game in Binding of the Isaac takes less than an hour. Of course, that’s assuming you finish instead of meeting your untimely end far earlier in your run, most likely to a deformed fetus or sentient pile of poo. For the original release of the game, I invested 64 hours of my life into navigating its various catacombs of Christian iconography mixed with the gruesome, grotesque, and discussing monstrosities that are birthed and discarded within its depths. With Rebirth, I see myself easily putting in 64 more.
The new graphical overlay seemed problematic from the initial screenshots and video, but I’ve gotten passed it. Rebirth takes the original game and improves it in every way. Now, there are explanations for what items do on screen and the new items seem even more unusual and fun.
There’s also the addition of larger rooms, which change the formula only a very little, but still add a certain excitement not found in the original. With these rooms, there’s often more challenge and sometimes even a puzzle-like quality to finishing them. The extra size doesn’t mean extra rewards, but some of these rooms are quite difficult anyway, which adds an almost mini-boss like quality to some runs.
New bosses and enemies that I have thus far encountered are fantastic. There’s even more shit being thrown at you (literally), which probably will turn more people off than on. I don’t particularly enjoy feces in any sense, not even the classic fart joke or other toilet-related humor, but Binding’s setting has always been troublesome. When your game’s entire premise is based off one of the most alarming stories in the Bible, but with a modern world attention to child abuse and abortion, things are bound to offend. Team Meat could literally throw anything in this game, including piles and piles of shit, and I don’t think it would be more offensive than it already is.
Whether or not you want to debate the merit of the games content and the artistic intent behind it (I approve, but its an opinion not an objective truth of reality), the gameplay remains perfect. I cannot think of a roguelike (or any game, for that matter) that so perfectly captures a perfect difficulty curve with the real feeling of becoming overpowered. Certain combinations of items make you feel invincible, at least until a series of misfortunate fucks up leave you looking at the New Game screen again.
If you are like me, you will almost always click yes immediately. Play this game – it’s great on PS4 and PC.