sunnuntai 8. heinäkuuta 2012

DLC REVIEW - Harley Quinn's Revenge | PS3 | 2012

RELEASED: May 2012
PRICE: €7.95 (PlayStation Network EU), $9.99 (PlayStation Network US), $9.99 (Steam), 800 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE)

Warning: this review contains spoilers.

Batman: Arkham City was named the game of the year 2011 by many accomplished game critics and webzines. After the dust had settled, Rocksteady Studios succumbed to a perfect silence, dropping names for their next possible projects, leaving their future with the Batman franchise to be questioned and speculated by millions of fans. In May 2012, Rocksteady returned to their beloved game with a much-hyped DLC pack entitled Harley Quinn's Revenge, which picked up where Arkham City left off. Finally, an ending worth of the magnificent story and game...?

Feeling like a robin in a cage

Two weeks after the Joker’s gruesome death, Batman’s gone missing in Arkham City, and it’s up to his unappreciated sidekick Tim Drake, a.k.a. Robin, to find and rescue his mentor. It seems that the Joker’s girl Harley Quinn’s out for revenge and responsible for the disappearance of the Dark Knight.

It’s good to be back in Arkham City, as limited as the playable area is in Harley Quinn’s Revenge. Unlike Catwoman’s titular add-on, Harley Quinn’s Revenge is not integrated into the main game, which is logical, since its events take place weeks after all the crazy shit that went down when Batman infiltrated Arkham City. What we have here is a two-hour thrill ride with Batman and Robin alternating at the helm. Unfortunately, this ride doesn’t go all uphill.

Never thought I'd say this out loud, but Robin
kinda kicks ass.
Harley Quinn’s Revenge was promoted convincingly enough, and it begins convincingly enough. Harley’s gone from a bumbling comic sidekick into a full-on psychotic bitch. Batman’s been driven over the edge by the deaths of his one true love and his most deadly arch enemy, which makes his sudden disappearance all the more ominous, and it’s up to Robin to once again save his ungrateful and overprotective mentor’s ass. If you’re expecting epic drama that would bring closure to the awesome, but somewhat incomplete plot of Batman: Arkham City, I regret to break it to you: you’re not going to find it here. Harley Quinn’s Revenge progresses a lot like the Catwoman subplot, and it can be easily compared to the magnificent DLC in many ways, but it’s not nearly as essential as a part of the whole Arkham City experience. The way the storyline develops and finally ends is not much to see; the plot falls dead on its promising tracks about halfway through.

Most of the DLC is played through as the coolest incarnation – actually the ONLY cool incarnation – of Robin ever designed. Robin has a few tricks that Batman can’t manage, and vice versa. Playing as Robin and learning all of his skills (and lack thereof) in- and outside combat is arguably much harder than playing as Batman ever was, which is ironic, because a fully upgraded Batman has a truckload of more advanced moves than his sidekick. There are no Riddler Trophies to be collected in this very limited gameplay area or time frame, but there are a few very simple and brief pseudo-puzzles to be solved as Robin, as well as 40 Harley Balloons to pop for the measure of a PSN Trophy. There are some really hard predator scenarios for both playable characters to handle, much harder than anything in the original game or the New Game +. Robin’s lack of offensive and defensive gadgetry besides his bullet shield and exploding shurikens will force seasoned Arkham veterans to deploy some whole new tactics. I think this is the strongest quality about this good, but ultimately  disappointing bundle of content.

There's some really creepy artwork that matches
and even outcreeps the original retail.
It comes with the most Trophies out of all the DLC packs released for Arkham City, but in exchange, there are no new Riddler Trophies, Riddler’s Revenge challenges, characters or character skins. There are a couple of new character trophies and pieces of concept art to please those into the game’s aesthetic values. Personally, I would’ve gone for more gameplay value, more run for my money. Again, Harley Quinn’s Revenge is good, but the storyline feels detached from the original game, and the ending is even more of a letdown than the original one. The very limited exploration of both interior and exterior areas makes Harley Quinn’s Revenge even more of a one-time trip to take.

As to being worth of its steep price, well, I guess it is. First of all, if you're a fan, you can't resist it. Secondly, I'd rather pay the ten dollars (only €7.95 in Europe) than have to look at the ugly Game of the Year Edition sticking out like a sore thumb from my game shelf for the rest of my gaming career.

< 7.0 >

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