Hands-on with “Harley Quinn’s Revenge” Arkham City DLC
Does it matter much that there isn’t really anything new in this teaser trailer for May 29’s “Harley Quinn’s Revenge” DLC for Batman: Arkham City? No, it doesn’t matter much, because I’m totally gonna get it. Though, I will admit, it would’ve been nice to see a little bit more gameplay.
Harley Quinn’s Revenge
Developer: Rocksteady / Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive / Release (Arkham City Game of the Year Edition): May 29, 2012 / ESRB: Mature
FROM THIS MOMENT ON — NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE
“There are seven working defenses from this position. Three of them disarm with minimal contact. Three of them kill. The other….hurts.” –’The Dark Knight Returns’
There’s just no particularly delicate way to put it, so: If you’re ‘going in’ to an enemy-infested urban/industrial hot-zone to check up on what unpleasantness might have befallen the currently missing-in-action Batman—well it stands to reason that you, sir or madam, are in some deep, dark, viscous shit. Harley Quinn’s Revenge, named with the subtlety of a Batarang to the knee, is the new DLC story existing as a discrete downloadable-content adventure for the forthcoming Arkham City Game of the Year Addition (said adventure set some weeks after the events of the core game).
The Batman has gone missing while looking after some kidnapped and also-missing Gotham PD officers, which is major enough all by itself. But it gets worse: even though Gotham’s depository for the criminally insane has already been evacuated (and the Joker has, of course, gotten his), it turns out that Mister J’s unstable paramour Harley Quinn has apparently set up housekeeping in the Joker’s former base of operations—and the woman is even less-right than usual.
Big news, right? Well, it gets bigger, right off the Bat—you’re initially playing as Robin (and in fact, you’ll spend approximately two-thirds of HQR‘s estimated two hours of all-new adventure in Robin’s combat boots, while playing the other third as the Dark Knight). It’s your job to infiltrate Harley Quinn’s goon-infested hideout, taking out her numerous henchmen by stealth or brute force or creative combinations of the two. This isn’t some mere lame ‘new’ batch of rare items or exotic hardware, but a character- and story-driven challenge that gives provides new angle on the Batman universe—in other words, it’s just what a DLC pack should be.
So getting to play so much of the time as Robin is pretty major, and his moves and gear are unique and distinct; you’ll be able to thwart auto-sentry gun-turrets (or block various and sundry goons’ truncheons, as well as some purely environmental hazards) with his expandable bullet-shield, or zip-kick some bad guys courtesy of his grapple-launcher, or take out an ensconced sniper at the end of a long hallway with the use of his remote-control batarangs. He also has his own set of combat moves, flips and dodges, as well as the extended melee-reach of his special baton/truncheon to take on packs of knife- and cattleprod-wielding bad guys.
More intriguing than the urban-variety ass-kicking, though, is watching how the developer expands upon the story of what has transpired since the conclusion of the Arkham City saga—through Robin’s exchanges with Oracle, through eavesdropping on H.Q.’s disgruntled henchmen…and of course through the nasal, neurotic and/or pathological ravings of the woman of the hour herself (Ms. Quinn has also evidently gone the curvy/sexy/dark-and-goth-as-a-shithouse/crypt rat path, and now looks like something out of the Pussycat Dolls Channeling Eric Draven catalogue; one guess what the big hot-slutty girl-gamer Halloween costume is gonna be this year).
Because of the game’s flashback presentation, the initial whereabouts of the Batman during all these opening festivities remains an unknown, and there’s some fairly fascinating exposition regarding just what kind of mental and emotional shape the Caped Crusader might be in; apparently, he hasn’t been quite the same since the core Arkham City business…and that’s troubling in itself, considering that Batman/Bruce Wayne isn’t exactly the most serene, balanced guy to begin with on his BEST day.
Ready or not—and you’d better be, because Harley Quinn’s Revenge pretty much just throws you in there, recap-tutorials and soft-touch initial enemies be damned—this new DLC excursion into Arkham City will be available May 29th (PC availability still pending), and will run 800 Microsoft Points/$9.99.
Either way—as Robin, or later into the narrative as the Batman, once again—you now face a foe who’s arguably just about as psychologically crammed into ‘the puzzle factory’ as her lamented, lost loony-love…and she’s a chick. Any way you slice it, not a promising prospect. As the lady herself has been quoted: “I found the Joker’s psyche disturbing, his dementia alarming—and his charm irresistible!” So good luck with that.
And now, please to enjoy some screenshots: