INJUSTICE FOR ALL
Ah! Another month, another new batch of Batman: Arkham Knight Downloadable Content (DLC). This month, Rocksteady Studios has given us a chance to play as two different characters in their own unique stories – Catwoman and Robin.
First up is Catwoman, who, after being captured and humiliated by The Riddler in Batman: Arkham Knight’s primary story, is out for revenge. Infiltrating his secret base, she aims to drain his precious bank accounts dry.
Catwoman’s Revenge, as the DLC is so aptly titled, offers a slight change of pace compared to previous DLC offerings. Rather than busting in with fists of fury, Catwoman must first navigate the upper levels of Riddler’s base while pickpocketing three thugs of their security keycards. If you are seen, it immediately triggers a Game Over screen, which adds an extra bit of tension as you play. Lending even more variety to the gameplay is her ability to crawl on the ceiling like a wannabe Spider-Girl, something no other character can do in the game.
Unfortunately, as is the case with all of Batman: Arkham Knight‘s so-called “story DLC,” Catwoman’s Revenge is a short affair with little substance. It consists of only two areas – a street-level toy store (used twice for the previously-mentioned stealth mission as well as a combat challenge) and a basement factory used only for combat.
As if the length of the DLC wasn’t disappointing enough, the second half of this offering devolves into button-mashing nonsense as the area becomes littered with obstacles while fighting. Rocksteady’s signature free-flow combat mechanics still shine, but this combat wasn’t designed to work well within the tiny space it is eventually confined to. Catwoman in particular likes to lunge and leap in every direction, making it almost impossible to avoid death. I won’t spoil the full extent of these obstacles but, trust me, you’ll know ’em when you see ’em. Needless to say, my controller was screaming for mercy as I became more frustrated.
Sadly, Robin’s A Flip of a Coin DLC isn’t much better. Whereas Catwoman’s Revenge had about a minute of HD cutscene goodness, Robin gets a few seconds at best. The grand majority of the story consists primarily of in-game dialogue between Tim Drake and Barbara Gordon, as well as the gossipy chatter of nearby thugs. Although an interesting nugget or two is dropped regarding the events after Batman: Arkham Knight’s main story, there isn’t much plot to grasp for here, aside from the usual Robin angst.
Like Catwoman, Robin also receives just two areas to traverse. The first of which is a surprisingly beautiful garbage incinerator featuring another Rocksteady predator encounter. The second area is the interior of a court house-like building, where you engage in another predator encounter with a combat segment later on. That second area is my personal favorite, featuring a destroyed beauty aesthetic reminiscent of Gears of War.
Being a lifelong fan of the Robin mantle, I had high hopes for this particular DLC. Given Robin’s place at the heart of the main story, you would expect a solo DLC to have more OOMPH. Unfortunately, Tim Drake continues to be treated like the red-headed stepchild of the Arkham series, getting the smallest amount of spotlight compared to other characters.
Additionally, the Catwoman and Robin DLC’s both offer AR Challenge maps. I’ve always been in love with the challenge modes, but there isn’t much to say here. New additions are always welcome, because beating down multiple waves of thugs is always satisfying – even if the accompanying stories are a letdown.
Luckily, November offers even more content. The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice batsuit and batmobile are also now available for use in the game’s various modes. A new costume for Robin is also available, along with a matching batmobile paintjob. If you enjoy new character and vehicle skins, these are certainly worthy of a download.
Rocksteady has also recently patched in the option to play the various predator AR maps with any character you wish. This has been a longtime fan request, and I’m definitely glad to see this new change. Running with the theme of fan requests, the developer has made other, smaller changes. My personal favorite is Red Hood’s new knife takedown, which was sorely missing from his arsenal.
The Verdict: 5.5 out of 10
If you bought the season pass, WB Games and Rocksteady have your money already. However, if you’ve been picking and choosing from the DLC’s thus far, these two are only recommended if you absolutely NEED more gameplay. Catwoman’s Revenge offers slightly more story with a maddening combat area, while A Flip of a Coin features fun gameplay with only the barest of plots. If you were only looking for more of the storyline to sink your teeth into, these aren’t even worth the $1.99 asking price.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.
Chris Cobb is an Associate Writer at MONG, and is currently searching for the perfect pair of green hotpants to finish his Robin cosplay. You can also find him on Twitter.