The premise of The Binding of Isaac seems a skewering of religion, as the game parallels the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac, with tendencies towards religious mania and child abuse. The game begins by introducing us to a more contemporary version of Isaac and his mother, an avid viewer of Christian television. Believing that she has heard a voice from God that has instructed her to purge Isaac of evil, she aims to do so. This request, to purge her son of evil, is put to her twice before the more ominous command to kill her son is finally given.
Thus, begins the game, a shmup and rogue-like that obviously owes something to games like Zelda, Bezerk, and Diablo. Isaac’s attempts to escape his fate lead him to flee down a trapdoor in his room into an underworld full of grotesque monsters that he battles with his own tears (the “bullets” of this shmup).