Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth More Than 50% Done

It won't actually look like this, sadly/thank all that is good and not-bleeding-from-every-single-one-of-its-orifices in the world.

I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that we are drowning in roguelikes, roguelike-likes, like-likes, rougelikes, and Baton-Rouge-Louisiana-likes. My current poison is Risk of Rain (and before that it was Rogue Legacy, and before that it was Spelunky, and before that it was Teleglitch, and before that it was), but I’ll need something else to fill the bags under my eyes before long. It’s been eons in rogue-time (counted entirely in increments of “just five more minutes”) since I played the original Binding of Isaac to a maggot-ridden death, so The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is sounding more tantalizing every day. And while a finish line isn’t in sight just yet, Edmund McMillen and co are getting there. In a new Q&A, McMillen noted that the game is more than halfway done and – in a welcome twist – that it won’t be doing any sort of Early Access program.

The Q&A is pretty lengthy and detail-ridden, but there are three big takeaways: the 50 percent thing, the lack of early access (“Hell no,” wrote McMillen. “Rebirth is a game loaded with secrets and fun stuff I don’t want anyone to see before anyone else”), and some form of daily challenge that can be shared between multiple people.

McMillen also reiterated that owners of the original Binding of Isaac will get a big discount on Rebirth. He couldn’t cite an exact amount, but confidently stated that it should make forking over sumptuous cash loafs for the game’s rougher cut “very worth it.”

Beyond that, you already know most of the score. New art, new music, a new expansion’s worth of content, local co-op, and bug fixes galore. There’s no release date yet, but McMillen guaranteed that it’ll be out sometime this year.

Are you ready to like more rogues and bind more Isaacs? If the switch to a new engine makes the game feel sturdy, you know, at all, then count me back in. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go out on my front lawn, gnash my teeth, and fire tears of rage into the sky while screaming, “JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.”


  1. nopol10 says:

    Uh, you said the “cutest image you’ll see all day”…
    I’m still struggling to find it.
    Did you lie?
    DID YOU?

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      Adam Smith says:

      What could be cuter than a mischievous homonculus that has just been retrieved from a pot of jam? The sneaky little blighter, trying to steal away with Uncle Isaac’s finest fruit preserves! Caught red-handed, he’s a berry naughty boy &c…

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        That homunculus is such a cheeky little scamp. Look at the mischief in his eyes, the set of his chubby little cheeks, the little twist of his lip that says he’s a playful little monkey. Who’s an adorable little hideous parody of humanity given blasphemous life? You are. You are!

        • DrScuttles says:

          It’s so adorable I just want to give it the biggest, most warmest, squeeziest hug of them all.
          And this is coming from someone who hates, hates, hugs and all they represent.

  2. jaronimoe says:

    but.. but.. I thought it would be out in Q1 2014… :'(
    worst news evar!

  3. stahlwerk says:

    Wait, don’t you mean “FLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASH”?

  4. Didero says:

    I probably both missed the joke and come across as a curmudgeon, but:
    1) BoI was made in Flash, not Java. The fact that its performance was pretty bad at times was because of the way the game used images.
    2) I never really understood people complaining about Java’s performance. It used to be kinda bad, but it hasn’t been terrible for a while now, as far as I know.

    We will now return to your regularly scheduled bleeding eye sockets and pun threads.

    • Gnoupi says:

      I guess that nowadays, people have Minecraft in mind.
      Don’t get me wrong, Notch managed to make a successful Java game, which is quite a rare thing. But the code was far from optimized, and people blamed it on the language.

      It’s a bit better with the more recent versions, though.

    • Sam says:

      Yes indeed, for quite a while now Flash has been able to do really quite high performance stuff if it’s treated right. It’s just that it is still very easy to do things “wrong” and end up with a game that functions correctly but performs poorly. Although tempting to blame the developers that do things wrong, really it’s a flaw of the language / framework / whatever-you-call-that-unholy-union-of-animation-editor-and-IDE that the poor performance way tends to be the default.

      Binding of Isaac hit the mother lode of bad performance. Written in the AS2 language which was replaced 8 years ago, and forces the code to run in the old version of the Adobe virtual machine. Uses true vector graphics for everything which means they have to get redrawn from scratch each frame, which is much slower than blitting a stored bitmap to screen (and vastly slower than using direct hardware acceleration). Doesn’t do any pooling of game entities, so they’re getting allocated and garbage collected while in the middle of combat. And just to add some horror, it was all put together within the old style Flash authoring program so you end up with .fla files that buckle under the weight of an expansion.

  5. kael13 says:

    Awwh, if only the game was stop-motion animated. That would be terrifying.

    • Synesthesia says:

      ooh that would be a good mod. Making every model in plasticine for every one of isaac’s bodily modifications (did he ask for that?) might be one of the worst nightmares ever conceived by an animator.

  6. Velko says:

    Still waiting for that Khmer Rougelike.

  7. lowprices says:

    Of the recent wave of Rogue-kind-ofs, BoI is the only one I couldn’t get on with. The controls never felt quite right, and the game ran like a dog if it had to depict things happening. Maybe I should give it another bash sometime.

    • Nevard says:

      I think its Flash architecture was more than a little to blame with that, Flash has weird coping mechanisms and is just generally not something you want to make a big project in.
      I mean to start with, if you make the project too big it just corrupts itself.

      I feel like the remake is probably going to handle better.

      • The First Door says:

        I really, really agree about the controls being off! I was having that same discussion the other day.

        I don’t think it is to do with Flash though. It could be to do with using hideously old, outdated Flash, but AS3 is actually pretty good.

        The problem for me was most of the times I died, I felt like the game cheated me because of the controls and tiny levels working against me. It was the polar opposite to Meat Boy in that respect.

    • Low Life says:

      Yeah, I never undestood the praise this game got as I found it just awful to play. Compare to something like Super Meat Boy, which I can fully appreciate even if the game itself isn’t something I’d want to spend my time with.

      I may give the remake a chance, though.

  8. RedViv says:

    Staring Not-Eyes tag required

    • lowprices says:

      “Staring Gaping-Void-into-a-Tortured-Soul” Tag?

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Can it be truly said to be staring without eyes? I thought it was possible to, at most, gaze, without eyes.

      • NailBombed says:

        Hence one of the enemies being known as Gazers. Yes, I’ve played TBOI a lot.

        EDIT: My bad, the enemy I’m thinking about is called a Gaper. Still fits.

      • The Random One says:

        With eyes you can stare at someone’s face. Without eyes, you stare straight at their soul.

  9. NailBombed says:

    Looking forward to losing yet more of my time to this twisted little game. 300 hrs & counting on regular TBOI…

  10. Monkeh says:

    My favourite of all the rogue-likes, hell, it’s even one of my favourite games of all time. Mostly can’t wait for Rebirth because I want to play it on my Vita and have it with me at all times. :D

    I prefer playing Spelunky HD on the Vita over playing it on the PC/TV and wouldn’t be surprised if the same will go for Rebirth.

  11. Synesthesia says:

    um.. it’s flash actually.

  12. liquidsoap89 says:

    “If the switch to a new engine makes the game feel sturdy, you know, at all, then count me back in.”
    I’ve never understood people’s criticisms about TBoI and it’s performance. I’ve played this game for over 30 hours and it runs just fine for me. Does it use more resources than it should or something?

    Also, holy hell am I excited for this game. I’m getting it for free with my Playstation, but I’ll definitely be buying a copy on steam. This is the perfect laptop in bed game!

  13. mechabuddha says:

    Local co-op? Holy crap, now I’m interested!