The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is out now so we’d better sort out once and for all what it actually is

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 06:10 GMT

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is an expansion to the Rebirth remake that shares a name with previous expansion and oh gosh why is this so complicated.


If you’re a big fan of The Binding of Isaac, you don’t need to read this article – you already know what you need to. Afterbirth+ is out on Steam. Go get it, tiger – if you own Afterbirth, it’s 33% off until January 10. Look for it on consoles in northern spring.

If you’re only sort of tangentially aware of the whole The Binding of Isaac thing, now is a really good time to get on board: Afterbirth+ is the final, definitive version of a game with a complicated history.

As Edmund McMillen wrote on The Binding of Isaac blog, Afterbirth+ will “close the book on a five year journey”. During this time, The Binding of Isaac has transformed from a free Flash project to a commercial release, got a DLC expansion called Wrath of the Lamb, was remade as The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, and received another expansion pack called Afterbirth.

Now here comes Afterbirth+, and you need both The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and the Afterbirth expansion to play it. Afterbirth+ adds new items, enemies, unlockables, achievements, endings and an extra playable character, but what makes it extra special is it also adds mod tools and supports user-made mods.

Although this is officially the end of The Binding of Isaac development (McMillen may weaken and come back), there will be new content. The best mods will be rounded up and released for free as monthly “Booster Packs”, which will make them officially part of the game. That means Booster pack content is compatible with unlocking in-game content and achievements, which is normally a no-no with mods.

So it’s both the end and the beginning of the story of The Binding of Isaac, and that makes it a pretty good time to check it out, I reckon. Now cross your fingers McMillen goes back to Team Meat and cracks on with Mew-Genics already.

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