The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth was released for the PC back in October last year and ever since console fans of the series have been crying out for the much-anticipated DLC. Well, it's finally arrived on the PlayStation 4 – and boy was it worth the long wait.
The main addition in this expansion is Greed Mode – an entirely new game mode which switches up the gameplay entirely, focusing more on a risk/reward system by enticing you to be greedy. Whereas in the normal mode you work your way through a series of rooms defeating enemies, looting chests, and destroying bosses, Greed Mode places you in a single room with a button in the middle of the floor. Once hit, the button deploys a wave of enemies and also starts a short countdown timer; when it reaches zero, another wave of enemies will spawn regardless of whether you have finished the last wave or not. This timer can be stopped at any time if you feel like you are being overwhelmed, but it will cost you some health to do so as the button is surrounded by spikes. Completing each wave of enemies rewards you with coins that can be used to buy health, keys, bombs, and other very useful buff items from the shop. The ultimate goal is to clear all of the floors and defeat the rather tough Ultra Greed boss at the end of the game. We found Greed Mode to be a challenging but interesting experience, with the added focus on risk/reward bringing an excellent twist to the normal gameplay.
But that's not all! Daily Runs and leaderboards are another massive addition in Afterbirth. The Binding of Isaac has never had a scoring system before, and so the developer has worked hard to implement one just for this DLC. Each day you can compete for the high score and the quickest time in the Daily Run which is identical for everyone. Nicalis has even designed special event runs for certain holidays and festivals such as Christmas, Easter, and even one in memory of Nintendo's Satoru Iwata, who passed away last summer. We had a blast playing the dailies and trying to top our friends' high scores with little success.
Moreover, Afterbirth has added ten new challenges for you to try and complete – each starting you with different items to add a taxing twist. Our favourite is called Pay to Play and starts you off with 99 coins, but every room is locked and requires you to open each of them with a coin. This means that instead of spending your money at the shop, you have to save up in order to progress; failing this simple task will result in your demise. Another called XXXXXXXXL enlarges every floor to extra-large, meaning that it will take you twice as long to get through it; it took us a couple of hours to complete this little feat. The variety of challenges on offer is amazing, and each one offers a very different but very difficult concept to conquer.
That's not even half of the stuff that's included in Afterbirth, though, as there's also: 120 plus new items, 1,000 plus new room designs, 100 plus new enemies, eight new bosses, alternate floor designs, new transformations, a new playable character, a new final area, a new final boss, new soundtracks, a new weapon combo system, and finally tons of new secrets to be discovered. The amount of new content is breathtaking, and Afterbirth could have been sold as a whole new game. Instead, the developer has decided to make it a rather cheap expansion that's well worth a purchase if you enjoyed the base game.
Nicalis has shown up the majority of developers with Afterbirth, highlighting how overpriced and lacklustre some Season Passes can be. The Binding of Isaac fans will be overjoyed with this rather generous package, which is filled to the brim(stone) with new content that will keep you greedily returning for more.