I Guess That’s the End of Scary Face
This will probably be a quickie review, but I wanted to do it now to keep with the Batman theme. This is a downloadable content pack for a game I’ve already reviewed, but it has its own story so I figured it would count. I generally don’t play that much downloadable content because, once I’ve finished with a game, I don’t tend to go back because I’ve probably moved on to another game. My decision to play this game came from one of Kevin Smith’s newer podcasts, Fat Man on Batman. In this podcast, Kevin talked with one of the voice actors in the game, Tara Strong, about this DLC pack, so I decided that I should give it a go. And that brings us to my review of an expansion for the DLC pack for Batman: Arkham City, Harley Quinn’s Revenge, developed by Rocksteady Studios, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and including the voice talents of Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, Troy Baker, and Nolan North, among others.
Two weeks after Arkham City ended and Batman (Kevin Conroy) has disappeared while searching for Harley Quinn (Tara Strong), who is not taking the loss of her boyfriend, the Joker, very well. Fearing the worst, Barbara Gordon sends Batman’s partner Robin (Troy Baker) to find the Caped Crusader. What Robin finds is that Harley has been driven even further into madness by her grief, and that she’s indeed done something with Batman as he finds only Batman’s utility belt. We need to find out what has happened to Batman and, if possible, save his life.
This was actually a lot of fun, but I don’t imagine it was that difficult to accomplish. They basically just used stuff that I had already used with a little bit of extra story to extend the life of the game and give us a little bit more to the story and tie up some loose ends. But I guess that’s what DLC really is. That’s why they call them expansion packs. But the story was good enough, I suppose. It’s not a complicated story, but it’s told in a slightly more complicated way in order to draw it out a little. It’s roughly equivalent of what would have just been one mission in the actual game. Harley Quinn kidnaps Batman, Robin saves him. The little bit of extra complication they add in there is that we start as Robin, find Batman’s belt, then we jump back in time a little bit to become Batman and see how he got himself into that predicament. Then back to Robin, and then back to Batman to finish it out. Not a whole lot more complicated than that. They did have to do some writing for it, though. The dialogue was good and you could tell that they spent a little extra time than necessary writing dialogue for random goons that talk about the situation as you pass by. But it’s a good enough excuse to get back into a game that was already amazing, so I don’t complain. If I were going to complain about one thing, it would have to be the ending. I don’t think they handled the situation very well, but it requires ::SPOILER ALERT:: It’s made to look like Batman dies. He’s trapped with Harley Quinn and a bomb without enough time to disarm it. Then we cut outside to see Commissioner Gordon run up as the building explodes, seemingly taking Batman and Harley with it. But it only lets us think that for a few seconds before Batman jumps through the window (with Harley in tow) to safety. Then they try it again with Harley making Batman think that Robin was still in the building when it blew up, so now he knows what she feels like after having lost the Joker. But a few seconds later, Robin comes out and everything’s all better. You have to let this stuff sit for a bit so we can actually believe them. Obviously, we don’t at first. Why would you do that? But then the doubt starts creeping in as the scene drags on. I felt it was at least two missed opportunities. ::END SPOILERS::
There’s not a whole lot to add about the look of the game or the gameplay. I already wrote the review with that stuff in it. The gameplay is fantastic and enjoyable, and satisfying all the way through, just like the rest of the game. And I also can’t imagine a game looking any better for what it was trying to do. The only complaint I had about it was that, being nearly a year removed from having played the main game at this point, I found it really difficult to try to remember what all the controls were as I was trying to get through battles. But I warmed up to it and remembered it soon enough, and that’s really more my problem than the game’s. As far as achievements go, this DLC is pretty easy to get the few achievements you can get. It’s basically just finishing the game (with a few rare stipulations) and make sure you hit all the balloons. That’s about it.
I told you I’d keep it short, just like the DLC Harley Quinn’s Revenge for Batman: Arkham City. It’s a short and simple story, but it’s an enjoyable excuse to get a little more time out of a game with some of the most satisfying combat and graphics of 2011. It’s also pretty dang cheap and can net you a few easy achievements. Can’t ask for much more for such a low price. Harley Quinn’s Revenge gets “Is it … a helicopter?” out of “Okay, I didn’t write down any quotes from the game. So sue me.”
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