|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Dev: Rocksteady Studios|
|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive|
|Release: May 29, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Alcohol Reference, Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence, Mild Language|
by Josh Wirtanen
This summer is a good time to be a Bat-fan, as the final chapter in Christopher Nolan's film trilogy hits theaters in July and we're all salivating in anticipation. Of course, July feels like a long way off for the more impatient among us. Thankfully, Rocksteady just dropped a pretty substantial piece of content that should kill our Bat-cravings for a while. That's right, Batman: Arkham City's final DLC is here, dubbed Harley Quinn's Revenge, and it brings the Arkham City story to a close. Is it a worthwhile purchase for those of us who loved Arkham City, or is this just Rocksteady's attempt at squeezing every last drop of revenue they can out of the Batman IP?
Well, I would argue that Harley Quinn's Revenge is the first Arkham DLC that doesn't feel like a cheap cash grab. (Unless you consider the Catwoman DLC to be supplemental—which I don't.) This content actually is part of the game's story mode. And not only that, but it allows players to step into the role of Robin. Sure, there was the Robin DLC Bundle that came out a while back, but that only let us take on the game's challenge missions with Tim Drake. This time, we get to actually bring the Boy Wonder into part of the story.
I say "part" here because for about half the time you will be playing as the Dark Knight himself. In fact, during the "open world" segments, you will exclusively play as Batman. Robin's sections are a lot more straightforward and narrower in focus. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. As owners of the Robin DLC Bundle already know, Drake's fighting style is quite a bit different than Batman's, mainly due to the bo staff he wields. It's actually a lot of fun seeing him in action after being so used to Batman's fighting style. Additionally, he has some nifty gadgets to play around with. Most notable is his bullet shield, which can be used to block incoming attacks or bash thugs in the face.
So how's the story? Well, first of all, I must warn potential buyers that this content takes place after the conclusion of the main game. If you purchase the content, you are allowed to access it whether you've finished the main game's storyline or not. But I would strongly recommend finishing Arkham City before playing this. It constantly makes references to the game's ending, in no subtle terms. If you care about spoilers at all, the ending will be completely ruined for you by jumping ahead. And really, Arkham City had one of the most emotionally impacting endings I've seen in a while—I would even venture to say that Rocksteady was pretty ballsy for ending the game the way they did. So just do yourself a favor and finish Arkham City. The DLC will still be there when you're done.
Set just a couple weeks after the events of Arkham City, Harley Quinn's Revenge shows us how Harley is dealing with the events that transpired at the end of the main game. Let's just say she's not taking it well. You begin the content as Robin, searching for Batman after he's been missing for two days. A section of Arkham City is quarantined off by Jim Gordon and the Gotham City P.D., while Harley is on the inside holding officers hostage. It's assumed Batman is mixed into this cocktail of crime and craziness somewhere.
This is the setup for what is ultimately a two-hour return to Arkham City, allowing players to see the aftermath of that whole fiasco. Unfortunately, it feels like there were some missed opportunities here, as this could have been an incredibly emotional ending to the masterpiece that was Arkham City. Instead, it's a tiny little romp that in the beginning seems to suggest that it might explore a darker side of Bruce Wayne's psyche (Oracle claims Bruce hasn't been himself lately) then never delivers on that. But that's not saying it's not entertaining. On the contrary, Harley's Revenge will remind you how fun the combat was in Arkham City. It just lacks the emotional impact of its predecessor.
Of course, another thing fans might find disappointing is the fact that this time we don't have access to the whole of Arkham City; we're confined to the Industrial District. The good news, though, is that we get to explore a couple new places we didn't have access to in the base game. Additionally, there is a new faction of thugs to dispose of, all wearing Harley Quinn-inspired getup.