‘Arkham City: Harley Quinn’s Revenge’ Review
When Batman: Arkham City landed on consoles last year it was a dream come true for Batman fans and gamers. For the former it was a gosh-darn Batman simulator. We could sweep through the skylines, stalk villains through the shadows and go toe-to-toe with personalities like The Joker, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face and more. For gamers it was a tight, solid adventure game with responsive controls, an engaging story and awesome design. It’s well deserving of the many accolades and awards heaped on it.
It wasn’t perfect but it came pretty darn close to it. It certainly couldn’t be accused of being lacking in volume. In addition to the well layered story there’s just as much time and fun to be spent on the side-quests and collectable hunting. Everything you did gave you more gadgets to play with and awesome skills. Plus there’s the occasional chapter playing as Catwoman. For those for whom this wasn’t enough you could also work through the challenge rooms as Batman, Catwoman, Robin or Nightwing. Plenty of goodies. It has been a while though and even the slowest player should’ve played it out. Which is why it’s great have this new nugget of DLC turn up.
‘Harley’s Revenge’ picks up the story a couple of weeks after the events of the main game. Arkham City has been condemned and things have started returning to normal. Harley Quinn, devastated by the events following Protocol Ten, has kidnapped some members of Commissioner Gordon’s unit and prepared for a siege in the steel mill and shipping yard. When Batman heads in to confront the former psychiatrist turned arch-criminal only to disappear. Now it’s up to Robin to go in after him. As withArkham City the story is damn fine, with the comic characters brought perfectly to life. There’s plenty of twists and turns but the most interesting part is gaining a greater insight into how damaged Harley Quinn is. A few sly remarks from Gordon, Barbara and Robin hint that there’s more story to tell. The new design on the Harley’s gang members is pretty sweet and the crazy goth Harley look is very cool even it is out of character (given the circumstances it makes sense).
The combat, stealth and other gameplay elements are lifted directly from the rest of the game, meaning that it’s of the same high quality. It’s been stripped down, reducing the collectables down to just popping Harley balloons. There’s no new gadgets and techniques to unlock, and there’s no upgrades available for Robin. This is the only major downside to this pack, as it would’ve felt like a natural extension of the main story instead of an optional extra (plus who doesn’t like new gadgets). There’s even an opening for it when Robin finds Batman’s discarded utility belt from which he might have salvaged some gear, but it’s not to be. Looking at the silver lining, the more grass roots approach to overcoming obstacles is a fresh challenge.
Now for the big question: is it worth it. If you are, like me, a madcap Batman fanatic for whom any downside could be forgiven if the Bat-logo is stamped on it then you’ve already bought it, played it and are waiting for the next DLC. If you’re all about the story and want to see what Harley has in store for Batman and Robin then it’s another two odd hours of awesomeness. If you don’t want to pay for more content that doesn’t step up the overall experience then you should give it a pass.