Batman AC: Harley Quinn’s Revenge: Anything but in Loving Memory
I’m going to preface this review by saying that I love the Arkham series more than I can ever describe, how it has portrayed Batman in such a manner as to make him both awesome and interactive is nothing short of a miracle; however, the DLC for Arkham City has been less-than exciting. Catwoman was a pointless addition, adding little to nothing in terms of storyline content, and wasn’t nearly as interesting as it was originally touted, so when I heard about DLC that would take place after the main events of the game, I thought that this would be DLC worth paying top-dollar for!
...I was wrong.
Harley Quinn’s Revenge is, in a nutshell, not worth it. It has little to add to an already amazing story, whose ending is still haunting and memorable even to this day. Taking place a few weeks after the end of Arkham City, the player, controlling Robin, the boy wonder, is attempting to investigate just what happened to Batman, as he has gone missing on a routine mission to free some hostage-cops from the grasp of Harley Quinn. Robin must scour the area of the city that was originally Joker’s in order to find out just what happened to Batman, and with the help of his gadgets, few in number, but still highly useful, he must get through the maze of Harley’s thugs to find and free the Dark Knight. The story switches perspectives at points in order to fill in the blanks in events, so you do get more than a fair spin at the caped crusader as well as Robin, but it all feels a little loose, the narrative isn’t really the drive here, it’s the unanswered questions from the ending of the main game that are the focus here...however, you’ll never get anything by way of an explanation of events in this DLC, as there are more questions being raised than answers, with some easter eggs contradicting some found in the main story. Overall, it just feels like a weak excuse to show that Batman is upset over the outcome of the main story, but we never get to see it, and the DLC abruptly ends, has about forty seconds of music-filler, and then goes silent while the credits roll...did they run over budget or just forget to add some things to this?
Robin himself plays in a kind of buttoned down, faster way to batman. He uses a bo-staff that can double as a bullet absorbing shield, along with a few other gadgets which allow him to traverse areas in his own way, and tackle enemies in a more gadget-based stealth-orientated play-style. However, the same issues from the main story still plague the fun to be had here, as enemies won’t line up properly to pull off appropriate takedown moves, combos will drop far too easily, attacks will be wasted on the air, and the amount of damage you take in actually insultingly unreal compared to the main storyline, lining up more with a fractured difficulty curve between new game plus difficulty and normal difficulty. Although Robin is an interesting character to play, much like Catwoman, the fact that he’s confined most of the time to a copy/paste area from the last levels of the main storyline defeat the purpose of having Robin as a character, as eventually you just take the role of Batman once more. Combat with Robin relies heavily on the bo-staff and the same reaction times as the combat system with Batman required, although Robin is a lot more nimble and capable of countering and stunning faster than Batman, though not as fast as Catwomen, though he is a fairly decent balance between the two. There are also balloons to destroy, thirty in all, which give you an achievement...big woop.
The voice acting, like always, is extremely good, with all of the voice-actors delivering a performance of conviction. The music is still amazing, playing on the sense of depression left over after the end of the main story, although it doesn’t really have any effect on the player following the sounds of gunfire and thugs having their usual banter despite being stalked by ninja-like crimefighters.
Coming in at in-or-around an hour and a half, Harley Quinn’s Revenge doesn’t really have anything special to offer the player, other than a playthough of an old level with Robin, and some foreshadowing over some uncertain and unspecific events in the future. The enemy varieties are not any different than before, they just have different skins, and other than the character of Robin, this doesn’t really have anything to offer by way of boss battles either...think Two-Face from Catwoman’s DLC, but less annoying, and then a really crappy final boss fight that requires you to counter...and that’s it. The game has nothing to offer in terms of closure, just a new character and some pointless additions to an already well-liked story.
An average DLC, but not great, if you love Robin and want to test him out in-game, feel free to buy this. If you loved Arkham City and want an excuse to give it a spin again, this is for you, but I’d highly recommend waiting for a price drop, as 800 MS points is too steep a price for what is essentially nothing too impressive or significant to the overall plot.
· More Arkham City
· Robin has some interesting gadgets and an interesting play-style
· Combat for Robin is a mid-way between Catwoman and Batman
· Bo-Staff with built in shield, what more could you want?
· Little to no closure
· Combat system is still finicky
· Lack of emotional insight and depth into Batman’s mentality
· Boss fights are god-awful
· Not worth 800 MS points
· Basically uses copy/paste of final level of main story to drain some kind of emotional response from the player, to no avail.
· Collectibles are even more pointless here than they were in the main game.
WTF? Moment: So seriously now...why put contradicting easter eggs and confusing foreshadowing into a DLC for a game released in October 2011, that should have been supported better via single-player content to make things more interesting, god knows when the next instalment will be out, or if it’ll lead into a new game entirely, a poor show by Rocksteady.