Written by Ryan Johnson (RyanDJ) Monday, 04 June 2012 06:00
Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC for Batman: Arkham City came out on May 29th. There has been a lot of hype regarding this DLC, as it is officially storyline DLC, and not just more challenge maps. It retails for 800 MSP/$10. Is it worth it?
As a huge fan of the storyline for Arkham City, Harley Quinn's Revenge (HQR) has definitely been on my radar for quite some time. I was finally able to download it this weekend, and my first impressions are mixed. In terms of the gameplay, it is 100% Arkham City, and a blast. Robin being added to story is welcome. It's the presentation of this piece that throws me for the biggest loops.
First off, the DLC is not added into the story mode in any way. The DLC creates an icon on the main screen, and shuffled into the middle of the ones you already know. I saw a new box on the menu, and went to it, only to find that new position was the credits, and had to search for HQR. Didn't take long, I know, but it felt odd. Secondly, you can access it any time. Only thing holding you back is a note that says "contains spoilers for main game." LISTEN TO THAT VOICE. If you haven't finished the main quest (side missions optional), FINISH IT BEFORE PLAYING THIS. That's all I'm going to say to avoid the same potential mistake that I did.
Entering the game was a bit disappointing: As Robin surveys the district from the outside of Harley's base, it feels freeing: a new character to explore the world with. But before I got my hands on him, the cutscene showed an entrance to the base and I thought "oh.....no." Yep. The cutscene takes Robin straight inside the game and you can't even grapple back out. With only one way in, his story part becomes highly linear. The original feeling of freedom suddenly felt like a line of challenge maps.
Robin's first foray was short lived, then Batman took over outside of the base again. I try to fly around, only to be dragged back. I am sorry, but I do NOT see the benefit of this. How many times in the main story did something of a pressing nature arise, and then I spent the next two hours hunting Riddler trophies? Why is it all of a sudden Batman has these priorities that can't be wavered?
When my gaming session with HQR came to an end. I was tired, and it felt like "if this is Arkham City, it's gonna take a few sit-downs to be done." I saved and went to the stat menu. The stats read that I was 45% done with the campaign. Basically, two average sit-downs with the DLC will finish it, one if you're a hardcore gamer. Why all the limitations? We have taken an open-world epic that is Arkham City, and eliminated 100% of the exploring, turning it into a linear campaign that ACHES for more time. If it really takes me 2-4 hours to complete this in total, I question the $10 price tag. If nothing new arises at the end of the storyline, it'll be $10 for 250 Achievement Points and there is DLC that is literally pointless to play ever again at completion. In a couple days, if anything on this review changes at completion, I'll write another article or a comment on this one.
Harley Quinn's Revenge is honestly an amazingly fun add-on. Don't let all my negatives distract you from that fact if you are a huge Arkham City fan. But the presentation, lack of freedom, brevity, and pricing make it sadly disappoint ultimately. The new audio, particularly the banter between the henchmen, is amusing, so take the time to listen to it, as it will also increase the playtime in Harley's hideout. The price is the stinger for me, though. Ten bucks for 2 hours of gaming that has low replay value is a bit much, though perhaps it is necessary due to the level of polish that makes HQR feel like a full on part of the game. If you can handle the wait, and can also avoid the spoilers that are bound to already saturate the web, wait for a sale. You won't be disappointed by the content per se, you just may feel you got less than what you paid for.