Published on June 3rd, 2012 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Harley Quinn’s Revenge Review
Platform: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PlayStation 3
Release Date: May 29, 2012
WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Batman: Arkham City. Check out our review to Batman: Arkham City here.
Batman: Arkham City was one of the most critically acclaimed single player games of 2011. The release of the Game of the Year Edition packed the title with all of the game’s downloadable content and the recently released Harley Quinn’s Revenge.
Harley Quinn’s Revenge is a rare downloadable content (DLC) pack. Unlike some examples of DLC, Harley Quinn’s Revenge is an expansion to the already excellent narrative of Arkham City. In the story, it has been two weeks since the death of the Joker and Talia. In an act of vengeance for Mr. J’s untimely demise, the mourning Harley captured Batman as he tried to rescue some of Gotham Police Department’s finest. It is up to Robin and Oracle to figure out what happened to the Caped Crusader and the GCPD officers.
Harley Quinn’s Revenge allows gamers to play as Robin for the first time in a story campaign. Rocksteady’s decision to use Robin as the main character for the DLC was ingenious. Playing as Robin brings a new dimension to the Batman world the developer has already created.
During the course of the campaign, Robin and Oracle discuss how Batman has not been the same since the death of the Joker and Talia. This premise goes deep into the Batman mythology. Bruce Wayne is familiar with death. And as we have seen from his past, he deals with death in an extreme way, for example, the creation of his dark alter ego. The death of Talia is a tragic loss for Bruce and his hard-pressed psychology.
Batman taking on the Joker has been one of the greatest rivalries seen in comic book history. It is hard to think about the effects that the Batman series would see if the Joker did die. This notion influences the story as it explores the concept of what would happen if “ying” lost its “yang” or if “light” no longer has its “dark.” Playing through Harley Quinn’s Revenge gives the feeling that Batman is trying to redefine what and who Batman is–and in essence starting to reevaluate his alter ego, Bruce Wayne.
Playing as Robin is fun and exciting. We get to see more of the Boy Wonder’s cockiness and wittiness that is missed from the challenge maps. In addition, we get to see some of Robin’s gadgets used for environmental interaction. The story follows Robin in trying solve the disappearance of Batman. However, the game does backtrack to two days earlier and allows you to play out important scenes.
The death of the Joker did not only affect Batman, but also Harley Quinn. It is easy to sense just how much “mad love” Harley had for the Joker. She is more insane than ever, which can be seen in the Joker’s influence on her through in game Easter eggs.
Throughout the levels you will find creepy memorials to the Joker and graffiti reprised of Harley’s grief, hopes and desires. One of which is a baby’s crib with the Ventriloquist’s puppet, Scarface, repainted like the Joker. Even darker, there are negative pregnancy tests littered around it. One interesting graffiti states, “When Mr. J returns we will be happy again.” I could not help think about the Lazarus Pit bringing the Joker back to life.
The gameplay is the same as Arkham City. Harley Quinn’s Revenge offers no tutorial to get back into the action if you have not played the game for some time. It could take some time to get used to the controls and strategies again, but it is still it is very satisfying beating henchmen. The DLC lives up to Arkham City by offering a great mix of detective work, fighting and stealth.
The biggest disappointments of Harley Quinn’s Revenge are the boss fights and the ending. The fights felt more like Arkham Asylum where rounds of henchmen are attacking you and the villain is in the background. I won’t go into detail, so, without spoiling the ending for everyone, I felt Rocksteady could have done something more interesting with the new story and plot they established.
Harley Quinn’s Revenage is what downloadable content should be. It offers an expanding story arch to an already great existing one, further develops characters, and it allows new playable characters to the single player campaign. The DLC offers an additional two hours to the campaign and additional hours of exploration to find little Easter eggs. Despite its lack of boss battles and lackluster ending, Harley Quinn’s Revenge is well worth the $9.99 PSN price or 800 MS Points.
[xrr label=”Rating: 9.0/10″ rating=9.0/10]
+Expansion to the Story
+Further character development
+Deepens Batman’s mythology
-Lack Luster boss battles
-Lack Luster ending