Game Review: Arkham City: Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC [PS3/Xbox 360/PC]
Harley Quinn’s Revenge, the highly anticipated DLC for last year’s smash hit Batman: Arkham City, is a new, roughly 2-hour-long campaign set a few weeks after the events of the main game. Harley Quinn returns to the Joker’s former base in the gigantic prison after its previous evacuation. Robin enters Arkham City searching for Batman, who has been missing for two days since he set out to hunt for Harley. The voice acting is superb and the story is mostly solid. It provides some intriguing points, hinting that Batman is somewhat disturbed after the events of the main game, but sadly the story fails to go into much depth on this topic. Batman’s deadliest enemies (and we as the audience) are always watching for his breaking point, and when it is finally brought to light we are robbed of a unique look into the Dark Knight’s psyche.
This is supposed to be Harley’s time to shine, but her battles are exceedingly simple and underwhelming. Although she has some great moments, it would’ve been more interesting to get a far deeper look into her psyche and perhaps have cameos from other characters such as Poison Ivy, who in many incarnations of the Batman universe has been Harley’s best friend in hard times. It would’ve been intriguing to see some villains perhaps take advantage of Harley’s despair.
The graphics and sound are both top-notch, and a real treat is the eye for detail in the environments. A reference to a rumour sparked by an Easter egg in the original game arouses curiosity, and Harley’s hilarious graffiti spread throughout the areas are a delight. The new thug costumes emulating Harley’s iconic outfit are also well designed.
The quality of the gameplay is what you’d expect from the series, but fails to provide anything particularly new – just offering more of the same fun offered in the original main game. Both Batman and Robin are playable and have some similar movements and gadgets, except for a few differences – for example, exclusive to Robin is a bullet shield and Snap Flash, and exclusive to Batman are many gadgets encountered in the main game – Freeze Blast, Remote Electrical Charge, Disruptor, Line Launcher to name a few. Robin’s movements feel slightly faster compared to Batman’s, but Robin’s baton lacks the powerful punch of the Dark Knight’s fists.
As usual, the game is a mix of combat and stealth challenges, and combined with some very confined, tight spaces and tricky areas make for some intense moments as the game employs all of your tactical wit to overcome the dangerous tests in front of you. A highlight was a tense timed sequence that will require you to keep your cool in order to conquer it. Sadly, there is little room for exploration as the title is very linear. Discovery was one of the things that made the main game so special.
Moments like these make Harley Quinn’s Revenge a suspenseful and exhilarating experience, but sadly a lack of depth and closure doesn’t do it any favours. The price is perhaps a little too high for such a short campaign that lacks a real ‘wow’ factor (the only real replay value is to pop all the Harley Quinn balloons dotted around each area). Even though Harley Quinn’s Revenge is a slight disappointment, it is overall a solid and fun experience that fans of the series should definitely pick up at some point, but perhaps when it’s on sale.
The DLC campaign Harley Quinn’s Revenge for Batman: Arkham City is available now on the PlayStation Store (£6.49), Xbox Marketplace (800 MS Points) and PC ($9.99, UK release coming soon).