Let me get some details out of the way and forgive me as this is my first review. I’ve completed Harley Quinn’s Revenge, an piece of DLC for Batman: Arkham City that was released for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on May 29th for 800 MS Points and $9.99 respectively. I played through it on the Xbox 360 using the newer S model of the 360. I also have Batman: AC installed to my hard drive to cutdown on load times and texture pop-in. It took me a few seconds over 90 minutes to complete the DLC in it’s entirety. That is with some extra exploration in an attempt to complete some of the achievements attached to side objectives. This may contain minor spoilers as it does take place after the credits have rolled on the main campaign.
Story: The content takes place after the main story and features Robin, Batman’s iconic sidekick, and a grief wrought Harley Quinn who is in mourning of the fate of the Joker at the end of the main game. Batman has been captured by Harley Quinn in an attempt to lure Robin into whatever machinations she can conjure up, which sadly are the typical villain cliches, steal bombs, take hostages, and demand that Batman turn himself over to you or you will blow everyone up. There are a few cutscenes that deliver the same high quality voice acting and animations you’ve come to expect from Rocksteady. The last one is especially gripping in that both our heroes’ fates are unknown until the final moments.
Gameplay: Your experience will be divided in 4 sections alternating between Batman and his sidekick Robin. Batman returns with all the gadgets he obtained throughout the main story and is fully upgraded. Robin is interesting in that he has a few new gadgets that aid him in battling the bad guys. He makes use of a telescoping staff as his primary mode of attack and has a shield that can be activated out of that staff to protect him against gunfire and attacks. He can also use that shield to “Shield Bash” enemies and knock them off balance allowing for incredible combos to be performed. In addition he has the ability to “Zip Kick” an enemy which entails him firing his version of the Batclaw at an enemy and propelling himself forward kicking the enemy knocking them down. His last character specific gadget is this tiny little thing called Snap Flash that is basically a stun mine that can be placed on enemies or on environmental objects then detonated from a distance to disarm and disorient multiple enemies. Robin is also fully upgraded off the bat and only acquires one new gadget in the course of this DLC. Therein lies a small complaint. There is no character progression in terms of experience and upgrades that the main game had. You are given maxed out characters. I suppose since this takes place after the main game it’s understandable. I did miss that aspect though. It’s also of note that while the first of Batman’s sections is “free roam” this is a very linear story that has you backtrack a number of times. With that lack of free roam you also lose the much enjoyed Riddler Challenges which is sad because there were quite a few places they could have tucked a couple Riddle Trophies. There is basically one side mission that involves popping Harley Quinn themed balloons throughout this campaign. No real added bonus for completing it beside an achievement worth 50 gamerscore. Which brings me to my next section…
Achievements: A pretty easy group here. They can all be completed in one playthrough. They involve popping all the Harley Balloons, performing a few of Robin’s new tricks a certain number of times and completing a certain event in a specific amount of time as well as plot related achievements. 10 in total for 250 gamerscore.
Visuals: I didn’t really notice anything particularly ugly in terms of textures or geometry. There was some minor pop-in, but that is a side effect of the Unreal Engine 3. Robin’s costume is pretty well designed, but simple in that it doesn’t have the extra rivets and armor plating that Batman’s outfit does. Harley Quinn’s new attire is a nice change of pace from her Nurse outfit, which is actually on display at one point, and shows off her assets much like much like her other ones did.
Sound: I’m playing the game on a 5.1 home theater system for full effect. Everything sounds great, but there isn’t a whole lot of use of the surround speakers. I’ve found this to be inherent in most games though. Besides that minor quip all the punches, kicks, and heads slammed on the ground are felt. The music is the same iconic riffs that play for most of the game which is fine with me.
Conclusion: Harley Quinn’s Revenge is a short epilogue that provides the same style of gameplay with some extra added elements in the form of Batman’s sidekick while maintaining the level of detail as the main campaign minus the free roam and Riddler Challenges. Is it a must play? No. Did I think it was worth the 800 MS Points? Yes, but you’d be perfectly alright waiting for it to go on sale as there is nothing really pressing about the story that screams “Play me!” If you want more of the same goodness that is Arkham City you’ll mostly enjoy Harley Quinn’s Revenge. If I must attach a numerical score to this based on a scale of 1 to 10 I’d rank it at a 8. Pretty good, but not amazing.
Final Score: 8
P.S. Thanks for taking the time to read my review. Pardon my spelling and grammar errors be there any. Also if you have any suggestions or requests please feel free to drop me a line. I’m hoping to provide this service for quite a while as I play lots of games and have been told I have a great opinion of them. As a final note all mentions of Microsoft, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Sony, Playstation Network(PSN), Batman, Robin, Joker, Harley Quinn, Rocksteady, Arkham City, and elements of Rocksteady’s amazing game are the property of the respectful owners and I lay no claim to any of those things. This is merely my opinion of their product.