You know when a game just wants you dead and really doesn’t care? When you just want to conquer a game and tell it “Hah!”? Well, that’s The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. And oh do we love it.
For those of you familiar with the original release, The Binding of Isaac is an absolutely brutal rogue-like. For those of you not familiar… Well, The Binding of Isaac is an absolutely brutal rogue-like! It really doesn’t care and it really does want you dead and will do anything to make sure you are dead. A high percentage of your runs through the game will end up with you dying in some really dumb way. Then you’ll get that ONE playthrough where everything just goes right. That’s the nature of rogue-likes in general.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth expands on that idea and just makes it even harder, because that’s DEFINITELY what the game needed (please note sarcasm). Ironically though, despite having played the original release, I didn’t actually BEAT the game until Rebirth came around and my only explanation I have is that I can focus more on the Vita I guess. That’s right – The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth sees the games first jump onto console with a release on PlayStation 4 and Vita, and free to PlayStation Plus subscribers no less!
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth adds a massive host of new things. This includes new characters, new items, and new room types. It also sees some adjustments to older characters. These new characters add in a whole new style of gameplay, and you can create a massive list of fantastic combinations. I’ve had several runs where I just thought to myself, there’s no way I could ever top this one. And well, I keep on topping them when I find even MORE broken combinations.
The new rooms in Rebirth are actually large, scrolling rooms. These will typically have more enemies in them, and can even appear as boss rooms! They also tend to provide even more of a challenge, despite having more room to dodge around in, especially when they ARE a boss room!
In general the new enemies in Rebirth are even harder than in previous releases. Especially for when you can encounter them. Some, like the haunts and ceiling masters, you won’t know where they’re going to be. This adds even more dodging as you have to sometimes quickly adjust to where they are.
However, not all is glittering gold in Rebirth. While most of my issues are likely specific to the Vita version, they are still issues. It seems when the game was brought onto console it was… stretched. This gives it a pixelated look, which can look slightly off-putting on the character models themselves. While mostly unnoticeable during actual gameplay, it’s still there.
Also on the Vita version, you can apparently “drop” your trinket item using the select button… but this button is also bound to switching your active card. Meaning that we apparently have no way to drop our held item (which is a major issue when you pick up items such as the Zip Worm and you REALLY don’t want that). Finally, and apparently the applies to the PS4 version as well (it’s been patched on PC), if you proceed past Mom’s Heart into one of the other dungeons you don’t actually get credit for which ever ending you would have got. Hopefully a fix for this issue is coming soon though, since it has been fixed on PC!
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is still overall an absolutely fantastic new version of the game worth checking out if you don’t mind dying repeatedly. And I really do mean repeatedly. With the availability of the game on PS4 and Vita now, fans have even more ways to play this fantastic game!
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Review Score