Article written by Blair Inglis.
Published on 07/06/2012 at 09:00 AM.
Arkham City was a brilliant, expansive and, perhaps most importantly, free roaming adventure filled with a solid mixture of Batmanâ€™s greatest friends and foes. Harley Quinnâ€™s role in the game wasnâ€™t small by any means, though unlike most of Batmanâ€™s greatest foes, she never truly got a section to call her own, standing in the shadow of the Joker throughout his and Batmanâ€™s lengthy face-off.
Robin, too, never really got a chance to shine in the main story of Arkham City, with his small role being more of a cameo than anything else. So, the Robin and Harley aficionados out there will be happy to hear that Arkham Cityâ€™s latest DLC, set after the events of the main story, not only focuses on Batman but also the other half of the Dynamic Duo and their showdown with Harley Quinn, the titular antagonist.
- Continues the main story of Arkham City, taking place after the ending.
- Out now for PS3, Xbox 360 & PC.
- ÂŁ6.49 PSN, 800MSP, ÂŁ6.75 PC.
It may seem natural that Revenge is focused around this small part of Arkham City since it has a much smaller price tag, but at the same time it doesnâ€™t really work; other sidequests in Arkham City played out across the entire game world, so it doesnâ€™t make much sense that Harleyâ€™s Revenge, at its core an expansion, cuts the content down. This DLC should have (and more importantly could have) slotted nicely into the main game after completion, but instead acts as a standalone option, only accessible from the main menu.
Robin, though, is the true hero of Harleyâ€™s Revenge; heâ€™s made an appearance in his challenge maps DLC before, but gets much more freedom and story time in this DLC, even if Batman still doesnâ€™t appreciate his help. His combat is smooth and as fluid as Batmanâ€™s, his gadgets are as brilliant and equally useful: thereâ€™s a bullet shield to protect against enemies armed with guns; a zip-kick, which almost combines the powers of Batmanâ€™s grappling hook and line launcher; and the snap flash, which is essentially a discreet bomb.
Whilst Robinâ€™s gameplay is solid, the sections in which you play as him are quite poor. Thereâ€™s one exception with the final stand-off, but otherwise Robinâ€™s sections are linear, uninspired levels with a heavy focus on combat. This set of rooms, in comparison to Batmanâ€™s own limited – though much more expansive and both outdoor and indoor – sections is simply disappointing.
Although itâ€™s an intertwining story, it isnâ€™t executed very well; the narrative is often boring and doesnâ€™t really add anything to Arkham City, story-wise. It might please the die-hard Batman fans, but itâ€™s ultimately poorly put together.
And itâ€™s still a part of a Batman game, which is one of the best games of last year, so we canâ€™t forget all of the content that made Arkham City so good: the flowing combat system, the nifty detective mode, the useful gadgets, brilliant visuals and everything else remain, so Harleyâ€™s Revenge is as technically as sound as City was last year.
The DLC only lasts an hour or two, though, and still manages to drag at certain points. Youâ€™ll be able to squeeze around three hours at most out of it, if you go hunting for all of the Harley balloons and try to collect the combat-specific trophies and achievements, but itâ€™s ultimately not as fun as the hours spent on other sidequests in the main game.
Nothing new in Harleyâ€™s Revenge quite matches up to the magic of Arkham City; this additional content feels much like an afterthought – a sidequest – rather than a continuation of the game. Itâ€™s needless, poorly designed and doesnâ€™t really add anything to the Arkham mythos. If this wasnâ€™t built around a game with features as solid as Arkham Cityâ€™s, it would be much worse. Thankfully, itâ€™s saved by the foundations that were already there, along with a few new features including the great Red Robin as a playable character and Harley’s brilliant role as the antagonist.
It’s a bit like the Mass Effect 3 ending: a pointless and disappointing continuation of an otherwise excellent game. The core features remain, there’s a few good things but it ultimately feels needless and limited.