Batman: Arkham City is undoubtedly one of last year’s best games. It took the world and design built for Batman: Arkham Asylum, improved on that game in almost every way, and gave players one of the purest Batman experiences you'll find in any medium. That’s an incredibly hard act to follow, but before the developers moves on to the next game, they’ve brought us to Arkham one last time in the downloadable epilogue Harley Quinn’s Revenge. And while it’s enjoyable for many of the reasons we love the main game, it didn't break any new ground.
The Harley-centric DLC – it also comes with the repackaged Game of the Year edition – takes place sometime after the epic finale to B:AC, so watch out for SPOILERS AHEAD in both the game and this review. The story revolves around Joker’s biggest supporter and main squeeze Harley Quinn as she shifts from mourning to vengeance, becoming intently focused on making Batman pay for the loss of Mr. J. Bats returned to Arkham City to confront her and has since gone missing, leading his constant chum Robin to search for him.
The vast majority of the game takes place in the derelict steel mill hideout of the Joker’s gang, and despite some new window dressing, it’s basically the same collection dingy walls and untended steam pipes. Exploring it from the start with Robin at least gives it a slightly different feel, as the Boy Wonder fights marginally differently from Bats and has new gadgets, but is familiar enough that in just a few minutes we were stalking the dark with ease. That's a sensation that continues throughout the DLC: comforting familiarity with the nagging feeling of sameness.
As the story progresses you switch between Robin and Batman a couple times, but both sections follow a similar formula. You search for something until it leads you to a room filled with Harley’s gang of thugs, and after you beat the crap out of them, you hunt for the next thing. The searches and number of henchmen keep growing in size, but there's not much more variety than that. The core gameplay is as satisfying as before, but it's missing the mission variety that the source pulled off so masterfully.
There are a few stealth rooms to challenge you and couple segments that are technically boss fights, but again those fall short compared to the quality of the main game. We had hoped Rocksteady had more new content up its sleeve, but while the plot is all new, the gameplay merely mixes up the greatest hits from AC. Though don't think that means there are a ton of new developments in the plot either, as the devs deliver a light sprinkling of hints for the future.
Despite dropping clues here and there for Batman’s future, Harley’s Revenge is more of a coda to Arkham City than a continuation, one last taste of everything we loved about last fall’s triumph. A little over two hours long with limited collectibles to bring you back, the $10 price tag almost asks too much, but ultimately it’s a price worth paying. If you’re one of the many that put dozens of hours into Arkham City, this DLC is worth it to see the Dark Knight return.
This downloadable content was reviewed using the Xbox 360 version.
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