What is the best expansion pack of 2015? The RPS Advent Calendar highlights our favourite games from throughout the year, and behind today’s door is…
RPS Feature 2015's best expansion!
Ace roguelikelike cry ‘em up The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth [official site] expanded only last month with Afterbirth (it’s fab!), but word’s already arrived of another add-on in the works. This will be a small affair in some ways, with new bosses and items and transformations and all that, but also a whole lot bigger: it’ll add mod tools. Tentatively named Afterbirth †, the DLC is due in 2016.
In the week or so after the release of The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth [official site], many members of the Isaac community were up in arms. Datamining – digging through the code for behind the scenes information – had revealed less new content than the pre-release build-up and Steam store page seemed to promise. There was talk of gated content that would only release when updates arrived, there were accusations of lying and betrayal; the Isaac subreddit was saltier than the Dead Sea. And then, over the weekend, the game crept out into the real world and everything got a little weird…
RPS Feature Born Again
Four years after its original release, The Binding of Isaac [official site] is still one of the games I’m most likely to turn to given a spare fifteen minutes (or couple of hours). The recent release of Afterbirth, a DLC/expansion/semi-sequel has rekindled my love, and I’ve spent most evenings since locked in a basement of shit, blood and tears. Whether you want to classify it as an expansion or an entirely new game, it’s one of my favourite things released this year.
I quit. For the next three or so months, I have better things to do than write about video games: I shall be playing the one and only game, the game of games, the game’s game, The Binding of Issac: Rebirth [official site]. The roguelikelike shooter’s expansion ‘Afterbirth’ has just come out on Steam, adding a new character, hundreds of new items, enemies, bosses, areas, room layouts, and so on. Oh, plus a whole new mode, and something no day of my life will be complete without: daily runs.
Instead, co-creator Edmund McMillen has finally revealed the mysterious new mode he’s been teasing. Named Greed Mode, it’s a mob/boss rush-ish survival challenge mode which relies heavily on shops to give lots of options in how you build your baby.
Guess Who? may not have the awe and admiration of the tabletop gaming world, but I maintain that the clacking of a card being ruled out and flipped down is one of gaming’s most delightful sounds and sensations. Fingered [official site] is also about peering at suspects and whittling them down based on their appearance, though given that it’s about police ID lineups and Edmund McMillen (him off Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac) is involved, it’s obviously a little darker.
Having been announced only last week, Fingered was released this week at the friendly price of £1.59. I’ve played a bit and, sure, it’s fun.
Part of the torment of tracking the upcoming ‘Afterbirth’ expansion for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth [official site] is seeing its changes and additions and crying “I DIED SO MANY TIMES BECAUSE I NEEDED THAT.” I get bitter about Isaac losses. Case in point: the shot-bouncifying Rubber Cement will combo with beam weapons like Brimstone and Technology to reflect shots everywhere, and I can think of at least three times it might have saved me after I foolishly picked up cruddy Technology.
Edmund McMillen’s latest dev blog post shows off this and a few other combos coming in Afterbirth, along with a new boss. (Warning: GIFs ahoy (WebMs, really, unless your browser doesn’t like ‘em).)
Remember that time I said “if The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth adds daily challenges, I will ditch every commitment short of a funeral to hit the day’s run.” Well! To my friends, my family, lovers, acquaintances, colleagues, rivals, and enemies, I apologise. I shall bail on you all soon.
The ‘Afterbirth’ expansion for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will add daily runs with leaderboards, co-creator Edmund McMillen has announced. Like in Spelunky, Nuclear Throne, and many more roguelikelikes, daily challenges let everyone compete by playing on the same set of levels.