Thursday, 30 August 2012

Binding of Isaac, Now Heading to a Console Near You

Time to spread the pain around.

Even though I haven't touched the game in quite some time (I kinda got burnt out on it) I'm still going to be among the first to admit that Edmund McMillen's Binding of Isaac is a hell of a lot of fun. Up to this point the game has been kept to PC, using the Flash engine. After the release of Wrath of the Lamb and the subsequent updates and bug fixes there was pretty much no more room for the game to go anywhere, at least not in its current form.

That, of course, would be why it's going to be built again from the ground up for a re-release that will include both consoles and the PC yet again. And even for veterans of the first release, it looks like there's probably going to be more than enough here to warrant at least a look at the game once it touches down again.

I'll grant you that it would appear that the game isn't going to be coming for quite some time, but I'm hoping that there will be a lot of tweaks and balancing in addition to all the new content that seems to be promised. Although Flash served the game well it was rather obvious that it was a major stumbling block for any future progress. This does impel the question of what engine they'll ultimately choose to use, but given the simple nature of the game I don't think that there could be many bad choices. It will be intriguing to see if there's a major art shift, or if it will still mostly be the same style. Fanart renderings of some of the enemies and Isaac himself have been nightmarish in scope, and while I wouldn't really expect that I am keenly aware that they might be looking to up the disturbing nature of the enemies somewhat.

The co-op, even if it only remains local (although I hope it does not) represents something of a major shift for the game. I can see power-ups only affecting one player, and so people will have to work out who's going to get what and do what, like a heavy hitter with some support from a character that gets a lot of HP upgrades to act as a tank, or things like that. Of course powerups might also simply be shared between both, but that in and of itself will lead to some people not wanting to take certain items because they don't care for their effects. It's going to have to be give and take either way, and in a game like this that will probably present a major challenge.

The fact that Edmund has stated that, "It will be a new game with all new graphics, music, etc it will also feature an expansion sized pack of all new content, bosses, characters enemies, items etc," means that there's going to be plenty of new stuff to see, which is really the point when it comes to this kind of roguelike game. If there's enough new items and bosses and levels and enemies to go around, then odds are this will be worth it. Of course, it's a long time off, so for now it's all just speculation.

What interests me the most is whether BoI will be showing up on any Nintendo system. You may remember that there were talks to bring it to the 3DS, but that it was shot down for having controversial religious content. At the time of this writing there doesn't seem to have been any comment from the Nintendo camp, although according to McMillen both Sony and Microsoft are quite interested in having a piece of the pie. Whether Nintendo remains staunch or does eventually come around is simply another question that time will have to answer.

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