This isn’t a review of the Game of the Year edition because I don’t own that, and truth be told I’m also missing the additional Challenge Pack from my purchases so I can’t in all honesty say I’m reviewing the content in the GOTY version.
If you want to see what I thought of the main game, that review’s here. This review is for the Catwoman, Robin, Nightwing, Skins and Harley Quinn’s Revenge packs.
A final note, the prices here are in Microsoft Points. If you want prices for PC or PSN, I’m sorry but you’ll have to track those down yourselves.
Catwoman Bundle Pack
This was launch content included for free with all new copies of the original game and costs 800MS points to buy. It adds the four “Catwoman Episodes” into the main game, as a separate option on the main menu and adds Catwoman as a playable character in the Challenge Mode.
Her episodes are quite short, the first one is just a small fight sandwiched by cutscenes, but flow pretty well as they were obviously designed in tandem with the main game to flow into each other.
Though the rest of her episodes are of a better length, they’re still fairly short and lack any of the big set pieces that Batman has. If you just zip through the story aspects of the episodes, they’ll pass by pretty damn fast and you may start to wonder just where your money’s worth is.
In my opinion, that’s in the post-game content. Just like how you can control Batman after the plot’s over, Catwoman’s fully controllable in the playable epilogue section as well as the aforementioned Challenge Mode and this is where you’ll really get to stretch your feline legs.
Cats plays as a much weaker but faster version of Bats with much fewer tools to work with. She only has her whip for exploration and there’s only two more gadgets but this works. She’s not a super-rich badass detective, she’s a cat burglar and though she’s competent in a fight, she doesn’t have cash, know-how or need for any of Bats’ trinkets.
Her animations make good use of her lighter frame and sex appeal to give a real sense of character, even when she’s fighting. Learning quite how to handle Cats is a bit of a curve as you can’t tank as many hits as usual, but it’s just as fun as Bats.
Instead of a Grapnel like Bats, Cats whips to things and then climbs them. Though annoying at first, I got into quite a groove with it and ended up preferring it to Bats’ grapple. Though it trips me up every time that you can end up exposing yourself to the enemies you’re trying to ambush while you’re swinging across an area.
In Predator situations Cats does come with the added ability to cling to grated ceilings. This helps to make up for her lack of tricks, and it, along with her “Thief’s Vision” (which doesn’t list the number of enemies or even flag the ones with guns a different colour) force you to think and act more carefully.
All in all the Catwoman Bundle Pack was worth it for me, but if you’re looking for a solid story expansion this probably isn’t the investment for you.
Robin Bundle Pack
Robin was, until Harley Quinn’s Revenge, a Challenge Mode only character. This Robin is Tim Drake, by the way, famed for his use of a staff in combat and currently Red Robin in comic continuity.
In this game we have a Robin wielding a retractable staff, and he makes full use of its properties in a fighting style that makes him rather unpredictable. He’s stronger than Cats and faster than Bats, and several of his Gadgets have interesting properties.
For example, his staff can throw out a frontal Bullet Shield that’s handy for tight spots, and he can instantly zip to an enemy in battle instead of pulling them towards him like Bats does.
In terms of difficulty for Predator Challenges he’s between Cats and Bats. He’s a bit fiddly to get used to, but his unique properties mean that if you want to mix things up, he’s a good candidate for it.
At just 560 MSPoints for him individually or 1200 Points for him, Nightwing and the bonus skins all together which’ll save you several hundred points.
Nightwing Bundle Pack
Now the only one of the four playable characters with no story mode, Nightwing is a lightning fast bruiser who really struggles in Predator challenges. Also, strangely, he doesn’t speak at all. Just kind of scowls. Which is really weird for Dick Grayson.
He makes Batman feel slow as a turtle and Catwoman as weak as a newborn kitten with his Escrima sticks (which are now also stun batons). I also really admire his fighting animations, which really drive home his acrobatic past. Actually, I’m calling it. The fight animations of Batman Arkham City are the finest in gaming history as far as I’m concerned. Every single attack the heroes have feel like a part of the character and what they’re about.
Nightwing is priced the same a Robin and part of the 1200MSPoint The Arkham Bundle as well.
Arkham City Skins Pack
This pack is really just something fun, it doesn’t affect gameplay at all. Batman gets about six different ones, Cats and Robin get two and Nightwing only gets the one. It costs 400MSPoints, so track down pictures of the costumes and if you want them, go buy it. There’s not really any more to say than it’s 400MSPoints alone or part of the 1200MSPoints The Arkham Bundle.
Harley Quinn’s Revenge
Look at me! I’m topical! This DLC came out at midnight and I stayed up late playing it especially for m-er, you. It’s an additional short story campaign set after Arkham City‘s ending in which you get to take control of both Batman *and* Robin. that’s right, the Dynamic Duo are tackling this caper together.
Basically, Batman went missing investigating Harley Quinn’s base and Robin goes in when he doesn’t pop back for more Bat-mints. Like the Catwoman story, it’s split into four segments, two for the Dark Knight and two for the Boy Wonder.
The thing I noticed first was that the difficulty has been ramped up. Enemies seem to hit harder and faster and a lot more of them are armed now. This was a bit infuriating at first, but I managed to adapt.
Though I like that they introduce sections to explain how Robin’s gadgets can be used to interact with the environments like Bats’, but his sections are so short they never really get used more than once or twice. Robin’s sections feel more like a proof of concept demo at times.
But I’d still call them the highlights. Bats’ sections feel a little padded and less well thought out. Almost like it was meant to be an all-Robin story until someone upstairs pulled the plug on that idea.
There’s been some pretty obvious corners cut. Most of the places you could explore in Joker’s turf has now been forcibly closed off, to the extent that parts of the scenery have been destroyed. Still, there is a new warehouse area where most of the action takes place, including a Predator battle for Robin against Quinn and her goons that provides a fun challenge.
At 800MSPoints I had to put a tenner on my account to get it and I did finish it in one sitting of maybe an hour or two but I still enjoyed it. As to whether it’s worth it? Well…that depends on how much you like the game and whether or not you want more.
And really, that’s my verdict on all the DLC for this game. It’s enjoyable and if you want more out of the game, then this’ll probably see you right. In the end I can’t give it the giant gold stars the main game gets, but it’s by no means bad content.