Payback is a dish best served by someone Psychologically Unstable, and in DLC: Harley Quinn’s Revenge released as part of the Arkham City Game of the Year Edition we get to see Harley Quinn take the rein as a formidable villain. While this DLC was promoted as a definitive ending to the Arkham City series, this gamer-girl you see before you decided it was a must-play. The following review goes over the 2 hours worth of game-play offered by the DLC: the difference between playing as Robin and Batman through the campaign, and what the DLC has to offer to the overall story. If you haven’t played Batman: Arkham City, please avert thine eyes because the following review contains Spoilers & Easter Eggs found within the previous game.
Now the DLC is in not tied to the main events of the story in the way of game play, you enter into the DLC the way you would for the Catwoman DLC or the Riddler Challenge. The opening for the DLC is very abrupt, and you play as Robin for the first 15 minutes of the game. It is interesting to maneuver Robin because the weapons he uses are slightly different than the plethora of gadgets at your disposal with Batman. Seeing as Robin is part of the main cast for this DLC, it was an exciting preview of what may possibly appear in the next game, but sadly the handle for Robin is second-rate.
The smoothness that you’d expect from playing Batman, does not translate over to the Robin character. It feels very much like you’re playing a rookie-assistant whose gadget prowess is being learned. Also one of the gadgets, ‘Snap Flash’, is meant to be placed on an enemy during an attack, but there are no prompts or a tutorial on how to use it so it gets left at the wayside . I will say that Robin’s fighting style is a lot more brutal and acrobatic, and his baton stick, and metal shield come in very handy among group fights. But if they plan on including him as part of the next game in the series, there needs to be an overhaul on the character’s fight handle, and gadget usage.
Once Robin finds Batman’s utility belt, we are finally caught up on the story. Players are transported to the events of ‘two days prior’ in Batman’s point of view. It’s two weeks since the events at the end of the Arkham City storyline, and Commissioner Gordon calls on Batman to deal with Harley Quinn’s kidnapping of Gotham City Police Officers. Commissioner Gordon and other side characters in the game (inmates, sidekicks, and goons) talk about Batman’s change in character due to the death of Talia and The Joker. Batman’s body language, on the other hand, is very subtle on the changes caused by these two deaths, but it isn’t monumental enough to take notice. I had to remind myself, while playing, that this is a DLC and it feels as if it wasn’t trying to answer the questions left behind at the end of the game’s main story line. It just added more questions…
Harley Quinn, the titled character of this DLC, really offers a look at how her mental psyche has warped since the Joker’s death. From the bubbly blonde with dipped red ends, she turns into a dark-haired volatile roller coaster of vengeance. Harley Quinn goes from a medially hard boss to ridiculously easy. Playing as either Batman or Robin, Harley Quinn gives players a peek at tricks and henchmen that seem to pour out of her…sleeves.The henchmen have changed their attire to fit with the Harley Quinn color-scheme, and become a formidable opponent in your first boss battle against her, while playing as Robin.
Going against Quinn as Robin is challenging because not only does every henchman have a gun,Robin lack the gadgets to disarm them, and the terrain is complex. While it is easy to defeat henchmen in hand-to-hand combat while playing as Robin, it is an added struggle to defeat them when they have weapons that take a massive toll on the health bar. You must glide and grapple between different steel bars in a construction area, and the underground passages greatly help getting past Quinn’s Goons. You must beat up Harley, and leave her unconscious as you go through her plethora of henchmen. In your second run-in with Harley Quinn, you face her as Batman, and I must say it is ridiculously easy. Quinn’s small challenge before facing her entails the Player running all over the Steel Mill trying to find all the bombs she’s hidden scattered around the vicinity.Since Batman has the technology to track all the bombs, the only challenge is the timed clock. Once that is over, you make your way back to Harley Quinn’s Center of Operations and run into an twisted, but easy mini-boss with Robo-Jokers,.
When the final boss battle with Harley Quinn, quickly present itself it’s a simple Counter Attack (Y button or equivalent) push from being a done deal. This DLC final boss battle, did not live up to expectation, and I wish it would have been as difficult as the boss battle with Joker/Clayface/Ra’s at the end of the game.
Despite the boss-battle, the DLC’s ending and Easter Egg answers in the game did put together some of the questions I had from the previous game.
Main Easter Egg Curiousity:
Is Harley Quinn pregnant with a Joker baby?
No… Adding insult to injury Quinn now suffers from the psychological disorder of displacement and expresses it through the creation of the Robo-Jokers, and Scarface ‘Joker Baby’ taking the baby she hoped to place in the crib (college student speak). The Players see the tests surrounding the makeshift baby crib are negative and holds Scarface dressed up as The Joker. While you do get to see the positive pregnancy test where it was in the game main story, the many negative tests are an answer to the many questions of her pregnancy and what it would mean for the next game or if his child would be a lead in to the next game. Obviously, RockSteady has nixed that crazy idea!
The ending to the DLC was another opportunity for RockSteady to expand on Batman and his psychological status, but instead they missed the boat. We get 3 seconds of real breakthrough, but Batman goes back to becoming distant once more as soon as things are set right. If anything, RockSteady may have wanted people to leave the game feeling that Batman became more distant from those around him for fear that they would suffer the way Talia did. That’s just an assumption. I won’t reveal anything else about the ending, but it does leave you with mixed feelings.