Untied: The Binding Of Isaac Rebirth Released

I don't remember this from the Bible.

It’s healthy to cry, They say. Better out than in, They tell me. I firmly believe that no one should cry any more than four times per year, and should carefully ration their tears lest they find themselves amidst tragedy but over quota, forced to grind their teeth and dig their nails into their palms to keep the blubbing in. This is perhaps not wholly healthy. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has so very many tears but I can’t rightly grumble about that – because they’re weaponised. Isaac is once again weeping furiously at manifestations of whatever’s going on inside his head after his mother tried to sacrifice him, as the roguelikelike shmup’s remake-o-sequel is now out.

Rebirth’s half-way between remake and sequel, as it’s the original game rebuilt entirely in a new engine with new art, with new items, characters, enemies, and levels thrown in. It’s a remake plus an expansion, I suppose. Given that The Binding of Isaac was splendid, and its expansion Wrath of the Lamb only made things better, this all sounds quite lovely. I suspect some people I know will vanish for weeks as they set about unlocking and exploring new things.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is £10.99 on Steam or the Humble Store simply offer a Steam key too. The 33% discount for folks who owned the original BoI is now over, as it was only on pre-orders.

34 Comments

  1. Wedge says:

    Haaaay thanks for reminding me. It’s kind of odd Steam doesn’t like, notify you or anything when a game you pre-ordered is out. I mean theoretically youl’d be anticipating that date or whatever, but I’ve had so much else going on it totally slipped my mind until I saw this.

    • TonyB says:

      Exactly the same as me. Being told it’s available has just made my day and clarified how I will be spending the rest of this evening, so thanks a lot for that.

    • Wowbagger says:

      Probably better then my multiple furious attempts to start the game from pre-load at 6pm on the dot last night.

    • Premium User Badge

      kregg says:

      If you add the game to your wishlist, Steam will notify you via email on the day it is released and on sales.

      I got an email this morning that told me it’s out. I went to check the Steam reviews and it seemed pretty positive.

      • Jalan says:

        A key word to take note of there is “pre-ordered” – by design, you can’t wishlist something you’ve already bought.

        • Surlywombat says:

          If you want to start getting pedantic you can’t pre-order something on steam. You pre-purchase it.

  2. G-Lord says:

    Almost 66k players ingame: link to steamcharts.com
    Most impressive.

  3. Crusoe says:

    For the record, I’m just three runs deep and already I’m totally in love.

    Rebirth expands upon the dark tone and feel more than I could have dreamed for, the gameplay is fluid and the combat and abilities I’ve seen so far are meaty and satisfying.

    So see ‘ya, I’m off to play for the rest of the night ;D

  4. Endsville says:

    Was somewhat sceptical when this was first announced, specifically about the additional content. Unlike many other people, I actually thought the expansion of the original game harmed it more than it did good by breaking its perfect balance, so when I heard this would be packed with even more content, I was a little cautious going in.

    But, uh, yeah, well, ignore me – it’s fucking brilliant! The entire team involved have done an unbelievable job. Suspect that I’ll be sinking in even more hours into this than I did the first game.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Just had a quick bash at it. While I’m not sure I’m on board with all of the changes (as is the way with these things), on the whole I reckon it’s a worthy upgrade. There’s a lot more new content than I expected and it could easily have stood as a proper sequel if he’d chosen to market it that way.

    I recorded my first go at it if anyone wants to watch it being played terribly.

  6. FrancoBegby says:

    All in all a brilliant game.
    While I’m not that fond of the pixel graphics, it’s pretty OK with the filter enabled. Music so far… meh. After 130ish (only lol) hrs with BoI, I found myself still humming along to Danny B.’s score which was just plain awesome – after 3 1/2 hrs of rebirth, I can’t remember a single track of the new music… at least it doesn’t get in the way.

    I appreciate the difficulty settings since I’m rubbish at games that require good reflexes, so far I’ve beat mom’s heart once, unlocked Cain and Eden and finished one of the challenges.
    Given that It took me (seriously) 18 hrs in BoI untill I managed to bring mom’s heart down, normal difficulty seems to be a tad on the easy side which suits me fine.

    But what they really nailed is the movement with a joypad. Opposed to the original with joytokey, I feel full in control this time and know it’s due to my lack of skill/ability when I die, not due to technical stuff.

  7. The King K says:

    For some reason, I can never play more than one round of BoI.
    Every three months, I try again and then need to stop after dying once because it makes me feel horrible. The little guy leaving all his (non existant) belonging to his cats really does me in.

  8. Synesthesia says:

    Oh yeah. I just did my first run, and that engine is quite good isn’t it? I didn’t love the music at first, but it grew on me.

  9. Dezmiatu says:

    I been playing a good 4 hours and not a single mom kill before I realized I was on hard mode. Switched to normal, and it was… easy. I feel dirty, like I cheated. Still, very nice there’s a difficulty option this time around for those who didn’t Platinum God the last game. My heart always went out to those who jumped into the game with the expansion installed, being slaughtered by greed heads is not the best introduction.

    Loving the new characters as I’ve already unlocked Lazarus and Azazel. I can see Lazarus being scorned like Eve and Samson.

    • Premium User Badge

      Andy_Panthro says:

      Is “easy” actually easy though? I am absolutely terrible at these sorts of games, and the original just became frustrating for me. I’d have liked to get a bit further to see what all the fuss is about.

      • Dezmiatu says:

        The game is hard. Only reason I’m good at it is the 800+ hours I sunk into the game, not counting the obsessive playing of the demo. If normal is still a hurdle for players, I’d be all for including an easy mode.

