I’ve recently gone on a buying frenzy on steam and one of the first games that I bought was The Binding Of Isaac, a top down 2d action-adventure game. I bought it for a tidy £3.99, which is an amazing price for the quality of game this is. I’ve had a great time trying to beat the main boss in the game, and have had even more fun rage-quitting nearly every time I end up getting to its room. Anyway, here’s your review guys, enjoy.
The Binding of Isaac begins with a nice little cut-scene explaining the story behind the game. Isaac lived with his mother; a particularly devout Christian. Isaac’s mother talks to god who tells her that Isaac had been corrupted by evil. Eventually Isaac’s mother is asked to sacrifice her son as an offering to god, to show her devotion. Isaac jumps down a secret trap door in his room to escape from his mother, and then the game begins. Sounds rather sinister really doesn’t it?
Well that is just the start of it, once the game begins Isaac has to make his way through a randomly generated series of rooms to get to the ‘boss’ room. To get through these rooms Isaac must defeat the creatures inhabiting the room – before they kill him – and the only weapon that Isaac has is his never ending supply of tears. However, when Isaac finally gets to the boss room he will fight a random boss (these could be any of the quite disgusting enemies) or, after defeating the main boss for the first time, any one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Isaac must defeat four normal bosses and jump down the trapdoor revealed when each boss dies. After this Isaac can traverse the final dungeon and meet the final boss. Once defeated, an ‘epilogue’ will play and afterwards the main menu will be accessible again. Next time you play the game you will be able to progress further into the dungeons and access even more endings! I finally managed to defeat the final boss and, when I did, I felt a great sense of achievement because it had taken me so long to get this far.
I did enjoy this game, but was infuriated at just how long it took me to actually complete it. I was quite happy when I found the further levels though and the inclusion of a new DLC was a nice choice. As soon as I found out about it, I promptly hit the buy button. So far I believe my play time is something like fifteen hours on my main PC and four on my personal desktop. This just goes to show how addictive this game really is. Especially when you realise that it may only take you about half an hour to complete the game once.
With each new play-through producing a brand new set of dungeons, this game is inexhaustibly fun. Each room is randomly chosen and each enemy that spawns within is also randomly chosen. This means that it is practically impossible for one person to play the exact same game more than once. Also, there are randomly generated weapons and power-ups scattered throughout these dungeons to help poor Isaac on his quest.
With a variety of secrets, and unlockables, the game really gives you a reason to go back and play-through the levels some more. When I say unlockables I don’t mean in the usual sense of weapons and armour, but completely new characters too, each with unique skill sets.
The art style is very cute and quite joyful but, of course, because Isaac is shooting tears from his eyes – at any number of disgusting enemies – and wandering round filthy dungeons that are covered in poo (yes you read that right) it is seen to be an almost satirical art style. The music is very ambient and goes rather nicely with this delightfully twisted game.
My biggest criticism of this game would have to be the sheer awkwardness of the controls. It took me quite some time to adjust to the odd method of using the mouse to fire at my enemies, which was difficult enough with their awkward hit-boxes, but this was made doubly annoying when combined with the fact that Isaac’s tears were set to only fire directly up, down, left or right. The inclusion of diagonal firing would greatly increase the likelihood of me enjoying a play through of this game. As it is, it does nothing but induce a rage-quitting mood that means I never really finish.
The game does have a unique niche though and I congratulate its creators on such an imaginative take on 2D action-adventures. I heartily enjoy this game and I hope that you will too, thanks for reading, now go and get buying.