Batman: Arkham City DLC Review
It’s been a couple of months since the GREATEST GAME EVAR was released into our world, making it a brighter (if slightly grittier) place. The reasons why I love Batman: Arkham Asylum will be addressed in the review I’ll write the moment I stop playing it long enough to write one. To sum up though – last night my save file got corrupted and was deleted, and I was delighted to start from scratch again.
The question before the courts today is a different one – is the bundles of extra material for sale on PSN and XBOX Live worth your time and money?
Firstly, there’s the Catwoman DLC. This is an item that has rubbed people up the wrong way as it was made freely available to those who bought the game outright whilst those who picked it up 2nd hand have to pay extra. From the developers stand-point this makes sense: retailers a selling and reselling their products for big profits while developers only have the new sales to earn their budget back off. On the flip side, having to pay for DLC that actually makes up a planned and much-hyped part of the story game is a bit bloody weak.
The Catwoman chapters are fun in their own right, but they are brief, few in number and at the end of the day isn’t as much fun to play as Batman. If you want the full experience it should be picked up, but if 100% completion isn’t your thing it’s best left alone.
Next – Nightwing and Robin. More than just skin changes each character, like Catwoman, as a very distinct feel to playing them. They all have strengths and weaknesses and their own unique arsenal of gadgets. Unlike Catwoman they’re only available to play in the Riddler’s Revenge challenge maps. Whether or not you buy these packs is entirely dependant on how much you play the challenge maps. If you’ve completed them all and want more, absolutely get them. Although I’ll say this – there’s something kinda creepy about Nightwing’s face.
Costumes are what they say – they don’t change the skills and moves of the characters and are purely aesthetic. Even the ‘Batman Beyond’ outfit is clearly still Bruce Wayne. For a Batman fanatic who wants to see Dark Knight Rises or Batman, Inc. versions of Batman in a punch up with Solomon Grundy they are extremely well detailed and perfectly represent the versions of the character they are based off.
Finally, the extra levels for the challenge maps. The first set, involving the Black Mask, Freight Train and Wayne Manor maps is interesting but not nearly challenging enough. Wayne Manor is a unique area that will require a different approach than the other maps, but the rest can be done in one play through.
The more recent release is much more interesting. The Batcave predator map will delight fans of Batman as it features a huge amount of detail and items from the comics that you’d expect to see in the Batcave. You’d want to get away from the goons just for the chance to explore everything in detail. The Iceberg Lounge and Joker’s Carnival are more unique. Iceberg Lounge is an endurance match with a very high score to reach to earn your trophies, whilst the highly addictive Carnival sees players ranking up levels that they can cash in for extra time and points bonuses, with the catch being that enemies will become more difficult and diverse as the levels increase and one hit will see you crash back down to Level 0. Addictive, challenging and fun, these will be of more interest to players uninterested in the challenge maps but want an excuse to cut loose.
Batman fans that are in love with the game should grab as much as they can, as it smartly extends the experience with fresh mini-games. Other players may want to pick and choose those bundles that most appeal to them.