Batman Arkham City: Harley Quinn's Revenge Review
I turned on my Xbox today and noticed on the dashboard Harley Quinn's Revenge was 50% off. According to my save file, I hadn't played Arkham City since November 12th, 2011 (god, is Arkham City that old?). I loved the game and wanted to play Harley Quinn's Revenge when it was released but refused to pay $10 for a 2 hour DLC (I have an issue with DLC prices but that's a story for another time). A trip back to Arkham City for 5 bucks? Now is as good a time as any to spend more time with Batman.
Reviewed on Xbox 360
The story takes place immediately after the events of Batman: Arkham City which, SPOILER ALERT (it was 2 years ago I should even say spoiler alert? Again, a story for another time), you killed the Joker. At least, that's how Harley Quinn sees it. Seeing as you've cleaned up Arkham City in the previous game, only Harley Quinn remains as the super villain to beat in Gotham. She is upset at her love's death and as the title suggests... Harley Quinn is out for revenge (get it?). She has taken Batman hostage for several days and now Robin, must dispose of Harley Quinn and save the Dark Knight.
***Fun Fact: It took that henchman 4 hours to paint diamonds on his pants***
For the majority of the game, I wasn't entirely sure what Harley Quinn's plan was. She had Batman for two days and didn't kill him. She was able to plant bombs around the warehouse district of Arkham City and animate robots but still wouldn't kill Batman. If her end game was to be killed by Batman then why capture him at all? Either way, Harley Quinn was never a criminal mastermind on her own so the story never had that life or death feeling (could Batman really be killed by Harley Quinn?).
Batman was very short and distant with Robin, making it obvious he is still distraught by The Joker's death. When they interacted - it almost appeared as though he was chastising Robin for next to no reason. Batman is such a brooding character though, so it fit well. Overall, their interactions seemed realistic to the situation and added depth to already deep characters.
The gameplay is identical to Arkham City (imagine that!). As such, it's nice to start with all of your gadgets. About 50% of the game you spend as Robin who is cool, his gadgets and fighting are slightly different than Batman's, but he still isn't Batman. There is literally a sequence where Robin is breaking Batman out of a giant glass ball. C'mon Batman, we all know you could escape this situation. I don't mind being Robin but I'd rather be Batman when given the option.
It's worth noting that the DLC runs as smoothly as the game. No texture pop in or anything technically askew. Everything looks as pretty as it did the first time around. There are also plenty of balloons to pop for you achievement hunters out there.
***How did she have so much time to put these up?***
Aside from that, there really is nothing new to this DLC that is drastically different from the game. You must find a way into a specific building, interrogate specific henchman, eat at specific French restaurants that Alfred frequents... OK, that last one was false but this DLC is nothing you haven't seen before.
Maybe it's just because I haven't played the game in two years but it also took me a little while to adjust to the controls again. It speaks volumes about how awesome the controls are. In case you forgot: this isn't a simple beat 'em up game. The fighting system has a complexity too it that, if you haven't played the game in a while (or are prepping for Batman: Arkham Origins and want to jump back into it) it's not just a quick "Oh I remember this!" Your first battle may take a second as you remember how to defeat certain enemies.
If you've ever read a review I've written, you know the biggest test a game must pass with me is this: is this game fun? Rest assured this DLC is a great addition to a great game. I had a lot of fun playing through it. It's very short but for DLC it's worth the 5 bucks I paid for it. It was fun spending some more time in Arkham City and if you missed this DLC over the years check it out. You won't be disappointed.