Rocksteady’s recent Harley Quinn DLC for Batman Arkham City gave me another excuse to jump back into the incredible world of Batman, and to experience Robin in a more prominent role than before. So I dusted off my cape and donned my utility belt and headed back into Arkham City. But is the DLC worth it and does it do justice to the Batman series?
7.0 / 10
Expanding Robin’s story gives more of an insight into his relationship with Batman.
It was much too short of a DLC and left me wanting more.
Pretty lackluster experience on the whole with a linear storyline.
Note: This review contains spoilers for the main story of Batman Arkham City and Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC.
Harley Quinn’s Revenge sought to give more of a backstory to both Batman and Harley Quinn following the Joker’s death at the end of the main story. Although we certainly see the effect Joker’s death has had on Harley, Batman is supposedly ‘struggling’ with the loss of Talia and Joker. Characters throughout the DLC such as Jim Gordon and Robin make comments describing Batman as being an emotional wreck after the events of Arkham City, but the hero is as stoic as ever, he himself shows no signs of being affected dehumanizing him as a character.
The DLC does not offer a lot of replayability for its 800 microsoft point price. If your decent at Batman Arkham City player the story should take you no more than about 75 minutes. This is in of itself is a problem, I wanted to see more intense battles and it felt like the story just ended abruptly, like there was something missing. I understand that as the DLC featured Harley Quinn as the major enemy the story couldn’t have been too eloquent or complicated, but I felt that perhaps other supervillains could have been incorporated into the DLC perhaps taking less of an emphasis on Harley, but also exploring more chapters of the Batman story following the events of Batman Arkham City.
The DLC was also completely separate from the main story and you are cornered off into the Industrial District and Steel Mill areas of the map. This was not much of a problem but it did localise ‘Harley’s Revenge’ as only having a small effect on Arkham City. Whilst this made getting some of Harley’s Balloons easier to find we do not get a very good look at how the rest of Arkham City has changed (with the exception of a new metal bridge) and what was slightly more disappointing was that we didn’t see any turf wars with Two-Faces thugs which would have added more depth to the story and presented Harley as a greater force to be wrecking with.
In saying all that there were elements of the DLC that appealed to me. For example Harley is seen as a hysterical leader mourning the death of Joker. Her twisted plots and her frequent rants about Joker being the perfect leader made me personally feel sad for her loss. The goons who fall under her leadership also seem uncertain on how Harley is dealing with the situation and whether or not she is a good leader whereas others see Harley as ‘available’ and try their “moves” on her in some pretty funny dialogue.
The voice acting again was flawless and it was great to her Robin talk more and seeing him as chilled crime fighter balancing out the serious and ever stern Bruce Wayne. Speaking of Robin it was great to see Robin in some story-based gameplay. It was disappointing to see his minimal impact on the main story and so playing him in Harley Quinn’s Revenge was refreshing. The “Boy Wonder” illustrates that he isn’t just some mere sidekick but can be an independent hero all to himself. It also gives us an opportunity to use Robin’s different gadgets making defeating a lot of Robin’s challenge maps easier to tackle.
Even though the story lacks a lot of substance the great gameplay mechanics are back, with some rather interesting mix-ups towards the end of the DLC, which may challenge some of the more inept Batmans out there. Graphics were also another big plus, the new environments you explore in the game are choc-full of Easter eggs and incredible detail. Harley and her goons also sport an entirely new look as a sign of reverence to the Joker giving us a profound look at the effect his death has had on his thugs.
Although the DLC did have a lot of the elements that made Batman Arkham City’s main story so compelling, it did not provide us with a deep story. As I was beginning to get stuck into the story it just ended and after going back to get the collectables and finishing the story for a second time I felt deflated and was begging for more. Hopefully this will not be the last DLC we see from Batman Arkham City but as they have announced a GOTY version of the game it would suggest that there will be no more expansions on the game.
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