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Harley Quinn’s Revenge (DLC) Review

/ Jun 2nd, 2012 No Comments

Harley Quinn's Revenge

Harley Quinn's Revenge

Harley Quinn's Revenge

Return to Arkham City for the last time and face Harley Quinn’s Revenge, the new DLC for PS3, XBOX 360, and PC. DLC is a hot button issue, one I don’t plan on touching on here. However, this new release for Arkham City isn’t an arena-style Challenge Map or a new skin for the Caped Crusader. No, this time Rocksteady has released a full on Batman adventure. The real and only question that paid Downloadable Content must answer is this: Is It Worth It?

Harley Quinn’s Revenge features a new addition to the Arkham formula: a playable Boy Wonder. Now, you’ve been allowed to play as Robin before, and as that former original Robin, Nightwing himself. However, this has all been in the name of high scores and beating up infinite waves of thugs – this time, not only is Robin part of the story, it might be argued that he’s the biggest part of the story.

Harley Quinn’s Revenge starts off right where Arkham City’s story ends – which means there are spoilers ahoy for the controversial ending. Consider that your warning.

Harley Quinn is heartbroken after the demise of “Her Puddin’,” the Clown Prince of Crime. Taking a page out of Mr. J’s book, she’s kidnapped a bunch of GCPD’s finest and tasked Batman with their rescue. It doesn’t go well for the Caped Crusader, and Robin has to plunge into Arkham City to unravel the mystery.

The story is functional if not spectacular, and the whole thing reads like a perfectly serviceable issue of Detective Comics. Don’t expect any big twists or turns or reveals – the story of Arkham City is over, and Harley Quinn’s Revenge just cleans up a few loose ends. There are no big sequel hooks, no sudden resurrections, just a bereaved widow with a big hammer and a penchant for explosives.

The playtime is short, and a talented player with the controls still fresh in his mind could probably clear the whole thing out in two hours. It took me a bit longer, but to be fair I hadn’t touched the game in six months. Also, as a heads up that might help eliminate some of the frustration I had to go through: there is a room with infinitely spawning guards. Your job is not to take out all the guards. You’re welcome.

Robin Makes His Appearance

Robin Makes His Appearance

The adventure would have suited less back-tracking – get ready to go back to the Steel Mill, a lot. And to backtrack through the same rooms. A lot. For a two hour playtime, there’s a plethora of repeated ground, something Rocksteady should probably have avoided. There’s one big room that contains at least three of the DLC’s major fights, the SAME room, which amounts to a big rectangle with nothing to grapple up to or break up the flow of Counter, Punch, Quick Gadget, Counter, Kick, ad nauseum.

The combat is the same, the graphics and sound are the same, which means they’re all just as good as they used to be. Exploration is low – you’re expected to keep your nose to the grindstone, and any attempts to leave the Steel Mill area are cut short by your character’s guilty conscience.

Returning to Arkham City was a hoot, and listening to Kevin Conroy’s iconic growl and Tara Strong’s still phenomenal Arleen Sorkin impression is worth your time. I still don’t like Robin’s costume, but playing as old Bird-Brain on a rescue mission made my inner nine-year-old extremely happy.

Harley Quinn’s Revenge is a by-the-numbers Batman adventure, but a fine excuse to get your Arkham City disc spinning again. It’s not worth the $9.99 price tag unless you’re a true Bat-fanatic – which I am, and you might be. Still, it might help tide you over until the inevitable sequel, Arkham Planet, where the world has crumbled into a devastated Mad-Maxian wasteland/prison where the only currency is henchmen, and the Bat is Law.

Hey, a guy can dream.

Overall Ratings – Harley Quinn’s Revenge (DLC)

Gameplay:

8/10

Graphics:

9/10

Sound:

9/10

Presentation:

7/10

Value:

6/10

OVERALL SCORE:

78%

B.C. Johnson
Part-time swashbuckler and full-time writer, B.C. Johnson lives in Southern California and yet somehow is terrible at surfing or saying "whoa." His first published novel, Deadgirl, came out this year and is available for Kindle, Nook, and even old dusty paperback. When he's not writing or playing video games, he can be found writing about playing video games and occasionally sleeping.
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