Is It The End? | The Binding of Isaac: Repentance Discussion

Hey guys! If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I’ve been immersed in anything The Binding of Isaac-related since around 2013. It’s when I finally got a laptop capable of gaming on, and that was one of the games I loaded up. So as I’ve been playing the newest DLC for Rebirth, Repentance, I thought it’d be good to take a trip down memory lane.

I might even make a Pokemon Theme Teams post based on the characters.

There are spoilers ahead!


Needless to say I’ve been having a lot of fun with the DLC. In the first week of playing, it felt like I had a lot more to discover as I carried on, and I suppose it can feel very overwhelming to some people, especially newer players. Now, I hadn’t completed all of the achievements left over from Afterbirth+, so I had some catching up to do, as well as taking on the new challenges, achievements and characters.

Repentance is an official version of the Antibirth mod, and it was a collaboration project to make the Antibirth mod more official. And it works, but more on that storyline later!


Characters

At face value, the two new characters, Bethany and Jacob & Esau, are plenty. I mean, Bethany is a great, fun character, and the pairing of Jacob and Esau, that you have to control together, are nightmares incarnate. But I suppose that’s the whole purpose of the game!

Other characters got some tweaks – Maggie starts with a Full Health pill instead of a Speed Up, The Lost now holds the Eternal D6 instead of the D4, and The Keeper starts with three coin hearts instead of two. I daresay that these changes make the characters a bit more viable, and it also made The Keeper more fun to play as.

But we need to go deeper! And that’s where I start talking about the Tainted characters. For an in-depth analysis of the Tainted characters, this video by SlayXc2 pretty much sums them up. They were teased by Edmund McMillen as well, but you’d have been forgiven for thinking it was an April Fool’s prank. But in essence, they are easy to unlock once you completed the Antibirth storyline and ascend back to Home. Even the Mother ending alludes to the unlock method.

So what are my thoughts? That’ll come soon in another post! But I’ve had a lot of fun failing as Tainted Lost, and Connor really likes Tainted Azazel due to his range increase compared to his regular counterpart. Basically, each character has their really fun unique mechanics that make the gameplay more intriguing or difficult.


Storyline

The core storyline is the same, but it is the alternate path taken through Downpour, Mines, Mausoleum and Corpse that change the storyline. The enemies are more difficult, there are set puzzles (which I can either take or leave, I’m not particularly a fan of the Mines puzzle), and the more difficult Mom boss and Mom’s Heart straight afterwards that make things harder for you. The payoff is worth it, as you explore the Corpse and defeat Mother. That’s a bit of a doozy, but defeating that will basically unlock the other half of the DLC.

Unlocking the secret door is *chef’s kiss*, the best thing is going through and unlocking the Tainted characters, and then fighting the true final boss, The Beast. It kinda has a Cuphead feel towards the end, so you also need to strategise your loadout hard. For example, Dr. Fetus is a no-go here, because gravity. But the final ending is worth it.

I’ve seen a lot of people discuss how the ending is basically the good ending, although I see it as more of the ultimate hallucination ending. I mean, Isaac is dead, after all.


Co-op Gameplay

Repentance included the introduction of multiple-character co-op. Instead of Player 2 controlling baby familliars, they instead control a full character. During our quarantine period, I’ve been really enjoying the co-op gameplay sessions with Connor, as much as we end up screwing each other over! Although I have to beg him to reset if he gets randomised with Tainted Eden, just saying.

It’s a great opportunity to bond with each other, not that we don’t anyway…


Soundtrack

The soundtrack, as always, slaps hard. That’s all I have to say.


Items and Balancing

There’s a plethora of new items that I haven’t even unlocked yet! I’m not the best Isaac player by any means, so I like to take things at my own pace. As for the rebalancing, I’ve enjoyed the process of practically relearning the game, as it were. It took me back to 2013 when I first played the original Flash game, and went into it from there.

I ended up spending hours at a time playing Repentance, and would exit the game only to go back in maybe 10-15 minutes later and carrying on. It’s a bit less now, but I always enjoy going back into it.


Overall, is this DLC worth it? Absolutely! So if you’re a console gamer and you’re waiting for the DLC to drop for you, it’s so worth it!

I haven’t had this much fun in an Isaac game in years, and that’s saying a lot!