Who would have thought that the team behind (Team Meat, Edward McMillen) 2d platformer Super MeatB0y could be responsible for the grotesque mess that is The Binding of Isaac. A politically incorrect, incoherent and down right inconceivable abomination of a game. Let me elaborate, it’s not a very enjoyable game.
Based on the lose scripture of the bible, the narrative follows mother and son (Isaac), one day his mother a hearty demented Christian suddenly hears God telling her to kill her child as a sacrifice. Isaac, locked in his room finds a trap door that leads to a dungeon level system where he must kill and make deals with the devil to survive. Pretty grim ‘ey? That’s not half.
Naked and alone, players must use Isaac’s tears to kill the monsters lurking in the shadows. An overall 2D arena, the childish narrative and drawings do offer little humour in an otherwise seriously grim game. At the end of everyone stage is a boss, from massive piles of excrement to bouncing ugly things that resemble a child’s drawing.
You can already see the game doesn’t take itself too seriously. The control system is simple enough, you can move horizontally and vertically, and shooting up, down, left or right with the right dpad. (Depending on your console).
There is a nice random element however. In the objects you pick up, you don’t know what they do until use them and as you can guess it’s not your typical, X30 Bow of bewilderment, no instead by picking up your mother’s undies you can see further; and other low cultured gags. But these aren’t bad, it takes us back to the days of Castle Crashers, (a game that seriously needs a sequel, forgetting Battlebox Theatre). As a concept the game is okay at best, the boss levels are easier than the actual normal enemies which is refreshing but a little bit repetitive.
However does this game make the best of a simple system? In certain rooms you will be greeted with enemies throwing bloody projectiles, it’s easy to run past and blitz the campaign and probably die, get frustrated and turn off the game. Although if you’re patient then you’ll be rewarded, trying to save your precious health points is key, without them you’re screwed.
What is also a good element about this game is not knowing what’s through the next door until you try; although this can get repetitive and the endless enemies can get tiring the element is appreciated if not thrown out entirely. Once you’ve finished the game, the ending being the mother’s womb, there’s more to collect do and see although after completing the game the replay value is unattractive and you’ll probably just remove the game to make space for the next free game of the month.
Overall, the game is disappointing, but the fact it’s one of the free PS Plus games of the month means no players are wasting their hard earned cash; we can only grit our teeth throw this game to the pile and wait for the next PS Plus update.
What We Liked
A random and sometimes funny game that has an entertaining and simple quality.
What We Didn't
A poor narrative that is unsympathetic to the Christian belief, even if you aren't religious you still whistle through your teeth and squint at the poor narrative.
A good stab at a new kind of game, although unsympathetic it still has attractive qualities.