Best FPS of 2011, even now, this game has given me many hours of happiness as well as rage following by depression.
This is the game you have to buy. Do not finish reading this review, just run out and get it right now. You will have plenty of time to read while you sit through the game's seemingly never-ending opening scene. It is the best opening scene I have ever seen, but you have no choice: it is The Binding of Isaac, the most important game of the year(2011), follow-up to the greatest shooter ever made next to Call of Duty or Battlefield
, and you need it.
After a headache-inducing five-hour unskippable opening scene, I thought it might not be fair to play the game in such a foul mood. Yet I was entranced within two minutes as the protagonist, a fake NEET named Isaac, arrived under the basement, a cozy and super comfortable place, perfect for playing hours of video-games & watching Chinese cartoons. Not to mention the super loud asian music playing in the background on full volume.
With expressive eyes and emotive faces, the Mobs look far more real than those in any other game. The effect is weakest when monsters smile, which makes them look slightly ill, so it is just as well that there is little reason for cheer.
The oppressed monsters/bugs living in the same basement have formed an underground resistance, which is constantly trying to kill Isaac as he tries to reach 7,000 MMR in Dota 2. Isaac is greeted as a savior by those familiar with his unbeatable microskills from the first game. He battles monsters and bugs as he makes his way out of the trench to the next International.
The Rebirth (sequel to Isaac) was like the film directed by Michael Bay. In that it did not do a lot that was really new, but did beautifully encapsulate the best elements of its medium. Isaac remains true to its heritage, adding popular features of other games such as the ability to fire lasers or to wear bras which freezes enemies for few seconds. The game also preserves the original's basic structure, in which your first weapon is a AWP, just like any counter-strike fanboy and you slowly gain a light saber, a NERF and eventually a rocket launcher made in China, although these more powerful weapons are counterbalanced by more powerful enemies.
But more notable than Rebirth's similarities to its predecessor are its differences. Sequels, like the recent Advanced Warfare and Mario Kart 8, are often little more than modified versions of the originals. Advanced Warfare is a straight-ahead shooter with ♥♥♥♥♥♥ battles and edgy pay-2-win weapon skins, just like Ghost. Mario Kart 8 lets the player gradually explore more of the RAMBO environment through acquiring the same set of capabilities you gathered in Mario Kart 7. Both games are excellent and true to their successors, but they play essentially the same.
The Binding of Isaac has the most varied gameplay of any shooter since World of Warcraft, with strikingly distinctive challenges. In one, you drop piles of poop, occasionally collecting hearts or coins. In a later mission, you will probably still be doing the same thing but the replay value is still endless!
One of the original Isaac's biggest achievement was the way it seamlessly provided purpose and a context for all the violence, keeping you from feeling as though you were just running around randomly shooting stuff like in Call of Duty. Rebirth does the same thing, choreographing events in a way that keeps you enthralled and on track.
Yet, while Rebirth offers a denser plot and more distinct characters, the story is ultimately less involving. The game only drop hints as to cause this grim future and never bothers to explain the motivation of your main foe, NEET basement's monsters & bugs.
Other video games have told stories better than Isaac, but then, besides graphics, Isaac is arguably more effective in some ways than other games. It was more sacier than Doom 3. Monsters showed a more convincing artificial intelligence than in Far Cry. Singleplayer mode battles were carried out more smoothly than ♥♥♥♥♥♥ team-based games like Dota that requires you to yell at autists. Not to mention it had a more original structure.
Yet no other game does as many things as well as Isaac; I had so much fun that I can forgive the game its abysmal ending. I was continually enthralled and amazed, and would rather replay Isaac than begin a new first-person shooter. I envy those of you who are about to experience Isaac for the first time. Although I pity you for having to watch the never ending opening.