ONE BAD DAY…
All right, Bat-fans — slide down the Bat-pole and buckle your seatbelt, because we’re taking one final Batmobile ride through Rocksteady’s Batman universe. As the year draws to a close, so too does this talented developer’s take on the Dark Knight. How does the final piece of Batman: Arkham Knight’s story downloadable content (DLC) fare?
Let me get this out of the way upfront: Season of Infamy takes place during Batman: Arkham Knight’s (AK) primary story, NOT afterward. Indeed, Rocksteady seems determined to leave us with unanswered questions about that strange, cruelly vague ending. If you’re cool with that, get the DLC. If not… well, this isn’t what you wanted.
It would be a shame to miss out, however, as these are some of the best AK missions to date. Taking place in the free-roam world as opposed to the Arkham Episodes section in the menus, Rocksteady simply added a second pinwheel screen of missions. As with the primary Scarecrow story, you’re free to pick which missions to do next, and in any order.
I tackled Mad Hatter’s first, and what a wonderful reintroduction to Rocksteady’s story that was. Their version of Hatter has always been appropriately creepy, and that remains true here as he returns to Gotham with more arrogance than usual. After rescuing the cops he kidnapped, Batman must fight through another memorable hallucination like this series has become known for.
Next, the League of Assassins is back — with a twist. They seem to have split off into two factions, and Batman must put this ninja war to rest before his city suffers. Unfortunately this is accomplished by some old-fashioned crime scene investigation, which isn’t bad on its own until you start chasing a trail of blood for the next 15 minutes. Although the gameplay here was a letdown, this particular tale is the one that stuck with me the most since completing the DLC. It ends with a moral choice being left up to the player, which is certainly a nice touch. Comic book readers and fans of the Arrow television series will also get a kick out of a certain character’s introduction to this world.
Following all that ninja craziness, you would think nothing could get weirder… until you remember this is Gotham City. So, after a zeppelin sky prison (which I guess is a thing?) crashes into the harbor, Batman and Nightwing team-up to investigate the cause. They soon find Killer Croc at the center of this catastrophe, and have to navigate the twisted wreckage of the zeppelin while rescuing its personnel.
Lastly, Mister Freeze seems to be caught in a predicament as his ship, The Jen–I mean, The Nora, is found frozen in Gotham’s waters. Batman checks in on his longtime frenemy and, although it would be a spoiler to discuss what happens, I’ll say that this story takes an emotional turn.
As has been a constant problem with Rocksteady’s DLC, this is a painfully short sequence of events. Each villain’s story only took about 20-30 minutes each to complete, except for Mister Freeze’s, which was shortened by a pretty severe glitch shown in the video review. What’s more, setting these during the main AK story (and adding to Batman’s worst day ever) almost makes it feel like cut content — whether it was or wasn’t — giving off the vibe that they were held back needlessly. That makes the cost and value a little questionable, which isn’t a good thing when compared to the gameplay time.
Even so, if you’ve followed Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy from the beginning then you’ll likely want to see these particular loose ends tied up. It may not be the story we wanted or expected, but what you get here is one last chance to tussle with some iconic villains while waiting to hear about the future of this series.
THE VERDICT: 7.0 OUT OF 10
My time with Batman: Arkham Knight was rocky, but this particular DLC doesn’t leave me with a bad taste in my mouth like the main game and subsequent Arkham Episodes did. Although I would’ve preferred not ending it with a Batmobile tank battle, Season of Infamy was enjoyable, if not great. The missions were short and I encountered a few glitches, but at least it didn’t feel like strung-together challenge rooms with half-assed cutscenes. I consider this the best of AK’s DLC, though that isn’t saying much.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.
Chris Cobb is an Associate Writer at MONG and dreams of being a vigilante, though his fear of clowns, crocodiles, man-bats and heights continues to hold him back. You can mock him on Twitter.