Today where DLC's are dime-a-dozen, whether its the "day one" kind or just another bunch of multiplayer maps, it's refreshing to see Rocksteady trying to expand on last years brilliant sequel with Harley Quinn's Revenge.
Unlike the original game, the DLC wastes no time on trying to ease the player into the intricaies of the gameplay mechanics. Harley's revenge throws you into the thick of things and soon you'll be battling mobs of goons, now decked out in Harley's uniforms in all their red, black and white glory.
The DLC picks up a few weeks after the events of Batman Arkham City, and it revolves around the jokers main squeeze, Harlry Quinn out for vengeance on the Batman who she blames for murdering her poor 'Mistah J'. The game opens with Robin going off in pursuit of the missing Dark Knight and from the off, it is quite clear that Batman's friends are worried about him as it seems he is struggling to cope with the death of the Joker and Talia. It makes for an intriguing premise but is only teased and not explored at all except in a few conversations between Robin and Oracle.
The main focus is Harley trying her twisted best to eradicate the Bat and as enjoyable the gameplay is, the story does not live up to my lofty expectations considering Rocksteady's reputation to create engaging narratives.
Throughout the game you alternate between playing as Batman and Robin.
While playing as the Batman is similar to the original, Robin mixes up the playstyle by introducing his own gadgets like the wicked baton/staff which is used not only in combat, but is also used to get past certain obstacles, block gunfire and jet streams. He also uses the snap flash sticky bomb that can be used to knock out unaware enemies and used on environmental objects. Robin also possess his mentors keen detective vision and gadgets like the line launcher, explosive gel, regular and remote-controlled shurikens (Robins version of the Batrang). Robin handles really well although it might take new comers a few tries to get used to him as his combat style is slightly more faster than the Dark Knight.
The combat will be familiar to the people who have already played the Robin challenge room DLC, but it sure is exciting to watch Robin in action in a narrative driven experince, although people expecting to explore the Arkham City sandbox as the Boy Wonder will be disappointed.
Confined within the city's steel mill and a new area called the shipyard, you'll sample bits of the broader Arkham City experience. You'll crawl through ducts, sneak through confined spaces, strategically taking out bad guys, look for clues, follow breadcrumb trails to objective markers, race against the clock to avert disaster, and swing from gargoyle to gargoyle whilst individually picking off armed goons.
While each area is beatifully crafted, you won't find any complleing reason to explore every inch of the world apart for finding another bunch of balloons to compulsively pop.
Harley Quinn's Revenge is quite linear in stark contrast to the main game which goes out of its way to reward players for exploring the environment.
With a price tag of $10 it might seem pricey considering the meagre run time, but if you crave for more Batman, you will not be dissapointed. The DLC clocks in at just under 2 hours and comes with an additional 250 achivement points to harvest.
While it's good to be back in Arkham city, the DLC never reaches the same heights as the orignal game and the end lacks closure. Even so, Harley Quinn's revenge is certainly a DLC worthy of the name and I walked away from it excited by what's to come next for the series.
Platforms: XBLA, PSN, PC
Price: $10, 800 MS Points
(Requires Batman: Arkham City)
Edited by ScrewyAurum, 02 June 2012 - 11:31 PM.