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The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth (DLC) – PC

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth (DLC) – PC

ventPlatform: PC

Developer: Nicalis 

Publisher: Nicalis

Release Date: October 30th, 2015 

Genre:  Action/Adventure, Dungeon Crawler

Nerd Rating: 8.0/10

Let me get something right out of the way, this review is only for the newest DLC for The Binding of Isaac: RebirthThe Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth. If you would like to check my review of the remake, click on the link above. If you would like a different take, check out Nerdyfriend’s review here. We were reborn and now it is time to deal with the Afterbirth.

Genesis 22 : 9 – 10

“Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.”

New to the world of The Binding of Isaac? Don’t worry, we will catch you up real quick. Since Afterbirth serves mainly as DLC, the actual story of The Binding of Isaac hasn’t changed too drastically. As we begin, we come across Isaac and his mother, merely playing with toys and watching television like a normal family. Everything was alright with the world.

Then, disaster struck! Isaac’s mother began to hear the voice of God (or Satan), who drove her mad in a fit of pure devotion to her higher power. In order to fully appease the voices in her head, she is convinced to sacrifice her son Isaac, who is now supposedly tainted with sin. Isaac overhears these orders and fleas into the basement. Will he be able to outrun his mother? What challenges or fears will Isaac face in the dark depths below? It is up to you to find out.

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Some beautifully gory Lilith fan art by Tumblr user TentacleTail

While Afterbirth does add quite a bit extra to Rebirth, the biggest addition is by far the two new characters. The Keeper, a character similar to those that exist in the shop and secret areas, is unlocked once you donate 1000 coins to the new “Greed Machine”. The Keeper is a useful character, as he uses coins for health and starts with triple shot in order to clear enemies quickly. Let’s forget about him for now.

The newest and most unique character to enter the fray is our queen of the dead Lilith. Now Lilith is a hard character to play, as she is permanently blinded and can’t use tears. Also, unlike Azazel, Lilith also can’t use “Brimstone” to obliterate her enemies. Instead, she uses Incubus familiars to do her bidding. While they are relatively weak to begin with, Lilith begins with the “Box of Friends” power up that summons another familiar and boosts the strength of their tears. Talk about overpowered! If you would like to unlock Lilith, all you have to do is clear the new “Greed Mode” using only Azazel. Believe me, it is no easy task.

Speaking of such, “Greed Mode” is the newest mode of play introduced in Afterbirth. Unlike the dungeon crawling we are used to by now, “Greed Mode” forces the player against 10-11 waves of enemies on each level. Why 10-11? Each level is set into three specific types of waves:

  • Normal waves: These waves feature 2-13 normal and champion monsters that must be defeated within 10 seconds. These waves normally make up waves 1-8.
  • Boss waves: As the name suggests, these waves pit you against 1-2 different bosses per wave per level. These waves make up 9-10.
  • Devil/Angel wave (optional): These waves normally will place you against a combination of both bosses, champions, and normal enemies. This wave is optional for extra loot as technically the door to the next level opens after wave 10 has been completed. These waves encompass the 11th wave.

Luckily for you, Afterbirth does not force you into this mess without a little bit of help. Each floor (excluding the Chest) has a shop, a cursed room, and two treasure rooms, but one needs a key to open. You can receive a variety of power ups, tarot cards, hearts, keys, etc. from these resources, so use them wisely. Once you have traversed past the main horrors and have reached the final level, you are in for a surprise.

ENTER ULTRA GREED...

ENTER ULTRA GREED…

Let’s welcome Ultra Greed up to the stage. Serving as the final boss of “Greed Mode”, you know this bastard has to be difficult. While he looks easy enough while he hangs from the center of the room, he won’t be there for very long. As soon as the player enters, Ultra Greed begins his rampage. He actually has a wide variety of moves, including a spin attack that launches death-inducing coins in every direction, stomping the ground to spawn his own Keepers (as mentioned above), and a slot machine effect.

The slot machine causes Ultra Greed’s eyes to spin and if the eyes match they spawn large destructible gold coins with matching symbols. Depending on the symbols, you could be fine. Most likely though, you won’t be. For example, if not all of the coins when spawned with a key symbol are destroyed by the time the move has finished, the keys will open up the six doors the surround the room. What does this do? Well it only floods the room with champion Keepers and will deplete your health quickly.

Besides the new characters and game mode, Afterbirth adds quite a bit of little features that actually change the game significantly. The DLC adds a hundred of new items and trinkets to the item catalog and you will need plenty of them to tackle Ultra Greed and the other new boss. Now that one I won’t spoil it for you, you will just have to discover that other bastard yourself. The additions don’t stop there, as also included are four new alternate chapters the player can traverse through. 

  • Burning Basement: Replaces the original basement level. The theme is fire, so most of the units will be replaced with burning versions of themselves.
  • Flooded Caves: Alternate version of the cave and catacomb levels. The theme is water, so there are very little ground contact with enemies. Most of the units are replaced with aerial and projectile based enemies.
  • Dank Depths: Alternate version of the The Depths and Necropolis levels. The entire level is tar-based, so many of the units will be sludge and tar monsters. Much of the environment will also be covered in spikes.
  • Scarred Womb: The most disgusting and disturbing of the newest levels. Alternate version of the Womb and Utero levels. The main theme of this level is decay, so many of the units are changed to multi-version decaying champions.

Have you completed all of the challenges from Rebirth and need more to satisfy your fix? Afterbirth adds another 10+ challenges to the catalog, making a 100% challenge completion even harder. Come on Nicalis, Afterbirth is already hard enough as it is. The challenges don’t stop there though, as Afterbirth also introduces the new “Daily Runs” element to players worldwide. These “Daily Runs” are available to challenge you every single day to a new and ever difficult seed. Will you be able to beat one of these time attack “Daily Runs”? To give you an idea of their difficulty, I have been playing Afterbirth religiously since its release and have only completed one.

One last word of advice for fans of the series, it’s time for you to adapt new strategies to conquer Afterbirth. After you play long enough with a certain character, you should be able to dip, duck, dive, and dodge through all of your foes. Afterbirth throws a wrench into a world of familiarity by offering different room sizes and shapes, such as narrow hallways and L-shape rooms. Initially, this doesn’t actually pose that much of a problem…until you are on that perfect seed. These narrow hallways are the worst of the offenders, as you don’t know the pain until you fight your least favorite boss and there isn’t any room to run.

binding_of_isaac_by_oldtoolshed-d8lccws

Looks like he has been possessed after all.

Overall, if you liked RebirthAfterbirth is just going to suck you right back into Isaac’s world. It is a fantastic expansion to an addictive base game, adding countless additions to make Rebirth seem like a fresh new title. Afterbirth makes Rebirth even more addicting than before and we guarantee the game will consume you for hours and hours on end. With all of the added absurdity, it is hard to imagine playing Rebirth without all of the new additions and changes.  It’s time to dive headfirst into the Afterbirth. 

Haven’t satisfied your dark adventure fix? Check out other titles Nerd Bacon has to offer!

Written by Rhutsczar


Hello everybody! Thanks for reaching the end of whatever my newest/current addiction is above me. I’m pretty sure it’s an RPG, since it’s my favorite genre I try to find the most underrated and niche games possible. Anyway if you like what you read and would like to check out more, follow the links below. Also be sure to check out the RBG over on Beyond Bacon!.

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