Arkham City had some very debatable downloadable content practices. First, something that I will argue, even more so after Harley’s DLC, that was not meant to be sold separately, and that’s the Catwoman scenarios. Then, Robin and Nightwing, along with a slew of different costumes for all characters, became available, but playable only in challenge mode. Add a few maps to said challenge mode and you have over 200 medals to collect per character, a definite chore by my standards.

In the end of it all, Arkham City had no true DLC that extended the story, until, so I thought, Harley Quinn’s Revenge.

Why am I reviewing it this late? Well, I have not got a good answer to that other than I wanted to finish all of the challenges before picking up Harley’s DLC. So, after the work put in for all of those medals, I was glad to have a chance to revisit Arkham. I was, however, to be mostly disappointed by the experience.

Let’s be honest here. Rocksteady created a masterpiece in Arkham City. They did not, unfortunately, release comparable DLC. Anyone who argues that Harley’s Revenge maintains the pedigree of Arkham City did not really pay attention to what was going on. So let’s start.

Robin (Tim Drake) is sent in to Arkham City’s by Oracle (Barbara Gordon) to look for Batman, who has been missing for two days. Batman had gone to Arkham looking for missing police officers, who were kidnapped by Harley’s goons. So, in you go. Thinking you’d traverse Arkham as Robin, this is your first mistake, You don’t. You are immediately thrust inside a building, alerting some goons and entering combat. After dispatching said goons, you continue through the building until you find Batman’s utility belt. Cut to flashback, and now you are back as Batman, two days before, entering the Industrial District/Steel Mill in search of Harley. Batman, reeling from a couple of deaths in the end of Arkham City, is curt, surly and altogether mean.

The Dark Knight can traverse through the Industrial Distric, Steel Mill and Shipyard, but if you try to explore the rest of Arkham, you are given a similar invisible wall to the one on top of the tower prior to the battle with Strange during the proper story. So, defeated, we return to our very linear endeavor into clown territory. Harley’s goons, dressed in the appropriate, color-coded regalia, if left alone, will do nothing but complain about the deranged woman they are following.

So, here’s my first question: If you think Harley is incompetent, you, sir with the automatic rifle, why are you taking orders from said crazy, 100-pound woman?

If you sit there and listen to the dialogue, goons will actually talk about overthrowing Harley. One guy even contends that he could do a better job, while another says he doesn’t have a “thing” to make him the boss like, for example, Two-Face’s, well, two faces.

Harley, apparently, had escaped prison not too long before Batman went in. She did manage to disappear, somehow, carrying three of GCPD’s bombs. Why do police have bombs with enough payload to destroy buildings in the first place? And how, again, does a 100-pound woman, with no friends, escape prison with multiple bombs to boot? Joker’s body is missing from the morgue as well, but that subject is never addressed.

I’m not trying to spoil everything that happens, so I’ll stop here as far as the story goes. The boss battle with Harley is comparable to Catwoman’s battle with Two-Face, however definitely not as challenging as that. Exploring the small Arkham sections doesn’t serve any purpose other than popping Harley’s balloons, similar to the Joker’s balloons during story mode. Batman, in his mourning, treats Robin like trash. And more questions are left unanswered than addressed. Harley’s Revenge is essentially a long amalgam of combat and predator challenges. The story, if you can call it that, is superficial.

After experiencing the Greek tragedy that was Arkham City, this DLC, along with the other, even less substantial DLC, left me sour. Even Catwoman’s scenarios are a stark contrast to Harley’s story because, while still very shallow as far as story, you have the chance to explore Arkham and be rewarded for that exploration with Riddler trophies, special dialogues with other villains, etc.

While my desire to play as Robin was sated, somewhat, Harley Quinn’s Revenge comes up short in every other aspect. In fact, the DLC itself adds nothing to the Arkham universe. It ends with the same status quo as Arkham City, except for one variable – Joker’s missing body. (And who knows? Maybe T.O. Morrow had a bit of a hand in all of this as well? Like I said, more questions than answers.)

Downloadable content is not Rocksteady’s strong suit, and that’s a shame because Rocksteady can tell an amazing tale if given adequate length.


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