Batman: Arkham City – Nightwing
Hail Nightwing, a.k.a. Richard “Dick” Grayson, a.k.a. the first Robin. As a challenge map only character, I was a bit skeptical and concerned about how Richard would perform in the bevy of Rocksteady’s current magnum opus. But though he doesn’t have much in voicing himself, the former Boy Wonder certainly speaks volumes with his own unique brand of action.
As you boot up whatever map of your choosing, Richard opens up with that trademark personality of his, his major aspect that sets him apart from his former mentor’s. He smirks, he hand juggles his electric Escrima sticks, and conveys cockiness with every gesture – all the things that earned him a couple arguments with Bruce. But that’s okay, because he knows he’s worth it; it’s what makes his charisma so contagious.
If you thought watching Bruce and Selena beating up a legion of thugs to be poetry in motion, you definitely haven’t seen anything yet. Imagine the merciless beat down power of fighting stick martial arts combined with high flying circus acrobatics, and people getting tazed. That’s Nightwing. Just watching him madly drum his opponents, issue elaborate bone breaks, and zig zag through crowds is oh so mesmerizing, something you’d want to do over and over again. Nightwing also makes use of walls when countering attacks – just stand next to one when you catch a strike and watch the magic happen.
Dick also comes with his own colorful set of gadgets: his own line launcher and grappling hook, a batclaw, the ability to summon electic shockwaves from his sticks to stun surrounding foes, or he can just throw his sticks and have them ricochet from one enemy’s face to the next, stun inducing wrist darts, a personal take on batarangs called ‘Wing-Dings’ (yeah I know right?), and more.
Engaging predator stages is about the same as Batman. Nightwing’s domino mask is fitted with its own caliber of X-Ray vision, plus a blip radar. Unfortunately, the radar doesn’t covet an entire stage, only the immediate proximity. By the time you get a blip the enemy is already well within your line of sight, so the radar seems to be only for show. Nightwing is also just as creative when it comes to dispatching enemies through stealth, such as using a well aimed wrist dart to the head that instantly incapacitate enemies, but you only get three so make them count.
Included with the DLC is Nightwing’s Animated Series skin – very well designed as Rocksteady captures and transposes every eyebrow raise and arrogant grin in cartoon form. Also included are the ‘Wayne Manor’ and ‘Main Hall’ maps – both aren’t so bad but doesn’t leave much of an impression. Also in both settings, the thugs still talk as if they’re still in Arkham City which tends to off put the mood. Overall, even though he’s not attached to any in-game stories, Nightwing is an enjoyable addition. What I thought to be an hour test drive spanned an entire day. I hope to see more of Mr. Grayson, and I certainly hope that Rocksteady has plans to give him his own IP.