Batman: Arkham City – Robin
Originally a pre-order bonus, the Robin DLC pack is finally ready for the masses and lets players get a chance to tackle two new challenge maps with Batman’s ward and sidekick. This is actually the third boy to bear the title of Robin (the first being Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing, and Jason Todd) and it’s teenager Tim Drake.
As Robin, his distinguishing features include a shaved head, hood and cloak, and the choice of bo staff as his primary weapon. This is the crux of his fighting style: delivering blunt force trauma and justice with every swing of the staff at opponents. Expect to see lots of vaulting, twirling, and rapid-fire staff combos. Robin’s staff-based fighting style is really what separates him from the rest of the Bat Family. He doesn’t have Batman’s no-nonsense style, or Catwoman’s acrobatics, or Nightwing’s flashy moveset, but by and large he is a capable fighter and in the proper hands can deliver just as many epic beatdowns as his predecessors.
From a gadgetry standpoint, Robin is probably the closest to Batman. He can use explosive gel, throw shurikens (which are basically batarangs), remote control shurikens, smoke bombs, and a zip-line that launches Robin at enemies for a quick kick. New toys to play with include a handy bullet shield and a small bomb Robin can place on enemies and detonate to cause some momentary confusion among their ranks.
The two new maps included are Freight Train and Black Mask. Freight Train is a strange combat challenge that takes place on a moving train from a 2D perspective harkening back to the days of Final Fight. It’s an odd choice that doesn’t really work out as it’s tough to gauge precisely where enemies are or how many are left to string together long combos. The maps ends with a battle against Black Mask and once he’s dispatched the player must destroy a control box to end the challenge.
Black Mask is the predator challenge map and strangely enough despite the title he’s nowhere to be found (presumably because he was previously bludgeoned into unconsciousness on the train) and The Riddler along with his henchmen are the main threat. Robin’s stealth skills are pretty much on par with everybody else. There are no real unique skills he brings to the table that change things up unlike Catwoman’s ability to climb on ceilings or Nightwing’s darts.
The pack as a whole still feels remarkably light for the asking price, although Robin does get two alternate outfits—one from the acclaimed animated series and the other is Drake’s Red Robin costume. Still, two maps feels incredibly stingy and I’m left wondering if the rest of these DLC characters are going to be implemented into the world of Arkham City in any meaningful way. Rocksteady needs to step things up with their next DLC pack. Add more Riddler trophies, new sidequests, a new campaign—just anything of substance, really.