Harley Quinn’s Revenge is the solitary story based DLC for Rocksteady’s incredibly successful Arkham games. After the rather conclusive and definitive ending of the full game, I’m not sure that anyone in particular was begging for any more Arkham City, but regardless, the developer have delivered – so what, if anything, does this latest part of the story add? Read on, beware of Arkham City spoilers…
Unsurprisingly, almost nothing. You’re initially put in the shoes of Robin, heading into the titular sprawling urban prison in a hunt for a vanished Bruce Wayne. Flipping between Robin’s investigations and Batman’s initial hunt for Harley a few days previous, the two storylines all too quickly coincide in a way that almost completely destroys the tension built up in the first ten minutes. Whilst playing as Robin is marginally different enough to distinguish him from Bats, with a few gadgets that actually improve on the core gameplay (I see no reason why Batman couldn’t carry around a version of Robin’s extendable bullet shield) it’s way too short lived to make any real impact. The time you get to play around with the couple of extra abilities is as painfully brief as Bruce Wayne’s childhood, and it does just boil down to the same formula of taking down room after room of goons until you hit an objective marker. At least the main game had some flashy boss battles to mix things up a bit, where all this little chapter does is pit you against forty-odd generic goons at once and throw in one of the series’ staple Titan Thugs to give you something to actually think about dodging rather than mindlessly thumbing the evade button when the game dramatically signposts an incoming strike.
It has many of the same failings as Arkham City. Lots of flash and promise but very little substance when put to the test. Boss fights that look promising but end up being strange reiterations of Spyro and Crash Bandicoot boss fights of yore, except those boss fights have the benefit of being swaddled in scanty, alluring nostalgia rather than the ugly acne scars of cynicism. Come on, Rocksteady. Naughty Dog and Insomniac have moved on, you can too. The final showdown against Harley Quinn is an anti-climactic affair, and whilst no-one expected Harley’s schemes to equal The Joker’s insane plotting, it would have been good to see her come into her own rather than just bumbling around like a grieving clown for two hours and ultimately making a huge fool out of herself.
Despite Batman’s personal turmoil at losing his nemesis and his primary love interest, this barely features in the story. It’s a fairly awkward moment when you realise you’ve just finished it and you’re no further than you were when you began. This was not worthy of a £6 DLC. It was worthy perhaps of a leaflet-sized comic book stuffed into the gaping hole where an instruction manual should be in the next Rocksteady game, whatever it may be. You could probably summarise the events of Harley Quinn’s Revenge in less than six pages of artwork, rendering it a whimpering end to the epic saga first promised by Arkham Asylum. I would suggest that a sequel might redeem the flailing plot, but I think at this point, the best thing Rocksteady could have done with this instalment is let it die with the Joker.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.