        I meant only to comment how I missed the joy of having a promising run go downhill on me. That, personally, it wasn’t about cycling through the endings as quickly as I can. The floundering is fantastic, although the artificial darkening of the screen done with hard mode is fucking annoying. Makes the spiders in the sacrifice rooms downright deadly.

    • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

      Man, I started playing the original when it came out and killed Mom ONCE. And that was used the chocolate milk/gluttony combo that was nerfed almost immediately. If anything I’m glad the game now may allow for scrubs like myself.

  10. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    “The 33% discount for folks who owned the original BoI is now over, as it was only on pre-orders.”

    :-|

    Dammit Ed, I bought the original four times. Five if you count the Humble Bundle.

  11. Dominare says:

    Yeah that’s all cool and all, but does it actually support gamepads yet?

    • Synesthesia says:

      Yes! It even recognised my x52 for some reason. I wonder how the game feels with a gamepad after all these hours.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I have a weird $10 Logitech controller myself, and it works right off the bat, supporting analogue movement, rebinding and everything. My controller even has this weird problem where some games don’t read the stick in up-right position right (even x360ce requires me to set a reverse dead-zone, yet it doesn’t seem to be a hardware issue because some games have no such issue whatsoever) and Rebirth handles it perfect!

  12. Jackablade says:

    The changes and new additions are great, although I’ve run into rather a lot of bugs with bits of the UI and game world disappearing and an odd lockup that seemed to only be escapable by putting the computer into sleep mode and then waking it.

    I also have a suspicion that some of the items which should be locked, aren’t. Daddy’s Love, for example, was an item that took a lot of hard work to unlock in Wrath of the Lamb. Given how crazy-powerful it is, that should probably still be the case.

  13. Servicemaster says:

    Binding of Isaac has helped me so much. So many players tells me that I’m not alone when it comes to being an emotional boy with mommy-issues.

    That said; the soundtrack is fucking atrocious. It’s just ambience. Why is that? Either way, I’ll be playing this until I get Platinum God, again, that’s for damn sure.

  14. fappenmeister says:

    Wow, BoI used to kick my arse constantly when it came out, doubly so with the expansion. Third run of Rebirth today, I got Daddy’s Love and beat Mom.

  15. ElDopa says:

    On normal mode it’s a lot easier than the last one, but it’s still quite fun!

  16. MrFinnishDude says:

    I don’t like the “retro” pixel graphics in this one. The other had nice clear line graphics why not do them again?
    Would it be too cumbersome or something? I have feeling like the art has devolved significantly.

    • fylth says:

      Ed has said that the art style is now more in-line with what he originally wanted for TBoI because with the original he rushed through the art creation in flash so he could focus on the game. If you really dislike the art style though you can turn on the flash filter in the options menu which smooths everything and brings it closer to the original.

  17. mukuste says:

    I could never get into TBoI. It always felt very clunky and just no fun to control, it seems that you need to grind forever to unlock the good items which will actually let you make progress, every run feels the same, and the art style feels off-putting for the sake of it. This is one of the few games where I never understood all the hype.

    • SuddenSight says:

      You are entitled to your opinion, but I will disagree with you at length. Except for one thing: I didn’t like BoI 1’s controls either (they felt “slippery” to me). While BoI R definitely isn’t a Vlambeer game (i.e., the controls are not intrinsically pleasurable) it does feel *much* better than the original.

      This is one of the few games that manages to justify a disgusting art style for me. Nothing in the game is “attractive,” but everything is so darn *interesting.* I find a certain disgusting joy in seeing all the deranged, pseudo-humanoids you end up murdering with your sadness. Plus, the typically disgusting rooms allow for some very sharp distinctions for when you later find *spoilers.*

      As for the grind-till-you-win argument, the only item I think that really could apply to is unlocking the D6 for the original Isaac. Every other unlock just adds a new item to the pool or adds a new (typically more dangerous) enemy. Considering that many of the best items (stat boosts, the holy bible, bomb tears) start out unlocked I would say the steady trickle of unlocks makes the game more difficult, not easier.

      Besides, the latest version adds a surprisingly reasonable “normal” difficulty that has allowed me to kill Mom twice in one day.

  18. fish99 says:

    Pitty about the soundtrack.

  19. redgore says:

    I’m really liking it. about 7 hours in and I already have rooms I hate with a passion. I like the music but Isaac tends to be a game I play while I listen to my own music so that gets turned off anyway,

  20. NathaI3 says:

    Fixes a lot of issues with the old one and re-introduces the unknown element. Even with the amount of items in the original it was fairly easy to learn them as there was relatively few “unique” items that had special special effects – most were just stat boosts or deductions. Having lots of fun so far!

  21. mineshaft says:

    As a 300+ hour Platinum God, I never thought I would say this:

    I might never play the old one again.

    The new version is basically everything I could have hoped for (even with the 12 heart limit). It is the version we always wanted. I felt the original was a masterpiece, and this is even better.

    No spoilers, but I was Guppy again before long, that was part of it, and I was unable to fire a shot at Mom’s Heart first time.

    I just turned it on and it felt like the same game to me. The same, but tighter. Performant. Enemies move and shoot a little differently. Bigger, more interesting rooms.

    A must buy, and when all is said and done, it’s probably my GOTY.

  22. lfwam says:

    Golden Godded the original. Have now played about two hours on normal, beaten the heart twice including once with Eden. It seems to me that playing on this difficulty the big difference is not the deadliness of the enemies, instead the power level of the items. Far fewer duds, which I’m all for. Makes it less common that runs just fall apart in the later stages, so I feel more responsible for my failures.

    Also, although it is strange to see high end items right of the bat (and there are some really powerful new ones,) I prefer this to having to begin with the actually quite limited pool that the first one started from. Makes the game far more playable for people who’ve beaten the first (and presumably even more overwhelming for neophytes.)