Review: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth (DLC)

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Title: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth
Format: PlayStation Network Download (464.7 MB)
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Nicalis
Developer: Nicalis
Original MSRP: $10.99 (US), €10.99 (EU), £8.99(UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 16
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth is also available on Xbox One, Wii U, PC, and Mac.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

There was more about The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth that I neglected to mention, in part because I hate spoilers but mainly because I wanted to let you discover it on your own, that is half the fun of the game. The same is true for the DLC named The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth, which you can read about now.

Review of the Original Game:
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Gameplay:
We still find poor little Isaac and his lost siblings in a procedurally generated dungeon roguelike, this time with even more vile creatures lurking in the darkness. By more creatures I mean, over one hundred enemies and bosses.

A few remind me of the things you would expect to see in a normal dungeon crawler, yet all have an unappealing feature or entire appearance. Happy to be among mounds of excrement, they lurk, waiting for their next victim.

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You still use those ever-flowing tears to defeat the disgusting enemies but now you have a larger variety of items, pills, Tarot cards, and more to find hidden among the depths. I am amazed at some of the freakish combinations that you can find now and I feel like I have only scratched the surface of this deep game.

There was a ton of things to keep you playing in the first game and now it feels like more than double has gone into the DLC. Almost every room I apprehensively send my character into is a new design and sometimes a new theme, complete with a few of those disgusting creatures I mentioned earlier.

… some more endings and secrets to unlock …
Discovering the depraved things inhabiting the rooms and finding a feast of items to help dispose of them is just as fun now as it was in the main game. With an abundance of new things round every corner, I doubt anyone’s interest will wane for a very long time.

There are some more endings and secrets to unlock as well as a new frantic mode simply called Greed. It’s a fun and addictive twist on the main game. There are also seven more Trophies that accompany this DLC, most of which are hidden and at the time of writing, Ultra Rare.

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Visuals:
Lighting and animations have been improved in the Afterbirth, with embers from smouldering walls wafting around wooden rooms, and a darkness that seems to creep into the already unsettling rooms with an eerie effect. Even the environments have more character now.

You still have the macabre remnants of your vanquished enemies littering the ground but now even that seems of a higher quantity. Some bosses and enemies excrete noxious odours and gases that hang in the rotting air. Others leave a trail of vomit, blood, or faecal matter in their wake, all temporarily harmful to your little character.

… a great roguelike twin-stick shooter …
Audio:
A new alternate soundtrack complements the great sound effects. There’s also new voice work to take in as you explore the horrible rooms. It’s still in keeping with the atmosphere of the game and is of a high quality.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only but does feature a Daily Run mode that has online leaderboards complete with high score and best times. You can check it against every player worldwide or just your friends.

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Conclusion:
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth has a new playable character, alternate chapters, tons more poop, a basement full of new items, poop, loads of secrets, new enemies and bosses, more challenges, some poop, new themes and countless more room designs, and did I mention the poop? What more could you want.

It does not ask any more questions about religion and the fragility of the human mind. Instead it does more of what the main game did so well in the first place. It’s simply a great roguelike twin-stick shooter. I urge you to grab this DLC. If you like the main game you are going to love this.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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