Review: Batman: Arkham City “Harley Quinn’s Revenge” DLCMatt Gosper 4 June 2012
After many long months, lovers of Batman: Arkham City have a reason to return to their singeplayer game in the form of new DLC, Harley Quinn’s Revenge. I was glad to finally see some single player content for this game, beyond the avalanche of skin packs. Whenever a game like this comes out with challenge maps/rooms, I pretty much resign myself that they have no intent to expand on the main campaign – so it was a nice surprise to have “Harley’s Revenge” arrive on the scene.
Be aware folks, this DLC occurs after the END of the game, so spoiler alert if you haven’t finished!
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The “Harley’s Revenge” DLC is delivered as a separate ‘episode’, outside of the main game. As I’d already completed the game at time of review, I’m unsure whether it would be unlocked straight away for a new player, or if it would only open up on completion of the main story (similar to the Catwoman episodes that unlock when you reach their position in the story). Weeks have passe dsince the climactic events at the end of the main game – Arkham City still stands, the Joker is still dead and Harley is still grieving over his loss. After being relocated to a psychiatric facility she has busted out and returned to the headquarters of her beloved ‘Mistah J’, now converted into a massive memorial to him and her intended revenge against Batman. She’s taken a group of police officers hostage, and Batman puts it upon himself to rescue her.
Unfortunately it doesn’t all go to plan so the DLC opens up with you playing as Robin, searching for the Bat’s whereabouts. Throughout the DLC you’ll switch between Robin and Batman himself, using their unique abilities to bypass obstacles. As impressive as that sound there’s really not a huge difference in playing the two characters – Robin has some different gadgets, sure, but they mostly achieve the same ends. What few differing gadgets he has are officially introduced fairly late in the DLC meaning you may not get much use out of them. Personally I would have preferred Nigthwing to play as – his gadgetry felt a little bit more varied in the challenge maps, but I understand how that would be a whole other story hurdle for newcomers to the Dark Knight’s story.
The combat is at its usual standard for the Arkham games, but the long gap between the game’s release and this DLC’s release – and its separation from the main game world – left me feeling like it could have gradually ‘reinitiated’ us to the combat. Right from the get-go you will find yourself faced by large groups of enemies with all of the enemy types – standard, knife-wielders, shield enemies, gun-wielders and stun-weapon guys all at once. Given it’s been a good 6-7 months since the game arrived, it’s a shock to the memory to try and pick this all up again immediately.
All in all, this DLC delivers – the story is strong, and with all the original voice actors returning it does feel like a true continuation of the main story. There are hints dropped that Bats isn’t in the best frame of mind since Joker’s demise, possibly hinting at where a third Arkham title could head. Batman and Joker have often been described as polar opposites, balancing each other out. Perhaps we’ll be playing as Robin and the rest of the Batfamily more if the big bat goes off his rocker in time for the inevitable Batman: Arkham County?