Action Allegory: The Binding Of Isaac Rebirth Trailer

Rolling bones.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is called a “remake” but it also bungs in an expansion’s worth of new stuff for the roguelike-like shooty dungeon crawler. Developers Nicalis are working with creator Edmund Mcmillen to add loads of new items, characters, rooms, enemies, and bosses, an extra chapter, local co-op, and other odds and ends. McMillen gabs about changes and additions on his devblog, but looks at it in motion were limited to the occasional animated gif. Now the game’s finally in good enough shape that he’s shared a “first look” at a beta build.

“We are still tweaking things visually and the game is missing a few sound effects but this is basically what you will be getting on release,” McMillen explained. “I wish YouTube made it look as crisp as it does when you play.. oh well.”

Rebirth is a full-on remake, rebuilt in a new engine to escape that nasty old limiting Flash thing. Some of the new items and ideas are things that wouldn’t work or be possible in the old version. The art’s fully redrawn too, shooting for a 16-bit SNES-era style rather than Edmund’s old hand-drawn way.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is due some time later this year. Here, look:


  1. aerozol says:

    It’s all right, I already took the year off for this.

    • salejemaster says:

      true that

    • noisepassfilter says:

      Biggest and only boss of Rebirth is certainly Time Sink.
      I haven’t seen this discussed on this here all-about-PC videogame weblog Interwebssite, I keep hearing Them saying that this is going to be a Sony-box exclusive, for, at least, a while.
      However, I have not been able to find any substantiating evidence regarding this anywhere. Will anyone knowledgeable confirm/deny/post a link? Please?

      • sansenoy says:

        I thought we’re all supposed to have PS4+Bloodborne combos preordered??? I’m confused

  2. Fenix says:

    Hot damn that distortion (?) effect that happens when Monstro does his long jump looks and feels so good!

    By doing some simple math I expect this game to suck about 1200 hours of my time… help ;_;

  3. golem09 says:

    The demake style does look better than I expected from those early example images. This will eat a looooooot of time. I’ll probably rewatch all of Seinfeld when playing this, just like I did last time.

  4. Zankmam says:

    Well, when the “16-bit” style was originally announced, I was quite sad – not everyone has nostalgia or appreciation for such visuals.

    However, as it turns out and as we can see in this trailer, it really doesn’t look like a SNES game; instead, it seems more refined in terms of art style when compared to the original, featuring sharper lines and more detailed textures, while the lighting and background really enhance the atmosphere.

    Great stuff!

  5. GameCat says:

    You will have to pay for it again or it will be free for owners of original Isaac?

    • NailBombed says:

      There will be a discount for owners of the original. And TBH, I would pay full price for this if there was a way – have sunk many many hrs into the original TBOI and Rebirth apparently has more than twice the content of that.

    • aerozol says:

      Not necessarily relevant, but I paid $2 for BoI and it’s my most played game on Steam!
      But if you peep at their blog I think it’s pretty clear that this really is a whole new game (mechanics not included). Item synergies must take a crazy amount of time to test and code as well, I can’t imagine how each individual new item ups that factor, it hurts my small brain.

      But calling it a ‘remake’ is going to invite that question for sure, branding it as a sequel and changing some imagery more might have been a good idea – but then they’d probably get called out for not being different enough..

  6. melvar says:

    God, I wish the big pixels thing would go away. If they wrote a proper game engine, even a low end video card would be able to handle the vector graphics of the first game. Or, you know, use high resolution sprites. I grew up with gigantic pixels and I am not nostalgic for them.

    I’m still going to buy this game.

  7. lordfrikk says:

    Smooth as butter. Can’t wait.

    • povu says:

      The game will run at 60 fps too, so it’ll look much smoother than the youtube video and the original game (which couldn’t even keep a solid 30).

  8. Phasma Felis says:

    I refuse to love Edmund McMillen again until he gets on the stick and finishes Gish 2.

    • Dromph says:

      That’ll never happen. He doesn’t fully own the IP and he won’t work with Alex Austin anymore.

  9. Stardreamer says:

    Gamepad support? Not having that really killed the first game for me. It’s one of those titles that practically screams for one.

    • melvar says:

      I was under the impression that gamepad support was one of the things they couldn’t do because the first game was running in Flash, so I’d guess they will have it this time. That said, I only played the first one with the keyboard once before I added gamepad support myself with Antimicro.

