Everyone’s favorite creepy, over-the-top game has a cheap new expansion pack. Is it going to be worth your time?
I wrote about the original Binding of Isaac some time ago, but I think it should be reiterated that the game is, without a doubt, one of the easiest fun experiences you can find from a game sold over Steam. The game combines simple, intuitive gameplay with a fun experience that, while twisted and obviously not for young children, is also quite enjoyable. While it can be frustrating (the game can be punishingly difficult, depending on your luck), it was one of the better titles to come out in 2011.
Those thirsty for more will be both happy and dismayed at the new expansion: happy because of the added content, but dismayed as it was announced that Wrath of the Lamb will be the only expansion released for the game…so this is it, cry your heart out Isaac, your adventure has nearly ended!
Upon installing and playing the game (currently, the expansion retails for a bargain price of $3 from Steam), players will most likely notice some immediate changes: new level designs, new music, new enemies, new powerups, and so on. As with the original title, item uses are not described beforehand, so your options are either to use them and see what happens, or use one of the wiki sites that have been created to document such things for you. I would recommend the wiki, naturally, since there are some items that may cause a player more harm than good if you are not ready for their effects.
The new enemies cause the difficulty to rise drastically, requiring a much finer level of control over both your character, and your battle tactics to survive. A number of times, I found myself dying on the first level, which brought about one of my few complaints about the new expansion: I had not played Binding of Isaac for a while before getting the expansion after much excitement, so I was not exactly ready for the increased level of difficulty. There is, however, no way to select only to play the original game (which had a much easier difficulty curve in the beginning), so new players might be better off experimenting with the base title before picking up the expansion.
After some re-education, however, I was back in the swing of things and destroying my enemies with nothing but the projectile tears from Isaac’s face. The new enemies and bosses give the game an entirely new lease on life, both in challenge rating and general fun factor (it’s always neat to see a new boss and have to figure out the strategy while dodging bullets). The new music is awesome, and fits in perfectly with the game so well, but it’s nice that the older tracks are still around, and will play from time to time – the music remains one of the best things about this title. Of course, with all the new powerups, that makes one difficult thing happen: your success or failure in a game is often related to the items that you do or do not find. With more items in the pool, that means it is often harder to find the “best” ones; this is offset by “trinkets”, which have passive effects such as making more hearts or keys drop, among other things.
There is honestly not much more to mention, as the core gameplay is more or less the same as it always was: just plain fun. The price is one of the lower ones on Steam, which makes buying this new expansion almost a no-brainer, and while the difficulty is up there, it’s nowhere near the slaughter-fest that Super Meat Boy (by the same developers) achieved. Any fan of top-down adventure games similar to Legend of Zelda should pick this one up, and enjoy the sacrilege!
You must be logged in to post a comment.