Field Report: Batman Arkham City - Harley Quinn's Revenge
by Andrew Yoon, shacknews.com, May 30, 2012 1:00PM PDT
Note: This review includes spoilers from Batman: Arkham City.
Harley Quinn's Revenge is everything Batman fans have been waiting for from Arkham City DLC. This isn't a collection of costumes or challenge maps, but a honest-to-goodness expansion of the campaign. With voice acting, to boot. Taking place immediately after the events of the main story of Arkham City, it places you in the shoes of both Batman and Robin--an enticing proposition that should make the $10 asking price "worth it."
While everyone that's enjoyed Arkham City will enjoy the two hour romp through Harley Quinn's Revenge, this epilogue doesn't really hit the same high moments that the original game did. Set in the aftermath of Arkham's dramatic finale, Revenge does little to advance the story. There are allusions to Bruce's troubled mental state since the multiple deaths of Arkham City--but unfortunately, there's little more than the occasional perfunctory comment here and there. You see a tiny glimpse into Bruce's relationship with Tim--but once again, it's very little, as the two share about a minute of screen time together. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of Quinn's story is the blatant placement of a baby carriage, further elaborating on one of Arkham City's more subtle Easter eggs.
Playing as Robin is definitely the highlight of this expansion. Anyone that's played his challenge map DLC will know that he has a slightly different arsenal at his disposal than the Batman, his Bullet Shield being his most unique tool. It's fun to traverse the environment as Robin, but I was quite disappointed to discover that Robin can only access the interior of the Steel Mill. He cannot explore Arkham City, even in a limited capacity.
While you play as Robin for about half the story, the other half features Batman. While battling goons, interrogating henchmen, and playing detective is no less fun--it definitely doesn't feel as "new" as what Robin has to offer. Arkham City's main campaign spends a lot of time around the Steel Mill, so it's a bit disappointing to see Batman return to an area that's already been well-explored. The only bit of genuine excitement comes towards the end, when Batman has to diffuse bombs in a set amount of time. To succeed, you really have to show mastery of both Batman's combat and traversal.
Harley Quinn's Revenge could have been much more than what it ended up being. There are some genuine missteps, from a terrible "boss fight" to a genuinely anticlimactic ending. There are also some missed opportunities, such as offering a new locale to visit, or the ability to use Robin in Free Roam. And while it may not be as polished as the original Arkham City, Revenge does offer more of what we've come to love out of the franchise. For $10, I'd gladly buy more "episodes" like this.
Field Reports provide our first-hand experience with the latest games and expansion packs. This report is based on the PlayStation 3 version of the game, with DLC purchased by the reviewer.