‘Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth’ Release Date And Filters AnnouncedFiled inside: News
I admire few games like I do The Binding of Isaac.
It’s a marvel of clever gameplay mechanics and homages without relying on the usual small-studio gimmicks to garner attention. It was a game that had a clear beginning but knew how to be vague in its storytelling without lacking in substance, instead bringing together a large group of fans who hypothesized and formed their own unique interpretations of the utter strangeness that the game entails. It is considered by many to be the paradigm of the roguelite genre: challenging, responsive, and random. It’s clear that Edmund McMillen had infused a large portion of his own life into the game; each item in the game is practically a story in itself, and contributes further to your transformation into a monstrosity of epic proportions by virtue of their visual representation on your character.
Because of the huge following the game has developed, it follows that the upcoming remake, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, would be the subject of a phenomenal amount of hype. After all, I did have plenty to say on the subject of the game when I got my hands on it at E3 this past year.
More details have creeped out over time since then, including the single longest-awaited piece of information people have been clamoring for in the game: the release date. But I won’t tell you what it is, you just have to see how it was revealed yourself, and be warned this is some NSFW stuff:
It may just seem like a jumble of cult madness, but there’s a definite method to Ed’s madness, when you get down to it. The thing about BoI fans is that (by my direct observation, I know this isn’t a completely true statement) they’re totally fanatical. I’ve met very, very few people who have given the game the time of day and not fallen madly in love with it, or aren’t looking forward to the new entry.
Thus, the trailer is perfect. When I first caught wind of the trailer on Reddit, the comments were filled with people who said they had no idea what the game was, but they were definitely going to buy it now. It was an effect similar to the first game’s trailer, surreal and strange, and fully acknowledging that the trailer would do little for the fans, and instead brought in people who had no clue what they were looking at.
As for the actual game, we’ve seen some new items and enemies included since our last discussion, and more announcements are on the way as folks pick the trailer apart for hints at stuff we haven’t seen before. Round Worms functions like the parasites you see in The Womb, but don’t approach the player. The Starter Deck is a store-exclusive item that prevents pills from dropping, but allows you to carry two card-type items at once. The Jar lets you stash up to four extra hearts above your container limit, using the item drops them all on the floor to be consumed.
The saddest among these is Guppy’s Collar, a passive item that gives you a 50% chance to respawn with a half a heart upon death. Guppy was Ed’s cat, and very much a part of his life—his influence and inspiration can be seen in many places in Ed’s games. Guppy passed away recently, and Guppy’s Collar was revealed as part of that announcement.
The game offers more aesthetic options this time around, as well, in the form of various filters for the game. One of the largest complaints held by the masses as the first images of Rebirth began to hit the new was that they hated the new look for the game. Ed hated the original Flash art for the game, it all felt rushed to him and he was happy to abandon the look for the more 16-bit look the game has now. For those of you who hate pixel art, though, a Flash filter was added to the game (originally as a joke) that smooths out all the edges and makes the game look a little more like it used to. This joins the ranks of things like an arcade filter (makes it look like you’re playing on an oldschool arcade cabinet), or other filters that tweak colors and sounds.
There are over 50 filters in all, according to the Rebirth blog, and they are accessed using the new Seed system, which allows you to input a code to affect the game’s random generation. While this is mostly to recreate awesome runs, or to coordinate challenges with friends, special inputs will activate the filters or special challenges meant for speedruns or with smaller, less official challenges than those usually offered.
The game is up for preorder now on Steam, for $14.99. It’s already garnered an extreme amount of fame—specific numbers haven’t been released, but Ed claims that more copies of Rebirth have been ordered than Dead Rising 3 sold on its launch day, for whatever that’s worth. I’ll just be over here eagerly counting down the days until November 4th. Hopefully I won’t have starved to death by then.