Harley Quinn’s Revenge is the first story-driven content released for Batman: Arkham City since the game’s October debut. Seven months later, is HQR relevant enough to attract the casual gamer and satisfy the rabid bat-fan? Read on to find out!
HQR takes place soon after the events of Arkham City. Robin and Oracle are searching for their pointy-eared friend, who’s been missing since he infiltrated Harley Quinn’s new base of operations. The story alternates between Robin’s present search and Batman’s last mission. As a big fan of Robin, I loved having the chance to play as him in a brand-new Arkham City storyline. Controlling the Boy Wonder in the previously-released Challenge Maps was cool, but HQR finally gives him the main-character treatment. We get a sense of who he really is and how much he cares for his missing mentor. And if you’re not a Robin fan, don’t worry; you’ll spend plenty of time as Batman in Harley Quinn’s Revenge.
Harley Quinn’s Revenge matches Arkham City in visual brilliance, whether you’re actively playing the game or watching a cutscene. I didn’t experience any freezes, frame-rate issues, or other graphical glitches. In that regard, HQR is a solid DLC experience.
This may be my biggest issue with the game. Though the voice actors are all top-notch, their lines are repeated far too often. Dialogue loops, particularly from non-playable characters, are to be expected in any game. Unfortunately, Harley Quinn’s Revenge makes no attempt at hiding this weakness. Within the first twenty minutes of playing, I heard a thug rant about the cold weather at least a dozen times. I could quote him before the action even got started. Later, while attempting to rescue a police officer from Harley’s henchmen, he cheered me on with the same two lines of dialogue… over, and over, and over. Sadly, these aren’t the only examples of poor sound variety in HQR. On the plus side, the cut scenes are made believable by terrific voice acting. Without those precious story moments, I would have been pulled entirely out of the game.
The gameplay is virtually identical to what we experienced in Arkham City. The things you’ll do as Batman and Robin in HQR are the same things you’ve already done before, just in a new environment and with a new story. Despite the fact that DLC is never really meant (or expected) to surpass its parent game, I was really hoping for something more. To be honest, without HQR’s storyline, this content pack doesn’t have anything fresh to offer.
While there are some new achievements to be earned in Harley Quinn’s Revenge, they’re not exciting enough to keep me coming back for more. When I play a game, I care less about popping the enemies’ balloons than stopping their schemes. If you’re the kind of player who enjoys hunting for collectibles, then you might give HQR a second playthrough. However, if you’re in it for the story, then you probably won’t feel the need to return to Harley Quinn’s Revenge any time soon.
In short, Harley Quinn’s Revenge is a good DLC pack for those who have exhausted Arkham City’s challenge maps, collectibles, and achievements. If you aren’t a die-hard fan of the original game, you probably won’t find Harley Quinn’s Revenge to be that interesting. In the end, HQR’s ten dollar price tag amounts to two hours of gameplay, including cut scenes. Though it’s a solid DLC pack, I’m not sure it’s the value that bat-fans have been waiting for.