    • wu wei says:

      You should try JoyToKey. It takes all of 3 minutes to set up bindings.

    • noisepassfilter says:

      Controller support confirmed by Edmund in the (Google:) “boi rebirth faq”. Rebinding keys for both keyboard and controller is also supported.
      As wu wei says, JoyToKey works very well with the original.

      • Stardreamer says:

        Shareware? Bit dubious about shelling out $7 for this, when I’m likely to use it just for this game.

        • SuddenSight says:

          Donationware. Free and fully-featured for forever, but $7 suggested price if you can afford it and find the software useful.

  10. tumbleworld says:

    Looks much better in the video than it did in the static screenshots. Interesting.

  11. JD Ogre says:

    Bad graphics (jagged pixel crap) compared to the original (smooth and rounded).

    Bad music compared to the original (so loud, discordant, and jangly now).

    Annoying lighting effects (makes it a pain to see details).

    Crappy UI choices (because it’s going on the Vita, has to have stats, inventory, and map obscuring the screen and being hard to read at times, and they’ve resorted to having the map expansion key (‘cos you can’t see any map details in its default state, unlike the original) doing multiple, unrelated actions at the same time).

    The addition of large rooms means that things will be shooting at you that you can’t even see (monsters that turn invisible are an unrelated matter since you actually see them first).

    SONY EXCLUSIVITY. Even though it will be only a limited time, this is a kick to the nuts to existing fans – all of whom are on PCs.

    I could probably go on, but I’m getting bored typing. Suffice it to say, despite 600+ hours played (officially 917, but I conservatively estimate around 1/3rd of the time in any game is alt-tabbed or paused and such), I am **NOT** looking forward to this.

    • GameCat says:

      You should read this:

      link to

      • JD Ogre says:

        Read that ages ago. Doesn’t address any of my points beyond Edmund’s “I swear this is the graphics style I wanted from the beginning”.

    • Baines says:

      Another game caught up in the idea that fancy lighting effects makes games look better, when what they really tend to do is make it harder to see. At least it doesn’t damage the color palette the way that some 3D games manage to do.

    • Dromph says:

      I can’t disagree more in terms of the graphics of the old game. I love the original to death (600h and still playing), but the graphics (not artstyle) are pretty much dogshit in my opinion. The character models look okayish, but the floor textures are absolutely horrendous and in a lot of cases the animations are subpar as well.

      Also, you can see important map details without using the map key as you can see in the video. It just doesn’t show the full map anymore. And making the map not obscure the screen is pretty difficult if you want your game to run in 16:9, unless you want to put some ugly bars on the screen.

      And Edmund has confirmed somewhere in his blog that things that aren’t on the screen won’t shoot at you at least until you see them. So there wont be any Vis shooting at you outside the screen without you being able to react to them.

      The new graphics, visual effects and music are personal preference I guess. I really dig it, especially the new music. I’m a little tired of Danny B by now.

      By the way, I’d be surpirsed if the Sony exclusivity would last longer than a month. It’ll be nowhere near Spelunky level.

  12. Big Murray says:

    Wrath of the Lamb missed the mark for me by quite a long way. It included way too much stuff that was damn near impossible to figure out unless you used a Wiki. How am I supposed to know that this trinket I just picked up gives me a 10% extra chance of spawning a heart at the end of a room? It took the idea of discovering new bits and bobs and completely over-did it, shrouded too much stuff in impenetrable mystery.

    That trailer actually makes it look like he may have realised this, as picking up items seems to give an on-screen cryptic hint about what they might do.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I agree. I didn’t enjoy the game post-Wrath, as much as pre-Wrath. I have like 70 hours in the game, probably only 15 of those from after Wrath was released.

  13. onesandzeroes says:

    I’m excited to play this one because I finally get to find out whether I was actually good at this game or it was just the general lagginess of the flash-based version that allowed me to dodge most of the enemy shots. I suspect it’s the latter.

  14. Turkey says:

    Really looking forward to this. There’s been a billion roguelites since Spelunky and BoI, but nothing’s even come close to the replayability of those games.

  15. aliksy says:

    I liked the old art style but this looks okay, too.

  16. DrScuttles says:

    A vague release date would be nice. If only so that I can work in advance at destroying what little is left of my social life in order to free up all the hours this game is going to eat.

  17. Dances to Podcasts says:

    I’m afraid I’ll have to add my voice to the dissenters that this indeed looks worse than the original.