Batman: Arkham City – Catwoman
While the Bat is away, the Cat will play. Catwoman has always been, arguably, the most misconceived female character in DC comics – usually perceived as a mere love interest of the Caped Crusader, sporting a whip that only seems for show, and knowing nothing more than how to use her sexual wiles to get her way. Hearing that Rocksteady would integrate her in Arkham City was certainly a delight.
Catwoman’s story is broken up into four micro chapters that run in parallel to Batman’s narrative. As revealed in the early segments of the main story, Selena has been trying to break into a secret vault in Arkham Asylum, leading her to attempt to steal a special key from Two-Face. Though she dispatches a number of his henchman, she still finds herself suspended above a vat of death before being imminently saved by the Dark Knight. Following this, Catwoman goes her own way to raid the hidden treasures of Arkham’s vault. Along the way, she’ll be able to collect her own slew of pink Riddler trophies, but can also take some green ones. The Cat’s tale is certainly ambitious, but there’s not enough meat on the bones to garner any full appreciation. Hopefully, another Gotham-based game will remedy this.
What Gotham’s greatest cat burglar may lack in Dark Knight gadgetry, she makes up for it with her own bag of tricks – the trademark whip for grappling ledges and stunning multiple enemies, caltrops and bolas for forcing enemies into the ground. The few tools she has do well enough to keep things interesting when engaging foes, but as the Cat is just as capable handling herself in a fight, she tends to come off as a carbon copy of Batman – sharing the same capabilities in countering, evading, and issuing forced takedowns. Occasionally, Catwoman gives out a free smooch when she counters, which is pretty gross as I’m sure the masks and makeup the inmates wear are meant to hide more than just their faces.
Given her nimble and dainty build, Catwoman performs more flexibly (literally) in comparison to Batman when it comes to stealth: you can actually run up behind an enemy before doing a silent takedown. If you do decide to creep, the Cat stays low while still moving rather swiftly, ensuring that she stays out of sight. Though Ms. Kyle doesn’t have Detective Vision, her goggles grant her ‘Thief Vision’, which more or less provides the same X-Ray effects. However the view is rather nauseating – if I ever desired to see what it’d be like to deep dive in a filthy tank of Dayquil, now I know.
What’s more interesting about Selena is that she can actually crawl on ceilings, as long as they’re covered in metal fencing. When tackling ledges however, things aren’t as straightforward as using a grappling hook – you’re actually pulled up to a certain point and manually hop your way up, with accompanied comments on how well you time your button press – ambitious again is the operative word, but comes off rather pointless.
After finishing Catwoman’s story you’re awarded two great skins – her Batman: The Animated Series incarnation and her snazzy attire from the graphic novel The Long Halloween. Thankfully the action doesn’t end with her stories. Completing Batman’s main story also allows you to alternate to Selena and you can still have your fun taking back loot, wailing on respawned thugs and predator stages. And this is where Rocksteady dropped the ball. There are supposed to be three markers that appear on your map that shows where you can alternate between Batman and Catwoman. If you installed this DLC after completing the main story, these markers will not show up – leading to the assumption that alternating between the two characters only occur if you installed the DLC prior to starting your first game. On the contrary, you can still switch between the two vigilantes but you’ll have to find the switch points on your own.
The Cat is certainly a welcomed alternative to spending time in Arkham City. I can’t help but desire more out of our favorite feline anti-heroine, but for a number of others, the installation glitch can be more than enough to threaten the enjoyment.