As someone who was fresh to PC gaming within weeks of The Binding of Isaac‘s release, picking it up only because it was $1 in the Steam Christmas sales, I was extremely weary of putting any time into the game when I was picking up AAA titles for only a few dollars more, but boy was I in for a shock. I loved this game within minutes of booting it up for the first time, something that hasn’t happened since Fallout 3, and many of the members will vouch for how much I love Fallout 3. Then a couple of weeks ago The Wrath of the Lamb was released and even I wasn’t prepared for the extreme and almost insane shot of life this $2 expansion was about to pump into this game which I had spent almost 60 hours on already, clearing games like Skyrim on the total play time by at least 20 hours a time which I’ve already doubled.
What The Wrath of the Lamb Got Right
New items – On top of the 100+ available items in the original game we have been blessed (cursed?) with more than 100 new ones. These new items cover some new territory and some are super powered versions of the previous counterparts but the hilarity and creativeness of the new items are what really sell them. Edmund McMillen never ceases to amaze me with the way he comes up with some of the names, designs and functions of the new pick ups, and hell, I haven’t even finished picking up all of the original items yet!
That music! – If any of you have played Binding of Isaac in any of it’s incarnations you know how damn catchy every single track in this game is, and with this expansions come more than 5 new tracks. Some of them original and some are 8-bit rock style remixes of the old tracks but all of them are pure heaven, I cannot imagine many people hearing this music and not having it instantly stuck in your head. Danny B really shines with his composing in this expansion.
New everything – The new items and music aren’t the only thing to be praised here, this expansion offers basically new everything. There are several new environment pieces including the mysterious Fortune Teller which offers you cryptic messages and various items for your hard earned pennies. The new enemy types sink to the game effortlessly, you’ll barely be able to remember the game without them in little to no time they just fit so perfectly. The new bosses offer up some fun and frustrating fights as you try to figure how to to hurt them and avoid their attacks at the same time. The stand out new addition though is the new level and the new final… final… final? boss, which will certainly make your brain explode when you finally earn the right to face it. Last but not least there is a new and interesting character added in Samson who breathes fresh life into your runs having a new starting build to work with an explore.
What The Wrath of the Lamb Got Wrong
Overpowered items – Some of the new item additions are frankly overpowered and far too common making your journey near effortless, which in my opinion takes a lot of the fun out of the game. Of course, being a completely random game I may just be the luckiest man in the world, but it seems to be common occurance from watching playthroughs on youtube and talking to other players who also say they come across these items fairly often. The principal offender is the ability to fly, flying offers so much advantage against enemies and was once thought to be a thing of myth in the original game.
Overpowered enemies – There are a handful of the new enemies which seems out of place in terms of power, there were a few bosses who also suffered these fate but they seemed to be recently nerfed in patches. As I mentioned before, the game is random and it may just be me who is having trouble with these, but to toot my own horn I’m no greenhorn to the traps and dangers of the basement and I feel that a handful of the enemies appear far to early in the game and perhaps belong on a later stage when you’re a bit more equipped to handle them.
The Final Verdict
All in all I’d say it would be foolish to own The Binding of Isaac and not shell out for this expansion seeing as it so cheap. It pumps the game up so greatly and fluidly that whether you’ve played it the original version or not you’ll find yourself laughing, cringing and running for your life as you explore the basement and everything it has to throw at you and make no mistake, it will throw everything it has at you, including poop.