Thursday, May 31, 2012

Harley Quinn’s Revenge Review: More of the same

Harley Quinn’s Revenge picks up two days after the end of Batman: Arkham City. Batman has been missing for two days since investigating the kidnapping of several cops by Harley Quinn and her goons. This sets up for Robin to come in with the help of Oracle to find Batman and find out what went wrong. It’s an interesting premise that allows you to take control of Robin, who we only get a glimpse of in the main storyline of the game.

Robin plays similar to Batman and Catwoman in the basic mechanics. You can attack and counter-attack like you normally would, but Robin has access to some different gadgets than Batman. He attacks with a bo-staff that can expand into a shield, allowing him to move slowly towards enemies with guns. He also has a snap flash that can stun as a timed bomb. His other gadgets are all variants of the normal arsenal Batman has, including a stylized shuriken that acts like a batarang, and a grapple hook that launches Robin towards the enemy for a zip-kick, rather than pulling the enemy towards him like Batman.

Because Harley Quinn’s Revenge plays as a separate game mode (you select it from the main menu, not from inside the game world), none of your upgrades or unlocked gadgets will be available to you when you eventually switch and play as Batman. You also don’t have the entirety of Arkham City to explore. Much of the content takes place around the steel mill, sending you on fetch quests like collecting key cards and disarming bombs.

You’ll get more of the high-quality voice acting and detailed visuals from the narrative of the main game. There’s not as much mystery in the story as there was in Arkham City, and the ending seemed a bit anti-climactic to me. It would be nice if the writing was a bit more complex, but more of the fun gameplay of Arkham City is great. I actually found Harley Quinn’s Revenge ran better in Direct X 11 than most of Batman: Arkham City. If you played the main game in Direct X 9 for the higher framerate, I’d recommend trying Direct X 11 for the DLC, I barely ever dropped below 55 fps, even in fights where there was lots of action going on.

The whole thing will take you about two hours to finish and it doesn’t include any extra challenge maps. I had fun, but I wouldn’t recommend it for $10. It’s more of the fun Arkham City we played before, and playing as Robin gives it a bit of variance, but I’d wait for a discounted price before buying. Harley Quinn’s Revenge is now available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, and included as part of the new Game of the Year Edition of Batman: Arkham City.

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