Google+

Batman: Arkham City - Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC review

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.

Our Verdict

Buy It.

This downloadable content was reviewed using the Xbox 360 version.

14 comments

  • FOZ - May 29, 2012 11:59 a.m.

    2 more hours of the steel mill? No thanks.
  • rockstarsean - May 29, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    "Buy it/10" Take that Metacritic
  • metalgatesolid - May 29, 2012 12:38 p.m.

    The story of batman arkham city is what has made me love batman even more. The dlc no matter if it is set in the steel mill will finish off the arkham city story perfectly. Batman is one of the best games of this generation and anyone doubting the dlc should remember how great the game is and out money towards helping rocksteady create the Gotham city game we all dream of.
  • TheCakeIsaPie - May 29, 2012 1:41 p.m.

    What manner of trickery is this, Hank? How am I supposed to understand a review unless it has a numbered score appended to it? Is this DLC a 10 or a 1? Come on, man! You don't expect me to read a bunch of words and create an informed opinion on my own, do you? That's sick, man.
  • Redeater - May 29, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    I might have to check out a couple other reviews before I decide. Maybe it is just what I am reading into it but this review sounded like a very reluctant "buy it". I really hated all the challenge room activities in the original and if it's just the steel mill with a few new cut scenes I think I'm leaning towards skipping it.
  • slimjim441 - May 29, 2012 3:03 p.m.

    Does this mean Robin can explore Arkham City like Bats and Catwoman?
  • GR_HenryGilbert - May 29, 2012 4:16 p.m.

    Robin is restricted to in door levels
  • slimjim441 - May 29, 2012 5:07 p.m.

    Bummer. I guess it's cool that now Robin plays a bigger part in the story than showing up to give Batman a toy and GTFOing faster than you can say, 'Holy minimal appearance, Batman!' but I was still hoping they might make him and Nightwing able to traverse the town at some point.
  • DevonOO7 - May 29, 2012 4:09 p.m.

    PC?
  • Viron - May 29, 2012 5:02 p.m.

    "That's a sensation that continues throughout the DLC: comforting familiarity with the nagging feeling of sameness." Really? Cause that is the sensation I got throughout Arkham City. So more of the same, great.
  • gilgamesh310 - May 29, 2012 6:08 p.m.

    That's a good point. It's what most sequels effectively are.
  • almostlikelife - May 29, 2012 7:10 p.m.

    That was not even two hours. Hour and fifteen minutes, tops. I wasn't expecting an all-new 5 or 6 hour experience, but I certainly was thinking there would be more to it than there was. Seriously, $10 for just over an hour of "new" content?
  • Cyberninja - May 29, 2012 8:27 p.m.

    I will only buy it if they have an ultimate dlc bundle for $20.
  • accidentprone88 - May 29, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    Painfully dull retread. Breaks no new ground and somehow manages to feel less fun than the main game, which I count as one of my top five favorites of all time. The length (MAYBE slightly more than one hour) is an absolute insult for even a five dollar price tag and I don't know how anyone would eke out two hours unless they refused to use the run function. The plot, as it were, boils down to Harley Quinn being sad. That's it. If you're expecting any more in the plot department, go read Mad Love again, because this story is undercooked and half-assed even by the most relaxed standards. There's nothing here that hints at a greater depth and the lack of any forward motion in the story is easily the biggest missed opportunity with this DLC. The whole "Batman disappearing" angle doesn't even go anywhere, making it as pointless as it nonsensical (Harley Quinn traps him in a hamster ball. Seriously). Needless to say, I'm VERY curious as to what "hints for the future" were sprinkled in. This is easily my biggest gaming disappointment in a long time. Calling it a missed opportunity would be kind, honestly. I think waste of time will suffice.

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000