Harley Quinn’s Revenge isn’t the DLC that gamers need, but the one that they deserve.
Rarely does a downloadable expansion satisfy the way Harley Quinn’s Revenge does. Not only is it a well-constructed narrative, it throws players into a fresh cowl to boot (outside of challenge mode at least). By having players take on the role of Robin instead of Batman for much of the expansion, Rocksteady was able to continue the story right where Arkham City ended without it feeling rehashed. The Boy Wonder keeps the gameplay fresh by presenting the player with new combat moves and ways to solve puzzles. This makes the DLC feel new and familiar all at the same time.
Don’t underestimate Robin. While Tim Drake may be considered a lowly sidekick, he can still kick some low life backside with the best of ’em. Utilizing his bo staff as a battering ram and his grapple hook to zip kick the baddies, Robin’s fighting style feels inherently different from that of Batman’s.
Story-wise, the expansion picks up just a few weeks after the events of Arkham City. Harley Quinn has become madder than the man in the top hat since losing her beloved Mr. J and has managed to lure in and capture the Caped Crusader. Enter Robin. The sidekick extraordinaire, disturbed by Batman’s disappearance, heads to Arkham City to save his mentor. While attempting to save Batman, there’s a continual sense of desperation in the air. Time is running out and lives are on the line – namely, Bruce Wayne’s. The story is enough to draw players in and keep them hooked, but ends rather abruptly and could have used a bit more fleshing out in the closing. Especially in the department regarding Batman’s psyche.
Throughout the course of the story players learn that Batman has been secluded since the deaths of Talia Al Ghul and the Joker. What’s most disturbing about this is that the expansion makes it seem like Batman not only blames himself for Joker’s death, but has actually been mourning the loss of his archenemy. Unfortunately, it’s never fully expanded. Much like their fighting styles, those closest to Batman find it better to move around the topic instead of attacking it head on. Still, this is more than forgivable. The ‘saving Batman’ narrative is front and center for this expansion and by only hinting at Batman’s deepening misery, Rocksteady has left open their options for further additions; whether it be another DLC, a new game, or a comic.
The missions and enemies throughout Harley Quinn’s Revenge feel like a condensed version of Arkham City and that’s not a bad thing. Think of it as a sampler platter for Arkham City. Players get to experience a bit of everything that made the main game such a success. There are new puzzles to be solved, timers to be beaten, shadows to be skulked, and, of course, mobs of enemies to be pummeled. The expansion is a blast to play from beginning to end and never gets old. Granted, it’s only two hours long but it’s so much fun that it warrants more than a single play-through.
Harley Quinn’s Revenge is one DLC that no Batfan should miss out on. For it’s low price and lasting appeal, this is a DLC that stands cowl and cape above the rest. Needless to say, this expansion is no joke.