June 6, 2012
If you haven't finished the main story yet, please note that we're going to delve into some spoilers. Gameplay will be spoiler free, so just skip the next paragraph if you're worried about seeing something you shouldn't.
Harley Quinn's Revenge picks up after the events of Arkham City with the Joker, Talia Al Ghul, and Hugo Strange all dead. This has changed Batman into a different person, making him seem even more shut off and distant than ever before. Batman isn't the only person affected by these events either; Harley Quinn has now turned into a grieving widow over Joker's death. Quinn is now crazier than ever and this time she is in total control over Jokers gang. For some unexplained reason she is kidnapping cops and holding them hostage in the abandoned steel mill factory of old Arkham City. Batman decided to go in and rescue the cops and stop Quinn on his own and he has now been missing for two days.
You start off by playing as Robin, who is looking for Batman and the still missing cops. This story takes many different turns as you go back and see what happened to Batman two days ago and what happens to Robin as he also tries to stop Harley. The story has a great pace to it, but by the end nothing really happens that will make you excited for the future of the franchise. Yes, it was a good story that will have you engaged, but when it comes down to it there is no closure for how Batman is coping.
The gameplay is a good mixture of familiar and new since Batman and Robin have many different options to use. It makes playing as either hero feel quite fresh. The basics for gameplay are still the same with the ability to punch, stun, and counter enemies in the free flow combat system. This allows you to take on many enemies and move from one to the other without any hassle at all.
It isn't all about brute force though; stealth is always the best way to take out armed enemies. All the different tools the player is given let you choose how to take on all the different thugs sent your way. That adds a nice bit of customization allowing you to use a lot of zip kicks as Robin, while you might use Batman's exploding gel to take out more people.
There are small bits of exploration in this episode, but the few times you are in the actual open world part, you can only explore the steel mill. It's not that much of a big deal though, since it was still a good portion of the map and will keep you focused on the objective at hand.
The game still has amazing visuals, retaining the dark gritty atmosphere of Arkham City's prison setting while at the same time allowing you to visually tell by the looks of things that Harley has taken over. Even though this places you in the same environments as before, along with the same enemies, you can tell that this place has changed after the Tower Crashed down upon the prison.
The same goes for the inside of the steel mill; besides a few key rooms everything looked completely different after Haley Quinn's decorating. There are many creepy touches as you play that show you how much Harley has lost it since the Joker's death. This ranges from puppets dressed up like the Joker who have TV screens on their head playing a recording of Joker quietly laughing and shrines dedicated to him. The voice actors also return from the main game with the same level of quality they have brought to the games before.
This downloadable episode costs you $10 and running through the main story will take you about 2 hours. This is not counting the balloons hidden around the steel mill and the 10 all new trophies. While there is not a lot in the episode you get 2 more hours of Arkham City's story and a really high level of quality you normally don't see in downloadable content.
This downloadable episode is sort of a mixed bag since you do get more story for Arkham City, but it doesn't ever reach any sort of closure. While it lacked a satisfying ending, it's still a worthwhile investment for fans of the franchise. Robin's gameplay differs enough to warrant his more solid inclusion and the presentation alone is a strong selling point. However, some might feel this is a bit lacking due to its length and the penned-in experience this downloadable content offers.
Batman: Arkham City - Harley Quinn's Revenge was reviewed on the PS3. You can read more about GamingUnion.net's scoring policy here.