This game is weird, but in a way that works well. Issac is a small boy whose Christian mother gets word from god that she must kill her son. In an attempt to escape, Issac slips into the infested basement filled with poop (literally) and monsters. Using only his tears as a weapon, he must set out on a quest to defeat his mom.
The Binding of Issac is set up as a randomized rogue dungeon game. Issac starts out with three hearts in the first level of the basement and by clearing the enemies in each of the rooms and beating the boss he advances on through to the next level, eventually reaching mom. That description may have made the game sound a bit easy, but that would be incorrect.
Like I mentioned before, Issac has three and only three hearts. Getting hit by enemies will quickly deplete your health and cause you to have to start the game from the beginning. While this may soundbrutal, the key is collecting the items and abilities that you discover in the various rooms of the dungeon to help you advance. These items can give you more health, make your attacks stronger, give you fighting companions, remove your health, and make your attacks weaker. Not all items are good, but they also aren't all bad. In Afterbirth+, there is a whopping total of 504 different items you can acquire, so you may find it necessary to play with a guide explaining what each of the items do.
I mentioned it briefly before, but this game is completely different each time you play it. At the start of a new run, you never have any clue what lies behind each door. It could be a super tough enemy, or a game breaking item to help you win. And that is personally what I love about the Binding of Issac. After 5 hours of game play, I still haven't made it to the end, yet I keep playing. It's not the advancement of levels that makes this game fun, its never knowing what will come next. You are guaranteed not to get bored.
|One of the many bosses present throughout the game.|
Afterbirth+ also comes with a neat multiplayer mode. By sacrificing one of Issac's hearts, a second player can come into the game as a companion. They are able to choose what creature they would like to become in order to help Issac get through the dungeons. Once the player is down to one heart however, the second player can no longer participate.
If you manage to defeat mom, there is much more for you to do. Afterbirth+ has a multitude of different characters to unlock and there are various challenge modes for you to try. There are also extra levels after you defeat mom, but I won't spoil the surprise as to what they contain. This is a game that won't be a one shot deal for most players, particularly those who are completionists.
|Characters can be unlocked by completing different challenges.|
Overall there are only two major cons I see to this game. One being the difficulty factor. This game is really hard to "beat" and if you're a person that plays games simply to finish them, the Binding of Issac is your worst nightmare. I also find the amount of items to be a bit much. Rarely ever do I have any idea what an item will do, and I don't want to have to have a guide open next to me every time I play the game.
The Binding of Issac: Afterbirth+ in my eyes rounds out as a 7. It's a wonderful game, but the difficulty factor must be taken into account. This game isn't for everyone, and I would say this game especially isn't for young children or anyone who gets offended easily. There are multiple occasions where you may do things such as make a deal with Satan or fight your unborn siblings fetus. However, if none of the above bothers you, and you want a nice casual pick me up game for when you have a few minutes here and there, definitely add Afterbirth+ to your collection!