Batman: Arkham City Harley Quinn’s Revenge Review

One of the many reasons why Batman: Arkham City last year is such a beautiful experience is because all of its main scenes are gorgeous in their composition-just look at the staging balance of a vista like Bruce Wayne entering the penitentiary, and how he elegantly sums up the entire context of the game: the outside is dark, the inside is worse. The clarity and understanding of the Rocksteady theme helps turn some simple scenes into a broad and fulfilling context.

It’s a bit depressing that Harley’s revenge has none of that. Released as an epilogue to the main game, the 90 minutes of content (and that’s if I’m generous) brings you back to Arkham City to catch Harley Quinn after kidnapping some of the GCPD’s best.

The content also promises you Robin, but in this matter, the young wonder certainly cut off the wings. He’s stuck in the steel mill and can’t fly around town because, I think, his character was never programmed to do that. Instead, you can play outside with Batman and then inside with Robin. It’s perfectly entertaining while it lasts, but there’s just a real sense of disappointment that such a talented studio hasn’t been able to show off some of its state-of-the-art creativity.

Fortunately, the excellent action mechanics of Arkham City help to eliminate the disappointment, but although these – it’s as crisp and satisfying as ever, there’s a real sense that it’s just not quite what was wanted-there’s already a flurry of DLC for the beautiful action of Arkham City, while one of the centerpieces offered here is simply a large square room full of goons, and while it’s certainly fun to play, it’s virtually impossible to be different from the content of the Challenge mode that you’ve already thoroughly flushed out.

If it is integrated into the game as a whole, the end of Arkham City now begins to be like the closing of the Lord of the Rings, and this epilogue takes place after the already existing epilogue of Catwoman, who also failed to add significant developments to what was really going on. But maybe that doesn’t bother you; maybe the promise of new achievements and 30 new collectibles, along with this absolutely fantastic action, is enough to keep you soldering.

But if you ask me, the story-themed DLC only works if it fits comfortably into the story. The magnificent Shadow Broker DLC from Mass Effect 2 was fantastic because it lovingly and authentically advanced Liara’s character-filling one of the game’s key narrative gaps along the way and ending in a strong finale that favored some character arcs and neatly prepared things for the third game. Perhaps the biggest indictment of Harley’s revenge is that he achieves nothing; no character is developed effectively, and apart from a few cheeky Easter eggs, no plot line has progressed. Her overall experience of Arkham City is not affected at all by what happened here, and although the basic mechanics are punchy and rewarding, Harley’s real revenge is that she managed to get her to beat seven quids for it.

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