Quick Review: Harley Quinn’s Revenge
It’s been two weeks since the events of Arkham City. Battered and bruised inmates and staff have been evacuated, the jailhouse streets are silent, and once again the citizens of Gotham barely have an idea of how close they were to doom. More importantly, lives were changed – Batman still has much to come to terms with after his latest caper, and he’s not alone. Harley Quinn has returned to the abandoned uber prison, accompanied by her own slew of henchmen. A number of GCPD units have been dragged kicking and screaming into the steel mill with Gordon and company hot on their trail. The Dark Knight appears to save the day, but since reentering Arkham City, he has not returned and Quinn still remains at large. Knowing something’s wrong, Oracle/Barbara deploys Robin for search and rescue.
Those who have kept up with the DLCs will remember that while the Bat has much in convenience for problem solving thanks to his gadgetry and unique abilities, the Boy Wonder makes up for his limited arsenal with his own brand of approaches (i.e. using a shield to engage enemy fire head-on). Evidently, the developers exploit this element to their advantage by upping HQR’s challenge factor such as removing “gargoyle” structures from Batman’s Predator Stages while emphasizing care of stealth in Robin’s as hostages will be present. Additionally, mob fights are similar to ones encountered near the end of the main game with thugs armed and armored up, thus ensuring that mashing the square button nonstop is a sure way of getting yourself killed.
While the gameplay can be occasionally tricky, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome within a short amount of time. There’s no denying that these efforts were made to compensate for the DLC’s length. Whether you’re tuning in for new ground to sate the lust for battle, or you’re hoping to find answers to questions raised from Arkham City’s main ending, two hours simply isn’t enough to satisfy both. Exploring each characters’ coping mechanism towards “that incident”, and even a further look into the Dynamic Duo’s relationship, are surfaces barely scratched.
After teasing hors d’oeuvres trays of DLC challenge maps and individual characters, Harley Quinn’s Revenge doesn’t bring anything new to the table, rather it reaffirms the direction Rocksteady has chosen for its series which a number of fans may or may not agree with. Nevertheless, despite its short stature, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi of charm to HQR which warrants a couple more playthroughs at one’s leisure.