Harley Quinn's Revenge Video Game Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, June 06, 2012
(Warning: This review assumes that you've completed the main story of Batman: Arkham City. Thar be spoilers ahead!)
Let's not beat around the bush here, Batman: Arkham City may very well be the best superhero game ever made (together with its predecessor Batman: Arkham Asylum). If you were disappointed with Rocksteady's first two downloadable content packs, which only allowed you to use Nightwing and Robin on the Riddler challenge maps, that's completely fair. They felt hollow, especially when Robin actually shows up in the main campaign but you're never given the chance to play as the boy wonder. The third DLC offering from Rocksteady, Harley Quinn's Revenge, actually places you in the butt kicking boots of Tim Drake as he tracks down the missing Batman.
It's been two weeks since the final fatal encounter between the Batman and the Joker, and let's just say that Harley isn't taking it very well. She's recruited a sizable force of thugs, fortified herself inside the battle damaged steel mill with hostages and no one's seen or heard from Batman since he went in after her. During the course of this downloadable story add on, you'll control Robin as he searches for the dark knight and then the man himself in flash sequences.
The story presentation here is top notched and polished to a gleaming shine, just as we've come to expect from Rocksteady. The voice acting is the standard bearer, with Kevin Conroy once again putting on the cape and cowl as the voice of Batman for an entire generation. The graphics are still stunningly beautiful. I always lament how damned useful and necessary detective vision mode is because Arkham is so amazingly realized that it's a sin I hardly ever see it as intended. The gameplay is improved by giving you some new gadgets to utilize in the Robin portions. His bat grapple functions as a 'zip kick'; effectively closing great distances in an instant with a flying kick. His folding bow staff also has a built in bullet shield function, which comes in incredibly handy when battling armed thugs. If you enjoyed the gameplay, story, graphics and presentation of the main game then it should come as no surprise that the add on will float your boat.
The flaws of this DLC are minor but important to note. First, and most importantly, it's brief. For your ten dollars you are receiving between two and three hours of storied content. Your mileage may vary but I'd call five dollars the ideal price point for that length. Secondly, during your time in this story (which is accessed separately via the menu similar to Catwoman episodes) you are artificially confined to about a fifth of all of Arkham city surrounding the steel mill. If you wanted to cruise the whole city, fighting crime as Robin, tough cookies buddy.
Overall, I'd say my recommendation to purchase relies heavily on how into Batman you are. The more invested you are, the more likely it's going to matter to you. I found the glimpses into the psyche of a Batman without a Joker absolutely fascinating and worth the price of admission. If that's sounds right up your alley, have at it. If not, perhaps you're better served waiting for a bargain price.
Chuck Francisco is a columnist for Mania writing Saturday Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a horror co-host of two monthly film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA (home of 1958's 'The Blob'): First Friday Fright Nights and Colonial Cult Cinema.You can delve further into his love of all things weird and campy on his blog, The Midnight Cheese or hear him occasionally guesting on eminent podcast You've Got Geek.
Mania Grade: B-
Game Title: Harley Quinn's Revenge
Content Depth: C
Released By: May 29, 2012
Available for: Xbox 360, PS3