After fighting and sneaking my way through every inch of the first two games in Rocksteady’s infamous Batman series I expected the final installment to end on the highest possible note. In the end Batman: Arkham Knight felt like Rocksteady simply wanted to be done with the trilogy and move on. The story’s major plot twist and other elements were lackluster at best.
So I had turned my hopes towards the post-release DLC to give the final piece of this epic trilogy what it was lacking. ‘Batgirl: A Matter of Family’ that released this week shot down those hopes; leaving me feeling like it and the games season pass were just a cash grab. The prequel story that puts players behind the cowl of Batgirl AKA Barbara Gordon was simply a let down.
The first place you’ll see problems in A Matter of Family is the combat. Where Arkham Knight’s main story is filled with options for sneaking or outright brawling Batgirl is linear. Your shoved into generic fights that you want to get through as fast as possible and never deal with again. Of course there are players who prefer a straight to the point experience like this; but that still isn’t what Rocksteady’s games are known for.
A Matter of Family’s storyline is just as frustrating, doing nothing to make up for those lackluster fight scenes. Being a prequel story starring Batgirl and Robin, two important characters to the Batman universe, there was plenty of material to work with. So why does A Matter of Family have no meaningful connection to the Arkham universe? Even the case that Batgirl had become Oracle by the time of Batman: Arkham Asylum and that her previous identity wasn’t a factor doesn’t hold water.
Granted this a stand alone piece of DLC so we can expect massive additions to the storyline but some type of connection could have been made. The dynamic between Batgirl and Robin, which is admittedly fun to take advantage of with Dual Play, also feels like a missed opportunity. At no point does the story take time to dive into it despite countless chances to do so.
Admittedly A Matter of Family has its good points including unique collectibles and demented amusement park settings but those don’t make up for its failings. At an hour-long its hard to justify its $10 stand-alone price tag or it being part of the $40 season pass. When gamers pick up a piece of DLC they expect it to add a fair amount of length and content to justify its price. A Matter of Family doesn’t give players any of that making it tough to recommend and tougher to see it as anything but a hollow cash grab.